The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Letters to the Editor


Letter to the Editor:When Al (’59) and Emily (’60) Taylor graduated, they didn’t know then that their memory of college days would resonate in part to a spruce tree they planted on campus in 1986.

When their son David died in March of 1980 at age 16, they decided to buy a Colorado spruce tree and donate it to the school’s landscaping plan in his memory. The College grounds and maintenance office selected a planting site about midway between the former Library and Student Union. The photo shows Emi Lu and Al standing beside the six foot tree. Eventually, the Weyerhauser Chapel was built just west of the tree. Today it is about 45 feet high, a silent testimony to their son who was physically and mentally challenged. Students pass by it on the sidewalk east of the Chapel.

Al and Emi met in an art class taught by former professor Anthony Caponi. Al majored in journalism and was The Mac Weekly editor during fall semester 1958. Emi Lu majored in elementary education. They went to Israel after their June ’60 marriage for six months of post grad study and observed Palestinian and Israeli dis-connect then as it is now. Al then served as a journalist with the Forest Service and Emi earned a master’s degree in elementary education. They are now both retired and have helped in planning their respective 50th year class reunions.

Meanwhile, their son’s tree continues to grow, grow, and grow.

Al Taylor ’59

Letter to the Editor:

The international community and the media tend to focus on the security complex surrounding North Korea and the nuclear capabilities it may have; however, oftentimes the people within the country are forgotten. The North Korean government under Kim Jong-Il has continued its abuses of basic human rights as outlined in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A non-governmental organization aiming to improve the lives of North Korean refugees is visiting campus next week.

North Korea systematically denies its abuse of human rights, but humanitarian groups across the world agree that atrocities are occurring. Public executions in front of thousands, forced prostitution, and prison camps are among the many documented cases of abuse that occured. Repeated droughts and subsequent famines have also made living conditions difficult on many North Koreans and food aid from relief organizations often does not get delivered to those who need it.

Many in the country wish to escape, but cannot because of the closed borders. Those that do escape to either South Korea or China are often persecuted and are sent back to North Korea to face imprisonment or execution. Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) is an NGO that is working to improve the lives of North Korean refugees in a number of ways. LiNK operates in secret, helping refugees escape to “safe houses,” where they are safe from deportation and from being sold into prostitution. They also advocate on the behalf of the refugees in front of foreign governments as well as to groups across the country, to raise awareness for the human rights abuses committed by North Korea.

Macalester Model UN is proud to bring LiNK to campus on Wednesday, April 14 at 8:00 in JBD in the basement of the campus center. They will be screening a documentary about life in North Korea that is produced by Lisa Ling, sister of one of the journalists recently detained by Kim Jong-Il. The screening will be followed by a question and answer session. We invite anyone interested to come and learn about what goes on behind closed borders.

Natalie Pavlatos ’12 can be reached at [email protected].

Letter to the Editor:

Last week, I read Allison Stewart’s piece about making our campus food more sustainable with both earnestness and trepidation. As one of the people involved in organizing two of the three events Allison points out (Pizza & Politics, Sandwiches and Scholarship), I felt like Allison misses the point of providing food at these events.

Because of the Tuesday/Thursday schedule, with every event scheduled at lunch time, organizers face a classic case of prisoners dilemma. If two events offer food and three don’t, where do you think students will go? It is in an organizer’s interest to get attendance by providing food. Of course, there’s a catch – organizers are limited in their budget. Therefore, we have no choice but to choose, as Allison claims, “crappy food” as that food is cheaper and more convenient.

I would love for our campus events to not provide food or to refuse food that’s not sustainable. I believe Allison and I see eye-to-eye on that. But as long as every event is offered at the same time and organizers are constrained by smaller and smaller budgets, I think it’s disingenuous to believe that either food will stop being offered or the food that is offered will be of the variety Allison wants. I want what Allison wants, but under the current circumstances I don’t believe that’s feasible.

Robert Hemphill ’11 can be reached at [email protected]

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