Letters to the Editor

USUAA wants to help concerned student

Dear Mr. Jay Johnson (Letters to the Editor, Oct. 9),

USUAA Student Government thanks you for expressing your concerns. Just to let you know, student government passed a new version of our standing rules two weeks ago and finalized an amendment to it last week. We also passed our amended budget. We know it takes a lot to write a letter to the newspaper; most of us write resolutions, bills and memorandums every week because students regularly bring us issues, and we diligently work to resolve them. We would like to help you with your concerns, but we cannot do anything if you do not present them to us. Because of the level of anonymity a letter to the editor provides a person, one questions the credibility and motives of a person who decides to take the time to write a letter to the editor of The Northern Light – a newspaper which has no authority to do anything about one’s concerns – instead of dropping by the student government office and talking with one of us who can do something. If you feel so strongly about your concerns, we would love to have you attend our assembly every Friday at 3 p.m. downstairs in the Student Union so we can help you with your concerns.

USUAA Student Government

Not all free hugs went unappreciated

I too thought what you did was great, and the hug was appreciated (“Skeptical students confused by free hugs, compassion,” Oct. 16). Acts of compassion should certainly be more commonplace in society than they are now.

I am one of the nonreligious people you encountered, and we actually make up much more than two percent of American society. There are many thousands of atheists, agnostics and freethinkers living in America. I’m sorry to see that one individual felt the need to push her religion on you as her act of “compassion.” Sure, maybe her heart was in the right place and her intentions were good, but when will religious people ever realize that proselytizing others and attempting to force their version of morality on society isn’t just not compassionate, it’s downright wrong and very annoying?

But anyway, what’s wrong with giving someone a hug? What is inappropriate about that? I had no problems with hugging you – a complete stranger – though I have to admit that it did seem like an unusual thing to do. And maybe it shouldn’t feel that way. If we all took time to give each other a hug or a kind word when it’s needed (and sometimes when it’s not), the world would surely be a kinder, gentler, more pleasant place to be.

Jeff Reid


Language at hockey games OK in context

Taunts at UAA are tame in comparison to other venues in college hockey (Editorial: “Fans should bring respect to the university,” Oct. 23). While you’d almost certainly retort that others’ bad behavior shouldn’t grant a license to UAA fans to act (in your judgment and by your standards) in an obscene manner, the fact remains. You miss the point by calling a chant that includes “you suck” childish. It is the simplicity of the phrase and its strong verbal projection that makes it an impacting thing for fans to use.

Apparently, you missed the “Pull your Johnson” chants near the end of the game when UAF Chad Johnson was in goal. No doubt you would characterize that as childish as well.

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I don’t think it’s ever a good idea in a college environment to so hastily judge things as obscene. Especially words. Do you really believe that some words are “bad”? I won’t disagree that some words have connotations that are disagreeable to some people. I don’t particularly like the word “rape,” but it is used every day in your profession. Are “suck” or even an “f-bomb” (which you will hear at other college hockey venues) really worse than “murder,” “rape,” “pillage,” “kill” or for that matter “war?” I don’t think so. In context, “suck” and “f-bombs” as used by fan bases in college hockey are just words to express the idea that the opponent isn’t worthy and to taunt them. Are they derogatory? Yes. Are they obscene in context? No, they aren’t.

Please, let’s not take steps back to some Victorian ideal. We should all be past that era, shouldn’t we? I for one was happy to see an enthusiastic group of students taunting our hated rival. Nice job! Come back and do the same thing every weekend and maybe in time UAA’s home rink will get the same sort of widely admired reputation as the Kohl Center or Agganis Arena or Conte Forum or the dozens of other college hockey rinks where opponents receive much harsher treatment, chant-wise. Last weekend in Duluth the student section tried to taunt an Austrian player with the chant “The Hapsburgs Suck.” Is that childish or creative in your book? By the way . it didn’t catch on.

Let “the mob” have its way, eh? It’s mostly useful and healthy in terms of an emotional outlet. After all . it’s a hockey game, not a piano recital.

Donald M. Dunlop