Santa Clara University

letters
“There are so many fascinating activities at SCU...It makes me proud to be a graduate and I wish I lived closer.”
—Thomas M. Whaling ’55, Laguna Hills, Calif
There is a lot going on at SCU

I read that the University received a grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation (Page 31, Fall 2004). There are so many fascinating activities at SCU: nanotechnology, social justice, women’s and men’s soccer, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, leadership in energy and environmental design, and so much more. It makes me proud to be a graduate and I wish I lived closer.

I would like to see more emphasis on the religious/spiritual side of the University. I believe that curriculum was the primary truth we were educated to seek at Santa Clara. Yes, I know we were there to get a job. I bring this request because of the tenor of the letters to the editors concerning Gavin Newsom. Maybe the University needs an extensive, probative curriculum about Christian sexuality. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, but knowing God’s ways is only discerned in truth and in spirit.

And isn’t that the primary reason for Santa Clara?
Thomas M. Whaling ’55
Laguna Hills, Calif.

’Net results of research

Thank you for publishing Ms. Schulman’s incisive piece on her experience with Internet “reference questions” (“I Have a Question,” Fall 2004). I am now a professional development researcher and I thank my former professors at the College of the Holy Cross and Columbia University who taught me to always seek out primary sources of information (in documents, interviews, and analyzing my own experience.) Writing papers and doing my work using primary sources is always the most thrilling and personally fulfilling.
Roseann Fitzgerald
(submitted through santaclaramagazine.com)

Santa Clara Magazine - Fall 2004 issue
Fall 2004 Issue
Face it, the book culture is fading away

Internet research brings up ethical issues and it also shifts the focus of learning. As a professional magazine and book researcher who was in college before computers, my message to the article’s author, Miriam Schulman, is this: Face it, information is now a commodity. The “book culture” is morphing into something else.

Thanks to the Internet, information is quick and easy to get, but timely evaluation and analysis are at a premium. Instructors who ask students for information only are not really doing their jobs. Likewise, the generic assignments she cites seem quite lazy to me.

I believe professors should insist upon personal, specific, and timely analysis of any information. For instance, “How do these facts pertain to your life?” or “How do these trends limit your parents’ future?”

In addition, teachers should ask for sources for any information given. If the source is a Web site without credentials, then the student should be marked down. And students will quickly learn how to better evaluate all the material they see on the Web.

Sometimes, they’ll find it is more efficient to actually read a book on the topic to get what they need. Of course, this means that instructors need to learn what the Web resources are for the topics they cover. So they better get cracking rather than bemoaning the loss of the book culture.

And those student e-mail requests for information? I say, ignore them. You can’t fault the kids for trying. They will probably be tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. Also, didn’t Miriam use the Internet to find resources for her own article? If not, why not? Readers interested in her topic certainly will.
Joan Voight ’75
Healdsburg
(submitted through santaclaramagazine.com)

Fond memories of SCU professor

Dr. Witold Krassowski was a great teacher, parent, husband, and fighter against evil power, and at least one student will remember him for two gems in his sociology class more than 40 years ago: His master’s thesis at UCLA was 17 pages; and every group needs a scapegoat.
Bill Enright ’63
(submitted through santaclaramagazine.com)

First-generation efforts are selective

In regard to the letter to the editor in the Summer 2004 issue entitled “Don’t forget first-generation students of European descent,” by Elizabeth Silva, this “first-generation” mentality effectively excludes everyone they intend it to. There are a handful of European first-generation students. Even my kids can’t claim they are first-generation to go to college. Even though they are the first generation born in the U.S., their mother is an immigrant from Italy, and a college graduate. This program is looking for students of a certain color.
Bill Cerruti,
Executive Director of the Italian Cultural Society, Sacramento

Don’t forget the country’s Christian foundations

I’m puzzled by the letter by Barrett Cohn (“Don’t forget the Constitution,” Letters, Fall 2004). It seems to me that if what Barrett is saying is true, then we have surely lost our foundations. The underlying issue of same-sex marriage is not one of equal protection. It is in the definition of marriage. The only context for the liberties this nation has is in Biblical Christianity. This has been confirmed over the centuries by past presidents and earlier Supreme Courts.

Christianity does provide the foundation for our system of government and the Bill of Rights puts restrictions on the government, not on religion. This has nothing to do with moving toward a theocracy. This argument seems to be frequently put forward to try to move us to a government that has no relationship to religion and Christianity, which is extremely dangerous, since truth itself is defined by God.

To compare same-sex marriage with discrimination based on skin color should be an offense to those who have fought so hard for equal rights for their race. You can’t do anything about your birth race. You can do something about your sexual preference.

The position of the mayor of San Francisco flies in the face of Christian teaching and the Bible and it is a sad day if he adopted the view he has based on any teaching at Santa Clara University. Santa Clara should be providing a proper understanding of these principles to enable Christians to deal with the onslaught of secularism in our society today.

We shouldn’t forget the Constitution, but we have to understand its foundations and not what people want to distort it to say.
David Forslund
(submitted through santaclaramagazine.com)

A prize-worthy essay

I just graduated from Santa Clara this past June and was looking through the Web site when I ran into the article “Student Writing Awards,” featuring an essay by Erin Pate ’04. It is such a beautiful essay that brought me to the verge of tears. It was extremely well written and had such a potent style.

Her McCann Short Story Prize was well deserved. Congrats to Erin!
Carol Reiley, ’04
(submitted through santaclaramagazine.com)

Student’s story was impressive web exclusive

The short story by Erin Pate ’04 (Fall 2004 Web-exclusive) is one of the best-written works of fiction I’ve read. Very beautiful and very heart wrenching on many levels, with great attention to detail. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and, by the end of the piece, had tears dripping down my cheeks while in my Internet café here in Spain.

Please give my regards to the author and know that this story touched me.
Catherine Kilbane, SCU senior
(submitted through santaclaramagazine.com)

Touching story web exclusive

What a beautiful and touching story (by Erin Pate ’04). It moved me to tears. Thank you for posting it for all to enjoy and be inspired by!
Polly Prindle-Hess
(submitted through santaclaramagazine.com)

‘Passion’ perspectives were praiseworthy web exclusive

I very much enjoyed and appreciated the scholarly and well-written analyses (“Passion-ate Perspectives on Mel Gibson’s Film,” Summer 2004 Web-exclusive). While I have not seen the film “The Passion of the Christ,” and probably won’t, I have read a lot about it. Your perspectives were by far the best and not only helped me crystallize what I suspected were the movie’s shortcomings but were a great history lesson as well!
Woody Nedom
(submitted through santaclaramagazine.com)

A champion regardless of ability web exclusive

That’s a great article you did on Paralympian Kelly Crowley ’99 (Fall 2004). I read about her medal-winning performances at the Athens Paralympic Games. Way to go! I no longer think of people with “disabilities” as disabled. If only we all could be so driven.
Rick Baldridge
(submitted through santaclaramagazine.com)

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