To the Editor: In her recent column "Don't tell me. I don't want to know," (The Daily Pennsylvanian, 11/29/00) Ariel Horn writes about the dangers of gushing personal information about oneself to those who might not care. While this idea has its merits -- in such cases as bare-breasted table dancers -- the problem on this campus is not so much excessive self-expression, but rather our general adversity toward it. We walk around campus and categorize peers as mere classmates, study partners, social friends or intimate friends -- and limit both the amount of influence we allow them to have on our lives, and the amount about them we're willing to accept that strays out of those categories. It's quite pessimistic to see another's self-expression as our own excess baggage. Are we so self-involved and fragile that we cannot deal with hearing what another yet undiscovered person has on his or her plate? There is something wonderful about each and every person on this campus, something that isn't usually expressed outwardly. Listening to others with gritted teeth and rolled eyes, as Horn suggests, would be a step up from complete insensitivity, but still just the lowest form of charity. Listening with an open mind and benefit of doubt is the least one can do. But that listening, as well as anticipating the gift of another's self-expression, could defeat the common current of cynicism and acknowledging one of the miracles of human communication.
Adam Sussman College '00 To the Editor: Alex Wong's column, "Gore's Muddled Reality" (DP, 12/4/00) was a much-needed voice of reason amidst the presidential election contest. Al Gore and his campaign members are understandably disappointed by the vice president's narrow electoral defeat. However, Gore's team would have the State of Florida continually change its election laws until an outcome is reached which Gore will approve. This would be harshly destructive to the rule of law upon which our democratic institutions depend. George W. Bush was elected president on November 7. Two recounts and the inclusion of overseas military ballots have confirmed this as a fact. Indeed, half of America may not like that outcome. But as Americans, we must respect the laws of this great country, and accept the results that they bring.
Joseph Fuoco College '00
To the Editor: We were distressed to read Friday's article regarding the Undergraduate Assembly, and particularly Michael Bassik's representation of the student body ("UA, too close for comfort?" DP, 12/1/00). As chair and chair-elect of the Penn Professional Staff Assembly, we have had the pleasure of working with Bassik on University Council and the Steering Committee. We are both impressed with his professional and assertive approach to issues that are important to undergraduate student life. We've watched him present issues in a calm and concise manner, even though it is clear he feels passionately about some things. He does not hesitate to bring sensitive and sometimes challenging issues to the table. And he's the first to ask, "How does this impact the students?" Bassik interjects when he thinks student issues are being ignored. He attends every meeting and is one of the more vocal members. We are constantly impressed with the number of issues he's willing to address and his ability to ensure each issue is given attention. Please do not confuse Bassik's "let's work together" approach with a "coziness with the administration." Remember, people are more open to hearing you when you present your issues with a calm and professional approach than if you take an adversarial tone.
Anna Loh Wharton School
Adam Sherr Nursing School
Loh is the chairwoman of the Penn Professional Staff Assembly. Sherr is the chairman-elect of the PPSA.Comments powered by Disqus
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