Letters to the Editor

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

Janet Park said that ?[i]t can be hard to be a vegetarian in college,? but it really doesn?t have to be [Zenith Caf?, restaurant with a vintage flair; 09/13/04]. Park might have her doubts, but she is not a vegetarian. As a vegan, I?ve found that veg-friendly dining is all around us.
Tons of eateries on nearby S. Craig St. and Atwood St. offer many vegetarian and vegan foods. On-campus options have improved tremendously in recent years, as is evident both with Dining Services and the trucks on Tech St. Even mainstream supermarkets like Giant Eagle now sell a ton of mock meats, ready-made tofu, soy milk, and other vegetarian staples. Web sites like have helped to inspire tons of people to cut out meat and animal products from their diets.
Everywhere you look, vegetarian food options are becoming tastier and more accessible. Being vegetarian has never been easier.

Michael Croland
Senior, Professional Writing

In his editorial [The problem with Kerry: the wrong man for the job; 09/13/04], Mr. Cullers refers to Kerry?s claims of valor while fighting for Freedom in Vietnam as ?debatable.? This is an insult to the integrity of our armed forces. To claim that the awards of our armed forces are ?debatable? based on the unsubstantiated allegations of a few is to devalue the fighting efforts of all our service personnel, past and present. What is not debatable is that John Kerry was awarded a Silver Star and a Bronze Star, which cite documented gallantry and heroism as requisites. Accusations do not create a debate: Evidence does.
Mr. Cullers repeats some right-wing talking points concerning supposed ?inconsistencies? on Kerry?s part. Kerry believed the best way to deal with the problem of Saddam would have been to allow the inspections process to continue while the U.S. gathered international support for a possible invasion. Kerry voted to put additional pressure on Saddam to continue complying with the inspections, not necessarily to go to war. Bush himself said ?Approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent,? October 7, 2002. According to Hans Blix, additional pressure worked.
The Right?s portrayal of Kerry?s stance on ... Iraq funding [is] misleading. Similarly, Kerry opposed the Republican plan to pay for Iraq funding with more government debt. His vote was a protest of the way Republicans were asking the young people fighting the war to also pay for it when they get older.
He has changed his position since voting in favor of base closings in 2001. However, at the time he was unaware that we would be mired in an Iraqi occupation.

Daniel Lewis Wolf
PhD candidate, Business

This letter is in response to [A Glimpse into CMU Crew; 09/13/04]. Our rowing club is elated that The Tartan decided to write a story on rowing at Carnegie Mellon; however, we feel that the article greatly overlooks the essence of our team. We are more than a dedicated group of student-athletes who enjoy rising long before dawn for an obscure purpose. The diverse team rows for a variety of reasons ? for some, its because of a strong work ethic, others want to excel at something challenging and elite and some just like winning races. Still others love the fact that it takes all nine people to move a shell through the water and row because the time we spend with our boatmates and teammates will leave lasting memories. Finally, some of us row because we simply love gliding across the river with the water rushing by listening to the sounds of oars clicking in the background.
The team practices from August through May and represents Carnegie Mellon proudly throughout the country. We travel throughout the country training and racing ? from South Carolina to Boston and Philadelphia to Indianapolis. Throughout our training, we strive for excellence, and our results have represented this well. In four years we have had six boats win medals at the Dad Vail National Championship including a silver and a bronze last May.
Finally our practices are open to anyone in the university community who would like to try rowing ? no experience necessary ( for more info). General team information, videos and photos can be found on our website: We hope that future articles represent our team, our rowing and our accomplishments more accurately.

Carnegie Mellon Crew

This year as September 11 approached, people around the country asked themselves, ?How long should we continue to mourn the attacks of 2001?? ?Which of our traditions and ceremonies should we continue?? and ?When is the appropriate time for our attention and energy to be focused in other directions?? As a leader of the Carnegie Mellon Greek Community, I found myself asking similar questions. For the past three years, Greek Council has sponsored a candlelight vigil at the Fence in memory of the September 11 attacks. Members of the campus community have been asked to donate a can of non-perishable food or a dollar in return for a candle. All of the donations have then been given to a local Pittsburgh food bank. The numbers of participants at the vigil have slowly dwindled since 2001, and as the group of students gathered in front of the fence this year, the pressing questions people across the nation were asking seemed to be answered on the faces of those in attendance. With the approaching graduation of the last class of students who remember the Carnegie Mellon campus before 9/11, it seems an appropriate time for change.
The question has become: ?How do we respectfully remember September 11 while committing our energy and resources to positive forms of action?? A number of the members of the Greek Community foresee September 11, 2005, successfully meeting the emotional needs of remembering the attacks while reacting to our memories with acts of kindness and love. Maybe this vision will be realized by students gathering at The Fence during the morning hours to share in a moment of silence before going out into the Pittsburgh community as a group of proactive and hopeful students. Let?s focus our memories on the solidarity, community, support and love which our nation witnessed immediately following the attacks of September 11, 2004, and allow that enthusiasm to fuel the influence we make as we move out into the world.

Erin Weber
Greek Council President