Letters to the Editor

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To the Editor:In “Burning Questions” you say, incorrectly, that Macalester was “voted number one gay friendly school by the Princeton Review.” The Princeton Review doesn’t “vote” schools onto its annual ranking lists.

The lists are based on what students at the 366 schools in its book, “Best 366 Colleges” say about themselves, their schools and their campus experiences at them on the student survey that Princeton Review does for the book.

Macalester made it to #1 on this list completely as a result of Mac students’ assessments of the levels of gay friendliness at their school (compared to how students at the 365 other schools in our book assessed the level of gay friendliness at their schools).

Mac students can participate in the survey for the next edition of our book at http://survey.review.com, and get info on (and see all of) the Princeton Review college rankings (Mac is on 9 other ranking lists in the book) at PrincetonReview.com.

Jeanne Krier
Publicist, Princeton Review Books

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To the Editor:

The Financial Aid office’s bulletin response to Associate News Editor Annie Lewine’s “Financial aid numbers dip for a second year” was swift and brutal in discrediting Lewine’s statistics and numbers.

However, what was even more heinous was what escaped the bulletin’s response: the chart that appeared on the front page article. I have never been more embarrassed by something that has appeared in The Mac Weekly.

The chart is a simple bar graph with two bars: one is labeled “Fall ’05: 51%” and the other “Fall ’07: 45%” (both of those figures were discredited by Financial Aid). Nothing too wrong with that, despite the numbers. Unfortunately the “45%” column is less than half the size of the “51%” column.

To the left in nearly illegible font it says at the bottom of the y-axis, where “0%”, should be it says “41.”

There’s no credit for the designer, so I assume Lewine created it.

I wondered how hard it would be to make a correct chart. I set a timer on my watch, opened my laptop, fired up Excel and went to work. It took me 3 minutes, 18 seconds in Excel to make Lewine’s chart (I used the corrected data from Financial Aid courtesy of Brian Lindeman). “0%” is at the bottom of the y-axis and it does not start with some arbitrary number like my first example.

Repeated mistakes, such as this one, will not be overlooked by the readers. If the paper wants to maintain any sort of reputation, The Mac Weekly and Lewine need to be more careful in the future.

Andrew Mirzayi ’10