Letters to the Editor

By Letters from Readers

Red Line Shuttle

I was interested in your stories about the new shuttle between campus and the Red Line El stop at Garfield. First, I must say that I appreciate the concern among some of the University community about the divisive effects of such University-only privileges. However, one phrase in Nick Juravich’s story rankled me (“Red Line Shuttle is the Wrong Solution,” 5/11/04). The new bus, he says, is “an elitist shuttle that highlights the differences in race and class between University students and community members.”

That what? The difference in race and class? What an odd assertion. Whence comes the assumption that students are one race and class and long-term neighborhood residents are a different one?

A very dear friend of mine was once humiliated in the University of Chicago Masters in Education program when the instructor, preparing his students for the public-school children he assumed they would be dealing with, talked condescendingly of the odd customs and attitudes his presumably wealthy and sheltered students would meet in the lower classes. Most of what he discussed had been her experience in her impoverished childhood. He never even considered his students would be anything but privileged.

Hyde Park is a diverse neighborhood—unusually so for Chicago—with a great variety of races and a great variety of degrees of wealth among all races. The differences between us “community members,” as Juravich calls us, and you University fold, is more a matter of which community we care most about, and whether it is for the long- or short-term.

That said, thank you for caring.

Alessandra Kelley

Hyde Park resident

Your editorial “Open Shuttle to All” (5/11/04) caused me physical pain. I couldn’t eat. My hands trembled, and I broke out in a cold sweat.

“Students returning from a night on the town this past weekend got to take a peak at the pilot service of the Red Line Shuttle.”

I hope they didn’t take too many peaks—it is after all, illegal to steal a mountain. Or was this part of Scav Hunt? Come back with a mountain, which must have been obtained “at the pilot service of the Red Line Shuttle?” The mind boggles at the possibilities.

I sat there dumbfounded, unable to proceed. I suspect this editorial was related to the two articles elsewhere about the Red Line Shuttle, but I couldn’t tell; this concept of stealing mountains en route from the Garfield El station to campus late at night stopped any further progress reading it.

P.S. I recommend the book Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

Roger Deschner

Class of 1977

Scav Hunt

I would like to quickly clear up a little confusion about the history of the Scav Hunt team known as the “Federation of Independent Scav Hunt” teams. Rachel Levine writes that “FIST owes its lineage to the Matthews [sic] House Team,” thus making it at least in spirit as old as the Hunt itself. While this is true, it is a misconception that the FIST is the modern extension of the Mathews House team, which, while independent from Burton-Judson, was nevertheless always a dorm-based team.

The details are available elsewhere: www.astro.umn.edu/~mmilligan/fist/wiki.mhtml?FistHistories), but the long and the short of it is that the FIST is as old as Scav Hunt because the FIST embodies the spirit of the hunt itself: “Freedom can only be achieved through utter chaos.” The Lush Puppies, mentioned in Levine’s article, were not a University Theater team but a completely nuts bunch of Hunt veterans and associates gathered together by Connor Coyne and Jess Jalzbrkowski, now both judges, whose sworn purpose was to “put the scavenger back in the Scavenger Hunt.”

Fourteen people, no money, and purity of spirit were all we needed. The next year Jalzbrkowski and I were approached by a former member of the Mathews team (which had puttered out the year before) looking for a place to bring his crew of loyalists. Eventually we added breakaway contingents from McLean and Breckenridge, and thus the FIST was born.

Ben Buckley

Fourth-year in the College

We, the members of the Scav Hunt team Lush Puppies Mk IV, FIST Part Troix Deleuzian Potato Reloaded: Billmire’s Scrod does Stony (a.k.a. the FIST), are outraged by Joel Lanceta’s article in the Maroon on May 11, 2004 (“Scav Hunter Devours Umbilical-cord Twinkie”).

In the article, Lanceta displays a clear and unfair bias toward certain organizations, distorts the facts, and in general behaves in a manner unbecoming of a journalist. We of the FIST are accustomed to being maligned by Lanceta (see last year’s article for a series of distinct misquotations, other citations available upon request), but decided that we were tired of it and believe that it is past time Lanceta received his just desserts.

Our grievances are threefold:

1. In this year’s Scav Hunt article (referenced above), the overall victors in the Hunt, Snell-Hitchcock, were not mentioned until the second page and received less overall coverage than the runner-ups, Max Palevsky.

2. The FIST, who came in third place, a mere 160 points (out of a total exceeding 8000) behind Palevksy, received no mention, being passed over instead for Lanceta’s native Shoreland and the seventh place Vegan Team.

3. The sombrero of Snell-Hitchcock and the Atlasphere of Shoreland both received direct mention, while both of these items received fewer points than the FIST offerings in those items.

We, the members of the FIST, are tired of being ignored, misquoted, misrepresented, and misled by the pages of the Maroon. We demand change. Long live the Hunt!

The FIST Scav Hunt team