LETTERS

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February 17, 2006

Letters to the Editor

Hallowed Grounds

While you (oh faceless editorial one) are, of course, entitled to your opinion regarding the change of the name of Uncle Joe’s to Hallowed Grounds (“Say Uncle,” 2/14/06), there are a few facts you sought fit to have no understanding of before printing them.

We were forced to start charging for pool because students were severely damaging the tables, meaning we will have to have them completely re-leveled and serviced again this quarter, even though we already spent close to $1,000 fixing them at the beginning of autumn quarter.

The association of “pervasive negativity” (aka having a sign that says unHappy Hour) with a lack of concern for the clientele of the U of C makes me doubt that you are, in fact, a student of this university. My experience at the U of C has been one of self-deprecation and academic rigor, that is to say anything but a “friendly, cozy atmosphere.” Many students embrace our relationship with negativity, and why they would want a coffee shop that doesn’t reflect the atmosphere of the University in any way is a mystery to me.

The “bizarre whims” of the management are the results of months of planning in conjunction with the director of ORCSA. None of my fellow managers and staff pitched up one day and said “Uncle Joe’s blows, let’s totally name it something pervasively negative, man!” The idea was that a new name would drum up interest and business for one of the student coffee shops on campus.

And for the real kicker: “This new negative environment is not good for customers, nor does it bode well for business.” While we may lose you as a customer, in fact, the name change DOES bode well for business. It bodes very well for business, as our revenue this week has been higher than it has been in a very long time. It will also be a cold day in hell before our regular customers stop patronizing the shop simply because the name is different.

As a student with presumably some sort of social conscience, it would seem your time would be better spent writing editorials about how student-run coffee shops, especially ours, are at the mercy of the two large corporate institutions downstairs. The new management each year is required to come up with new ideas simply so our small student-run establishment is able to stay open. I defy anyone to say our shop is not a fun and comfortable place to spend the afternoon.

I hope you are not too horribly and irreversibly disturbed to come have some coffee and a vegan cookie. It’s on me.

Caitlin Doughty

General Manager

Hallowed Grounds Coffee Shop

Truth or Dare

In regard to Leila Sales’s opinion piece, “Before Alcohol, there was Truth or Dare” (2/14/06): I found it very amusing. However, I have to disagree with you. The purpose of the middle school Truth or Dare game was not to discover whom your best friends had crushes on (clearly that would be known) but to discover whom the boys had crushes on. The only way to play Truth or Dare was with the opposite sex, to discover their crushes. More than that, to continue your pre-alcohol analogy, Truth or Dare was the ultimate excuse to make out with someone. (Before the days of “well, we were drunk” existed the days of “well, it was a dare.”) When your friend Sarah revealed at school on Monday that your mutual friend Liz had kissed your crush Sam at a party Saturday, the preliminary excuse Liz would bring up would undoubtedly be: “It was a dare. I had to.”

In short, as soon as hormones begin to churn, human beings will search for the most appropriate, or easily available, excuse to touch the opposite sex. Yes, finding out whom someone had a crush on was always fun, but far more exciting was getting to watch your friend make out with “Ben” (the kid who totally picks his nose behind a comic book in math class). That was what made Truth or Dare so fun.

Alyssa Rosen

First-year in the College