Letters to the Editor 12-10-10

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Leggings are practical, fashionable piece of clothing

This is in response to Sara Gudde’s “Results May Vary” column about leggings. I have seen people wear some strange and unreasonable things. Why pick on leggings? Leggings are a practical combination of sweatpants and skinny jeans. They keep frigid air from your skin, can be dressed up or down in numerous fashions and are the most comfortable garment since the sports bra.

Some complain that they are too tight to constitute pants. In comparison to skinny jeans or any pant that does not cause the wearer to look like they are donning a tent, leggings do the same job as their competition.

Let’s discredit the most ridiculous of myths in speculation that leggings won’t keep you warm. The actuality is quite the contrary. Running around in panty hose and a T-shirt during the winter months would be a surefire sign that you are crazed or highly intoxicated. Leggings are not simply hosiery. They are much tighter knit and made of more durable material. The purpose of pants is to provide a buffer between your warm skin and the outside environment to reduce loss of body heat to the cold winter air, because heat energy is inclined to move from an area of higher temperature to lower temperature. If your leggings do not “breathe” as panty hose do, they are doing their job in preventing aforementioned heat loss.

I don’t mind if “the whole world know(s) every curve and crevice of the lower half of my body.” Excuse me for having self-confidence. My theory is that those opposed to the movement of leggings-as-pants don’t value their assets — pun intended. I am not carrying a sign that states, “Please, I am begging you, look at my rear end.” I simply love myself enough that I do not need to hide under a muumuu. Now you think, “But, I do not care to observe your body so closely.” Then, by all means, do not stare at my butt.

With its increasing popularity and versatility, I do not foresee leggings hitting the hay anytime soon. They will continue to be a practical outfit choice for confident girls who wish to be comfortable as they live their lives.

Next time, let’s pick on people who wear yellow tennis shoes in the winter because I dislike looking at the color, and boots are the only warm footwear in existence.

Ellesha LeCluyse

senior in biology

Marijuana legalization backed by Bible verses

Dear Editor,

Jillian Aramowicz hit the bull’s-eye with her Dec. 2 column entitled, “Marijuana not as dangerous as most legal drugs.” Marijuana should be legalized.

One way to legalize the relatively safe, extremely popular, God-given plant cannabis is to remove it from being a Schedule I substance alongside heroin, while meth and cocaine are only Schedule II substances.

Another reason to stop caging responsible adults who use cannabis that doesn’t get mentioned is because it’s biblically correct. God, the ecologician, indicates he created all the seed-bearing plants saying they are all good on literally the very first page (see Genesis 1:11-12 and 29-30). The only Biblical restriction placed on cannabis is to accept it with thankfulness (1 Timothy 4:1-5).

Truthfully,

Stan White

Dillon, Colorado

Stereotyping greeks wrong

As a freshman from an exceedingly small town in north central Kansas, I arrived at K-State with a terribly basic understanding of what being greek entailed. Only two students who attended my high school during my tenure had joined a fraternity before me. Joining Alpha Tau Omega was a leap of faith in those regards.

What I soon learned, however, is the difference between house and chapter. My house is where I eat, study and rest my head. It is not elegant, it is not overly tidy, but it is an imposing structure upon which the men at ATO have built an even more impressive and immutable structure, the bond of brotherhood that is their chapter.

This is the part of the letter where you expect me to explain that I don’t pay for friends, I pay to live with people with like backgrounds and goals. But the truth is we’re not at all the same. What binds us together is that on any given day of the week, there are 79 other men who are interested in what you’re studying, how you’re adjusting to college and just hanging out and having fun.

There is an evident schism at K-State between the greek community and the rest of the student population. Our accommodations may be aberrant, our wardrobes disparate with the remainder of the student body, but we have the same career goals and challenges as students not in fraternities or sororities. And we have flaws, too.

Sexual objectification is pervasive in society, from greeks to students for whom Delta is only the mathematical symbol for change. “Slam piece” is perhaps a demeaning term in the greek lexicon, but is it any more objectionable or harmful than the more widely used phrase “piece of ass?” Vilifying the bulk of greek men because a handful created a variation of a common pejorative seems rather illogical and in itself discriminatory, just as it seems odd that homecoming jackets are relevant to discussion in this publication while cargo shorts are not.

Dylan Koch

freshman in computer science

Groups benefit learning

I read Tim Schrag’s Tuesday article, “Group projects not practical in college setting,” and was immediately incensed.

