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Letters to the Editor - Feb. 8

February 08, 2013

Wilson College abandoned a 144-year commitment

To the editor: 

On Jan. 28, The Chronicle of Higher Education published a letter by Notre Dame of Maryland University President James F. Conneely in which he declares the continuing need for women’s colleges. His position is in sharp contrast to the recent decision by the Wilson College Board of Trustees to abandon the 144-year commitment to women’s education. 

I was one of many alumnae who worked to encourage Wilson College to remain true to her mission of educating women. During a process that was rushed and often lacked verifiable nationwide data and feasibility studies, alumnae took it upon themselves to find the research that would support a growing market for Wilson if she would remain a women’s college.

Across the nation, women’s colleges are in a period of steady growth. While it is true that very few 16-year-old girls will consider attending a women’s college, this upward trend indicates that by age 18 they will. Rural or urban, large or small, Ivy League or not, young women are enrolling in women’s colleges. 

Belief in their mission is the thread that weaves all of the constituencies of a committed women’s college into not just a piece of fabric, but a rich and supportive tapestry that preserves the legacy of the past with the knowledge that “the best is yet to come.” 

Belief is what Wilson College lacks. It appears that, over the past few years, administration, some faculty, staff and sadly even alumnae lost sight of their mission. On the eve of 2010, the Wilson Board of Trustees created a document, often referred to as the “We Believe Statement,” that reaffirmed their commitment as a women’s college. Two years later, it is apparent that the college redirected its focus on a path to justify the erasure of that commitment.

The current buzz word in higher education is “transformative.” Wilson College transformed itself by tossing out a 144-year dedication to the education of women. Wilson was treated as if she were a disposable commodity easily replaced by a new belief system. 

I believe in the future of women’s colleges. I believe that Wilson could have and should have chosen a different path. Belief can change the world as it did for generations of Wilson College women.

Carol Noon (Wilson ’87)
Chattanooga, Tenn.


The right to bear arms, according to the dictionary

To the editor:

The Second Amendment is a constitutional issue pertaining to a citizen’s right to bear arms. The duty of the judicial branch of our government is to interpret the language of our Constitution. The word interpret means to orally explain or define the words of language in this amendment.

To interpret the English language requires a book classified as a “dictionary.” Thus, any citizen who can read can be a “judge” by looking up the word “bear” in the dictionary and discover that the word means to tote or carry.

The word “gun” is not a word written in the Second Amendment as a weapon all citizens have a “right” to “own” or possess. The dictionary defines a “gun” as a weapon with metal tube from which missiles are discharged by explosion, such as a cannon, pistol, etc. The bearing of “arms” in the Second Amendment pertains to the “military.” The chief justice of the Supreme Court stated the dictionary “interpretation” of the word arms as meaning to “arm” or supply the army (not private citizens) with weapons, furnish, “arm” for use, take up “arms,” etc.

The right to bear arms is defined as the freedom of choice to enlist in the all-volunteer military branches of service as my “right.”

The Second Amendment pertains to “soldiers,” sailors, Marines and “fly boys,” rather than a gun lobby, identified as the NRA.

The word “assault” means to attack, especially a sudden attack. Thus, all things one can attack a person with is an “attack.” The word attack and assault are synonyms, and one word means the other. To “bully” is to “attack,” and the weapon for the assault is the fist and or the feet. Therefore, “all guns,” be they machine guns, cannons or pistols, are assault weapons since all can be and are used to attack and maim or kill.

Jim Thompson
Chambersburg, Pa.


What’s good for one party should be good for the other

To the editor:

I’d like to make a few comments on the Allan Powell column that was printed Feb. 1.

He was lamenting the bad Republicans in Virginia making a move when one Democrat was not there to prevent the action. Thus, a gerrymandering took place. I have no recollection of any complaints by Powell when a similar thing occurred right in his front yard. That would be, of course, when Maryland Democrats “reconfigured” Roscoe Bartlett’s district to finally defeat a man they had not been able to defeat in decades. Oh, but I forgot, that was getting rid of one of those nasty Republicans, so any means is justified.

On the national scene, Democrats controlled the process of Obamacare, which is now 2,700 pages — plus 13,000 pages of regulations so far — so tightly that there were no committee hearings. Indeed, Nancy Pelosi is remembered for her statement, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

It is not hard to imagine the outcry if party roles had been reversed and Republicans had done this. But the Democrats have their own rules and privileges.

Jerre Snider
Waynesboro, Pa.

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