Letters to the Editor: Dec. 6
Publishing article on Fuller was irresponsible
I am an avid Chimes reader and I thoroughly enjoy browsing the latest campus news. The sensitivity and thoughtfulness of the recent LGBT feature impressed me. However, the article last week describing Professor Fuller’s temporary leave was gravely disappointing. Chimes attempts to be an informative source of news, but this overstepped the line. My concerns encompass the detrimental effect on the professor and the Calvin community, as well as the lack of truly informative content.
We enjoy freedom of speech, but such freedom demands responsibility to decide which stories to publish. Here, it appeared no thought was given to potential ramifications on Professor Fuller’s future career or private life. Even if his temporary leave arose from completely harmless circumstances, publicizing it so ambiguously will permanently shadow his name with wild, and probably unfounded, speculations. The story lacks any substantial content, merely quoting the email received by affected students and reporting that no official was comfortable commenting. Theories of misdemeanors were left to the reader’s imagination.
I question the decision to even publish the piece. The students affected were notified — that’s enough. The publication ignited speculation and gossip even outside the college community. I was sorely disappointed to read this. Concluding with, “Future developments will be posted as Chimes learns more,” this college newspaper article felt more like a tabloid piece in People.
As a supportive Chimes reader, I ask that you not only neglect to update us with future developments, but that you think carefully before publishing other similarly insensitive, insubstantial articles.
Jedidiah Bell, ‘15
Next steps after LGBT feature
“Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast” (“Alice in Wonderland”). Here are three of mine following Chimes’ recent LGBT feature:
I believe that in every dorm, classroom, college division and decision-making body, our first impulse regarding sexual difference will be to listen to and love LGBT students, acknowledging the diversity of who they are. There will be no more slurs ever again. We will never try to legislate the messiness of life with statements written out of fear and a desire to keep the lid on things. We will instinctively know Ryan, Eden, Richard, Kris and friends are not things.
I believe that as we take the Princeton Review survey, students will give their best answer to the question about equal treatment of sexual minorities. Students will answer honestly and Calvin will make it off the “LGBT-unfriendly” list. Oh, and the list itself will become obsolete.
Third, I believe there will be a kind and non-threatening conversation in the CRC. The newly appointed synodical committee to give pastoral guidance regarding same-sex marriage (of which I am a member) will be wildly successful in helping the churches navigate a gracious path despite our differing theological orientations. We will fully hear the voices of sexual and ethnic minorities, there will be deep unity and everyone will love us.
I know irony doesn’t read well in print, but I am British! I sincerely hope these are not impossible dreams.
Julia Smith, Sexuality Series Director
First Year Seminar needs more on discernment, vocation
I am a sophomore living in the dorms and I am on leadership in the position of CPC. In the article about the First Year Seminar (FYS) preliminary evaluation results, the author discusses how the changes in FYS have been beneficial for students to learn how to survive their first year at college.
Although I’ll agree the changes have been beneficial in that way, the benefits were at a cost of understanding the meaning behind ideas used at Calvin College. Ideas such as vocation, discernment and sustainability are not clearly defined in the minds of freshmen since they were not talked about in FYS. Although Prelude did not clearly cover these topics either, it did at least give us a basic understanding of the phrases.
Some of the freshmen on my floor, and some sophomores as well, have taken discernment and used it as an excuse to do what they want. When I asked them what discernment meant they couldn’t even give me a vague definition. The same is true with vocation.
As a student who came from a non-CRC background, I found it helpful to learn about my college’s beliefs. I do not believe that Prelude did a good job of covering them, but at least the class tried to cover the topic. FYS does not cover these topics and I feel that this class needs to be supplemented.
Matthew Schanck, ‘16