February 13, 2004

Letters to the Editor

*Division III athletics*

I am a second-year in the College and a member of the women's varsity soccer team. I just finished reading Andrew Moesel's "It Pays to Heckle Our Opponents," (2/6/04) and I must admit that I am quiet disturbed.

In beginning the article, I found Moesel's humor fairly amusing and enjoyable. As I reached the second-to-last paragraph, however, my opinion drastically changed. In this paragraph, he claims, "Division III athletes are more susceptible to heckling than Division I or professional athletes because, instead of trained machines, they are mostly just normal kids with a little more talent than your average Joe."

As a Division III athlete, I am deeply offended by this glaring generalization of our athletic ability. Moesel's statement is not only completely invalid, but the fact that it was even written attests to his gross ignorance on the subject of Division III athletics.

If he attended a sufficient amount of athletic events at this school so that he might be qualified to make a statement of such severity, he would see that his assertion is totally false. The University's cross country, track and field, football, men's basketball, softball, and women's soccer teams have all produced All-American athletes in the last year. This national recognition for a select few athletes does not even include the tremendous team accomplishments from the current season, such as the wrestling team's fourth-straight UAA championship and the women's soccer team's national second place finish.

Many of our athletes could have played for Division I programs but chose to attend the U of C for, among other reasons, its academic superiority. As one of those athletes, I don't appreciate my decision made out of academic integrity to undermine my athletic ability. I am proud to be a Division III athlete, and I certainly do not appreciate Moesel's false assumptions of my or any of my peers' talents.

I think this article speaks to a larger issue of the Maroon's promotion of Chicago athletics as a program that is pathetic and unsupported. The perception of our fans being "a few parents and a handful of students with books in their laps, probably forced to attend for Allen Sanderson's Economics of Sports class," is a complete fabrication and only perpetuates the stereotype of our school having a nerd-laden, depressing atmosphere.

Jacqui De Leon

Second-year in the College

*Hospital layoffs*

We, the undersigned students of the University of Chicago and members of the Hyde Park-Woodlawn communities, believe very strongly in the principles of dignity and justice for workers both on campus and in the University Hospitals.

We are concerned by the firing of 52 hospital workers whose only infraction was parking in the wrong lot. There exists much confusion over whether or not hospital policies were effectively communicated to the workers. Many of the fired workers allege that they never received a memo warning of the consequences. They were already receiving monthly $40 reductions from their wages to cover parking fees for the Employee Parking Lot at 60th Street and Drexel Avenue. Many workers also have complained that the current policy of prohibiting workers from parking closer to the hospital is a safety hazard. For instance, a nurse was recently mugged at gunpoint while walking to work from the 60th Street & Drexel Avenue lot. This could have been prevented had the hospital provided the promised shuttle transportation from the parking lot. In addition, the administration's official charge of theft is making future employment for these workers more difficult and preventing them from collecting unemployment insurance. Furthermore, it should be noted that many of the campus and hospital unions are currently engaging in contract negotiations. Seeing that these parking violations have gone unaddressed for the last year, we suspect that firing of these workers may have been a timely method of intimidation and union busting.

Firing the workers for parking in the wrong parking lot was a drastic and unnecessary measure. We demand that the workers be immediately reinstated and compensated for time lost, and that the University respect the workers' rights to unionize and collectively bargain.

Action Towards Peace, Angels of Def, Feminist Majority, Metropolitan Area Group Igniting Civilization, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, Organization of Black Students, Save Our Student Health Insurance, Safe Space, Sista Friends, Students Organized and United with Labor, Queers and Associates, Wage Peace, Woodlawn East Community and Neighbors.