Letters to the Editor – April 19
Calvin philosophy profs did not attend student conference
This past weekend, Calvin College and Grand Valley State University’s first annual Joint Philosophy Conference was held in the Calvin Seminary auditorium. According to many, including myself, the conference was an overwhelming success. Gary Gutting (the keynote speaker) and the student presenters gave rigorous, carefully developed papers on diverse topics, and the discussions that took place at the reception following the conference were fantastic.
It is a shame, however, that more members of the Calvin philosophy faculty did not attend the conference. To be sure, there were a few faculty members who participated for the duration of the conference, including attendance at every one of the student presentations. I was very encouraged by this, but the fact that there were never more than two faculty members present at any given student presentation reflects badly on the department. What’s more, there were more GVSU professors present at the conference even though the conference took place on Calvin’s campus.
I know that professors have lives, and I know that April is a chaotic and taxing time in the semester, but this conference only happens once a year. It is especially concerning when considering that three out of five presenters were Calvin students. It is clear that philosophy students at Calvin possess great talent. It is also clear, and deeply disappointing, that many of the philosophy professors chose not to support them in this conference.
Citizens need to stand against poor road design
Regarding the article about US-131, of course you are correct that the highway should not have cut through our grand city of Grand Rapids.
I congratulate you for your commentary, but believe the die was cast and that it is way too long and costly to turn around at this late date, unless this population can understand existing problems and support long term benefits and improvements.
Where were Grand Rapidians at the time of this horrendous decision? Your points are all good, except that the whole 131 should have been and still needs to have been located much further west to avoid slicing downtown and this city apart. I went through nearly the exact condition in Duluth, Minnesota, and we did win to some degree, at least in covering over parts of Interstate 35 as it went through the most sensitive parts of our city and kept the stupid freeway out of Lake Superior and its downtown shoreline.
Sometime, come and see the drawings of what it was and how it ended up. You are involved in a giant battle, my friend, but sometimes battle is all that remains.
I hail you youthful who care and dare to stand up and state your points. Improvements begin then and there…
Kent G. Worley, Landscape Architect
Senate election article informative
I recently had the opportunity to read the article about the senate elections coming up, and I found it to be very informative and beneficial. I haven’t heard much around campus about the senate election, but this article filled me in and allowed me to gain more knowledge and insight about our Calvin College senate. I believe that it’s very wholesome and rewarding to understand more about our community at Calvin College, and the amount of effort that goes into the smooth running of our school.
It’s a shame to read that the numbers for each senate position are decreasing. Not only did David Kuenzi and Alicia Smit have no competition for their election, but also the senate and cabinet positions are lower in numbers. In the end, only one person will actually be eliminated. I agree with what Sungjin Yoo said; “Because [the students] show a lack of interest, they have no right to complain about any decisions that will be made.” Due to the lack of runners for this election, there aren’t as many ideas being bounced around or opinions being shared, which will result in fewer options for different views and ideas.
I greatly appreciated the information in this article — thank you so much!
Brianne Van Buren, ‘16
Editor’s Note: This letter was written late last week when Andrew Harris was still running for cabinet and before the second executive team joined the race.
Women’s Chorale had impact
As a member of the Calvin College Women’s Chorale, I was able to experience God’s work through our choir with the Korean church in Southern California. I am from Redlands, California (one of our stops on the tour) and I went into the tour thinking that going home would be the best part of the tour. I was completely wrong. Although going home was fantastic, being able to see the incredible impact God can make with our music, especially with a song that’s secular, was humbling and astounding. Although I didn’t understand most of that service, it was by far the most powerful and life changing. Our choir was able to witness a Korean prayer in which the entire congregation prayed out loud, creating a beautiful symphony of voices all saying their thoughts and praise to God. We were able to be blessed with a delicious Korean meal after the service and experience the generosity of the church. We had no idea at the time what an impact that service would make, but learning that it made an international change was yet another example of God’s power and love.
Katie Elgersma, ‘16
College should not use intimidation
I had mixed feelings about the article on Calvin Crush and Calvin Confessions. On one hand, it is disturbing to see such an explosion of “confessions” and the like; the immediate reaction is to feel as though the Christian ground under our feet has collapsed under us. While one such site only represents a small portion of the whole community, it is unsettling to think that our classmates could have said those things. On the other hand, Calvin’s official reaction is on the borderline between absurd and abusive of its power. While it was claimed that confessions of breaking the student code of conduct would be investigated, there are technical measures that would make it effectively impossible to trace posters; anonymity truly is an effective shield. But more troubling is the allegation that Calvin Crush is illegally using symbols associated with the college: using the college’s name is illegal? Even trademarks fall under fair use. Before the college tries to use intimidation, it should take a long look at how far it is willing to go just to cover up its sins.
Brian Cole, ’16