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[Angie Louie/The Daily Pennsylvanian]

The wrong priority To the Editor:

Pennsylvania's Republican gubernatorial candidate, Mike Fisher, was quoted as saying it is "terribly wrong that the parents in Philadelphia, because of economics, don't have the opportunity to put their children in private school" ( "Rendell, Fisher debate education," The Daily Pennsylvanian, 10/1/02").

I would say that it's terribly wrong that the parents in Philadelphia, thanks in no small part to the right-wing policies of the Democrats -- and the extreme right wing policies of Fisher's Republicans -- do not have excellent local public schools to send their children to.

Other countries have demonstrated that excellent public education is possible. Strangely, the gap between the rich and poor in those countries is not nearly as large as it is in the United States.

I guess you're stuck with choosing which of the two is the more important national priority.

Christopher Kyba Physics graduate student

A center for everyone To the Editor:

Regarding the opening of the new Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center ( "Penn opens new center on Spruce for LGBT students," DP, 9/27/02), I wanted to clear up a few things.

First, the headline could have been less exclusive. The Center is not simply for Penn students. It is most certainly for everyone within the Penn community, which includes faculty and staff, friends and family.

It is also important to note that it is a community center for all of Philadelphia, not just for Penn. There are few centers within the city, let alone for the LGBT community, that rival Penn's. It is incredible, and it took a lot of hard work and dedication to make it so. I'm sure they'd like to leave it open and welcoming to all who care to walk in it's doors, as that is the nature of the Center.

Second, I am concerned that the article stated, as a fact, that Allies is "a group of heterosexual students that supports the LGBT community." It is not exclusively heterosexual and stating it as such is a disservice to all of the queer individuals who have worked and continue to work within it and for it. It was started by some amazing individuals, most of whom happen to identify as straight if asked, but both the queer and straight communities need to question heterosexism, and that is what Allies is doing.

There is no prerequisite for becoming a member aside from caring about the rights of the LGBT community. Are there a lot of straight members? Sure. There's also a lot of straight members of your local baseball team. But people choose Allies like they choose other student groups and activities: they like it because the group's mission is linked with what they may want to round-out their collegiate careers.

Some may have friends who are queer. Some of them may have parents who are queer. Some of them may have siblings who are queer. Some of them are queer. Please don't forget that.

Jen Moore College '02

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