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OPINIONS

Page 6

Campus Times

Serving the University of Rochester community since 1873.


Editorial Board
DANA HILFINGER REBECCA LEBER ANDREW OTIS
WILLIE CLARK KRISTA LOMBARDO

Greeks ignored
The recent decision by the Dean of Students Office to allow
only three fraternity parties each night has been met with
considerable dissent. The largest problem within this issue,
however, is not the result, but the process used to come to this
decision. The need for student security and safety, especially on
the weekends and during parties, should be the utmost concern
of the administration. But the fact that both the Students Association senators and Greek Life presidents were mostly shocked
by this decision illuminates the problems in the process.
Instead of going through the already established Fraternity
Presidents Council or the Panhellenic Council to work with
Greek leadership, the Dean of Students Office used the Standing
Council for Alcohol Policy and Education to make this decision,
which contains Greek and non-Greek student representation
during the academic term. SCAPE, however, continued to meet
on this policy over the summer, only receiving feedback from
students at one point during the summer not throughout
the entire process.
By neglecting students in this process, the Office may have
overlooked how thoroughly this policy may affect the student
population, in particular, Greeks for example, sorority mixers, which now also require registration, play a large role in
recruitment programming, and such policies could limit these
organizations growth.
While Assistant Dean of Students Morgan Levy did hold a
meeting with Greek members this semseter after the new policies were implemented, this attempt to work with students once
the rules were in place only serves to remind students that they
were not involved in the first place. Their ideas should have
instead been taken into consideration as an advisory role, not
solely in a feedback capacity.
For future decisions, especially those that greatly impact
a large proportion of students, the Dean of Students Office
should strive to hear the most relevant input throughout its
decision-making process. This will breed solutions that meet
the needs of the office and incorporate the concerns of the
student population at large.

Allow routers
Despite the Universitys efforts to expand its wireless network,
many places on campus have yet to see these expansions, including several dormitories yet UR prohibits the use of personal
wireless routers and on occasion reprimands students caught
using them.
The Universitys reasoning for this ban has to do with the
security risks involved and the possible interference of wireless
routers with each other as well as with the Universitys own
wireless network. In addition, unsecured wireless networks can
be accessed by anyone in the vicinity, and illegal activity done
under the router can only be traced back to the routers owner,
leaving that student liable. The more pressing issue, according
to Dean of the College Richard Feldman, is how wireless routers
hinder ITs ability to protect students computers that may be
infected with viruses.
Most issues of security and protection are easily addressed
routers that have firewalls built in, are password-protected and
restrict others from detecting them minimize such risks.
While it is true that students should be held responsible when
others using their wireless router engage in illegal activity, if
Information Technology Services offered assistance to students
to securely set up their routers, rather than overlook their current existence in dorms, this concern would be minimal if not
moot. In the end, it would be students responsibility to secure
their own routers, just as it is their responsibility to lock their
dorm rooms.
In terms of possible interference between wireless routers
and URs wireless network, routers are only necessary where
UR Wireless cannot be accessed, and that is exclusively where
they should be allowed.
While the Universitys ban addresses a legitimate security
concerns, students deserve wireless internet access through routers in areas that are not currently covered by URs wireless.
Full responsibility for material appearing in this publication rests with the Editor-in-Chief. Opinions
expressed in columns, letters or comics are not necessarily the views of the editors or the University of
Rochester. Editorials appearing in the Campus Times are published with the express consent of a majority
of the editorial board, which consists of the Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, Opinions Editor and two
other editors elected by a majority of the editorial staff. The Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Board make
themselves available to the UR communitys ideas and concerns. Appointments can be arranged by calling
x5-5942 or by e-mail at editor@campustimes.org. The Campus Times is printed weekly on Thursdays
throughout the academic year, except around and during university holidays. The first copy is free. The
Campus Times is published on the World Wide Web at www.campustimes.org and is updated Thursdays
following publication. All materials herein are copyright 2009 by the Campus Times.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Editorial Observers

Urban decay, American decay


You want to know where Americas gone? Its gone to the suburbs.
And, at least on an aesthetic level,
thats been the death of America.
Last week, I ran northward on
the west bank of the river and on
to the abandoned railroad bridge
near Towers. I walked on the rotting
wooden planks of the bridge where
faded and forgotten graffiti extorted
struggle, proclaiming, Fight with
Malcom X in your heart and in
your fist.
I ran again, continuing north
amidst urban decay and past the
fittingly named Flint street where
two shuttered factories remain with
signs warning no trespassing.
I crossed the river, first passing
Corn Hill, and then turned south,
past rubble the remains of demolished public housing toward
the University.
Where does the wealth of our nation lie? A simple trip to Pittsford
Plaza gives the answer.
Out of Americas vastness, weve
created our own little kingdoms of
single family homes on the outskirts
of cities, adorned with strip malls
and shopping plazas. Weve created
boring houses and ugly developments filled with lonely and insecure
people trying to fulfill a vacuous
American dream.
Are the suburbs pleasing to the
eye? The endless rows of nearly
identical houses, seas of gray parking lots and imposing big-box stores