There are two separate problems Schrag poses to the impracticality of group projects: One, the projects take valuable, precious time away from hardworking students, and two, the projects leave a student not solely responsible for his or her own grade. However, Schrag’s article makes the entirety of K-State students look like whiny, lazy and incompetent crybabies.

I’m sorry, but this is not an argument I can get behind. The crux of the issue at play is that students have come to expect professors to hand them a degree with little or no work put toward earning said degree. Every student knows earning a college degree takes effort — studying, reading and, yes, group work — so we students can be responsible, critically-thinking professionals who are capable of productive teamwork in the workplace. How else are professors to teach students how to become mature professionals capable of responsibility if they don’t require students to work together in group projects?

Time is precious. Consider this: Professors cannot take time out of their class schedule for students to work on group projects because professors need that class time to teach. Consider the student who juggles a full-time jobs and school and raising children. Consider also that a boss might require that you work 40 or more hours a week and might depend on you as a responsible member of their team. This is why you give up your time as a student for school: to learn to be a responsible professional.

If a student is worried about his grade in a group setting then I pose this solution: Do as much work as possible. If students know other members will slack off, then take up their slack as well. Put in as much work as necessary to make sure that you get the best possible grade. Think it over: If everyone in a group setting had this attitude, then students wouldn’t worry about their grades. But that would require work, wouldn’t it?

Jessica Schmidt

sophomore in English

Protest overshadows lecture

Editor,

I was quite pleased with Kathleen Sibelius’ fine Landon Lecture last week. When allowed to describe the new health care plan at length, she demonstrated its very reasonableness, including a significant benefit of continuing students’ health insurance past graduation. I would not be surprised at the same reasonableness that got her elected here, except for having been barraged with misinformation and distortions, as more media time was actually given to paid campaign attacks than to campaign issue coverage, like money — especially corporate money, increasingly takes over our supposed democratic elections.

Sibelius dodged all the sensationalism, having always preferred the true leadership role of addressing the needs of almost half a million uninsured Kansans, ignored by party leaders for decades. The best leaders should now engage in dialogue to improve the voted plan, as was eventually done with every new program, now indispensible, from Social Security to minimum wage, Medicare, Medicaid, Civil Rights — all of which were just as hysterically opposed at the start.

As to dialogue, however, one aspect of the event was disappointing to me. While we again had to endure the ridiculous Phelps’ crew demonstrating outside, I believe the university’s decision to cordon them from contact was wrong. It may be prudent in some public venues to avoid possible confrontations, but the resulting impossibility of any dialogue (even recognizing where dialogue becomes hopeless) does deep disservice to what a university is for — dialogue, even with the most challenging, provocative or even disturbing ideas and points of view. I hope this isn’t continued.

Don Hedrick

Professor of English and director of the Program of Cultural Studies

Mendenhall guilty of her own objectification

I’ve noticed Beth Mendenhall writes two types of articles: insightful articles shedding light on underrepresented issues and articles focused on slamming campus groups. Now, I’m not a member of the greek community, but I think it’s clear Beth’s most recent article, “Objectified,” is of the latter type.

Mendenhall has done little to convince me she’s concerned about the objectification of sorority girls, particularly after a line in her Nov. 15 article about charity groups. In that article, she noted that nearly everyone “has been harassed by a jean skirt or North Face jacket … I know such language is objectifying but … (sorority girls) all dress the same.” This essentialism litters her recent articles. She continues in “Objectified,” portraying sororities as “compet(ing) over who can win the most attention (from) men,” and fraternities as a “competitive culture that rewards sexual prowess and control.” But all sorority girls aren’t jean skirts competing for sexual attention, and fraternity boys aren’t all sex-addicts looking for a “slam-piece.” They’re individuals with unique personalities and experiences.

Mendenhall argues greek life at K-State is “the perfect Petri dish for rampant sexual objectification,” but her search for proof leaves us with three events in the past year each occurring at campuses more than 1,000 miles from K-State. They were egregious acts against women, but only the “slam-piece” example occurred here, and I’m not convinced that objectifying language is unique to fraternities. So, why are greeks the target?

Fraternities aren’t the root cause of sexual objectification, even if it occurs there. Every day, violent acts against women occur in situations completely removed from greek culture. “Objectified” is more appropriately titled for what Mendenhall does to the greek system. The most disappointing aspect of this article is Mendenhall spent so much time objectifying the entire greek community that her arguments for the importance of respecting women’s subjectivity become obfuscated.

Mendenhall, you can be an effective writer, but you waste our time, your time and your influence when you make attacks instead of arguments. So, I hope next time you start to write a slam piece, you redirect your focus to the relevant issues.

Sterling Braun

sophomore in microbiology

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