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Letters to the Editor

December 3, 2008

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WAR COLLEGE

I am one of 39 students who have been directly affected by the dismissal of Genese Grill, as well as so many other irreplaceable members of staff and faculty at Burlington College [Local Matters, November 26].

Over the past three years, the school has changed and, even now, while students are trying to balance academic obligations, we are entrenched in a political war against President Jane Sanders and the Executive Committee.

I stress the word war because that is how Sanders and the committee approach student concerns. Similar to the words of photographer James Nachtwey in his movie, War Photographer: “In a war the normal code of ethics is simply ignored.” At Burlington College, the concerns and voice of, and respect for, students is simply ignored.

We are now in our last two weeks of the semester at a school that has left us fatigued from such a struggle, and all we have to show is our growing frustration and disbelief at the responses that we have been given. So many questions are unanswered. Why have almost 30 staff and faculty left Burlington College since Sanders took office as president? Four of them, including Genese, left this semester. The most important question is: Why are students’ concerns not being taken seriously?

Until our needs are put before the stubbornness and politically motivated moves of Jane Sanders and the Executive Committee, our voices will never be silenced. This is war, whether or not we all agree, because as students we have our educations on the front line and the remaining staff and faculty have their livelihoods.

Joshua Lambert

BURLINGTON

Lambert is president of the Burlington College Student Government Association.

SMALL WONDER

It is good to see Peter King and his tiny-house vision getting some major attention [Stuck in Vermont, November 19].

I lived in one of these tiny wonders for two months and found it to be a nice, comfortable, little place to live. Go, Peter, Go!

Clinton Bartok

ASHEVILLE, N.C.

WOMEN’S ISSUES

You can tell [Burton Snowboard co-founder] Donna Carpenter that I’m not “an older woman making this my issue and alienating younger women” [“Flipping the Board,” November 26].

I’m not a shrill, man-hating feminazi who needs to get over it. I’m a 27-year-old female and I am interested in a dialogue. My dialogue starts with the idea that as long as women are so frequently portrayed as they are on the Love snowboards — as objects to be bought, consumed and literally to be ridden — they will never truly be accepted as equal members of society.

I am not saying that images of naked women (or men) need to be prohibited on any surface. But why is this — a firm, flawless and airbrushed woman depicted in a smiling, sexy pose that says, “I am here to be used by the viewer” — an image we so often see?

As a woman who is so involved with “women’s issues,” why does Donna Carpenter think women and girls get raped? Is it because our society, even our subcultures — where rape happens also — still views women primarily as functions of their genitals? Why don’t the Carpenters release some boards with angry clothed women flipping the viewer off? Can’t that be hip with 18-year-old boarder guys to whom the Carpenters feel they owe so much? Why aren’t there snowboards with graphics showing women whose power doesn’t come from between their legs?

I’m a busy girl, but I’m happy to make time to talk about these questions with Ms. Carpenter.

Ivy Pagliari

WALDEN

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