Andrew
Otis

Opinions
Editor

beg to differ. The centers of many


cities stand in disrepair. Rochester
masks the first floor windows of its
unused buildings by putting colorful, larger-than-life photos behind
them. Behind the windows resides
only emptiness.
Since its height in the fifties,
Rochesters population has fallen
over 125,000, or 48 percent, to about
206,000. Yet, the Rochester metropolitan area has grown slightly to
almost 1.1 million. While American
cities have shrunk, suburbs have
grown. Yes, Rochester does have
great vibrant areas, particularly
around East and Monroe Avenues.
But its more than Rochester Im
talking about its our nation.
What am I calling for? A return
to city and countryside and the
restriction of suburbia.
Aesthetically, Europe, especially
northern Europe, is the model to follow. Policy makers, who in the fifties
had encouraged sprawl by building
highways and allowing easy home
financing, should now discourage
suburban growth, and instead build
residential areas in cities much like
Paris or Berlin. Retail and markets

should be built in cities, so people


shop where they live. When we develop small towns, we should build
them like villages dense clusters
of buildings surrounded by common land or forest.
Then we can establish mass
transit. Mass transit does not
work in suburbia simply because
people live dispersed enough that
cars are the most efficient form of
transportation.
We should bring retail back to
the cities and out of the big box
stores. We should turn empty lots
into parks and plant trees and we
should encourage mixed-use lots.
More than all of this, we need to cut
the source of urban decay, and that
is the expansion of suburbia the
root that sucks our cities dry.
Is focused change feasible? Its
going to take a lot more than just
me to make it so.
As I ran back to campus on the
east side of the river, past the demolished projects, an old man, sitting
and watching the sunset, raised his
brown paper bagged bottle to me and
said, Be Careful! The fish in that
river are big enough to eat you! We
both shared a laugh.
I made it to the same railroad
bridge again as the sun set a deep
crimson. On the rotten planks,
saplings were beginning to grow.
The rusted iron remained.
Otis is a member of
the class of 2011.

Religion of scarcity

Students and faculty alike agree


that URs religion department enriches the University community.
Yet, there are only 11 professors in
the religion and classics department.
For a university with a 9:1 student to
faculty ratio, our religion and classics
department presents a clear contradiction to our schools academic
make up. From the information
available, one might be inclined to
believe that the religion department
is simply not one of the priorities of
our university; instead, it seems to
be on the bottom of the to do list
and keeps on getting pushed to a
later date. But why might this be
the case?
The religion department may be
a case of bad conditions and bad
timing. Although the University is
aware of the departments needs and
supports their requests, funds are at
premium on a college wide level.
Since the religion and classics
department generally generates
a limited amount of grant money
or special gifts (at times from the
Newman Chair in Catholic Studies
or money left by benefactors for the
study of Greek and Hebrew); they
must rely on the College for the
majority of their funds.
Another option is for religion
professors to apply for research
grants. However, most of the faculty
members have a full load of work,

Jerome
Nathaniel

News
Editor

which impairs any fair chance of


fitting in the research grant application process.
With the departure of Assistant
Professor of Religion Anthea Butler,
the department is currently seeking
at least two additional professors:
one in the area of Chinese religion
and the other covering religion in
America. Tenured religion professor Curt Cadorette ensured that
that the University is supportive of
their plans. However, he noted that
hiring processes are extremely timeconsuming, especially when seeking
the highest quality professors.
I wouldnt say that the department is overlooked, Cadorette said.
But like any department on campus,
it sometimes has to shout to have its
voice heard. The administration recognizes that the department makes
a contribution to the intellectual life
of the College, but the department is
one entity among a larger number
of other departments.
One unfortunate misconception I
often hear amongst my nonreligion
major peers is that were the undecid-

ed majors. For whatever reasons, we


represent the image of the student
who couldnt figure out what to do
with his or herself, and thus, decided
to pick the careerless major. But this
assumption couldnt be any further
from the truth. With one trip to the
Career Center, youll find countless
stories of UR religion major alumni
who went on to become journalists,
professors or even enrolled at a law
or medical school.
And our alumni werent the only
ones who had sense enough to recognize the windows of opportunities
for a religion major; Ralph Waldo
Emerson, Harvard Divinity school
alumnus, may have been onto something; director of hit films Pearl
Harbor and Braveheart, Randall
Wallace made no mistake when he
enrolled into Duke University.
Religion, which started as one of
the earliest outlets for education,
where some of the worlds greatest thinkers developed schools of
thoughts and started countless
movements, is now a half-naked
department at UR.
Although our current religion
professors are of the highest quality,
they are simply too scarce. Its hard
for a professor to promote voice and
criticalness of their students when
their department is on pause.
Nathaniel is a member of
the class of 2011.

Krista Lombardo
Staff Illustrator