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Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | FEBRUARY 09, 2012 7:20 AM

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UI Meme page is an embarrassment

As an '09 alumnus of the University of Iowa, I am usually proud to say I'm a Hawkeye and hail from Iowa. That has, unfortunately, changed with the discovery of the UI Memes fan page on Facebook.

While much of the page is relatively innocuous jokes about campus — pedestrians walk with impunity in front of Cambuses; some students have a bizarre fetish for Ron Paul; the elevator is the most popular means of transport in Daum Hall (I should know; I lived there) — several images, which were extraordinarily popular, were blatantly racist and sexist.

And it is not unusual for Iowa to have race issues. I think any socially conscious person would say that any university would be challenged with such an overwhelmingly white population to not be. But the racism and sexism on the page is abhorrent.

This may be surprising news to some, but women are not supposed to be objectified. And purposefully getting someone drunk to have sex with them has a name: rape. Anyone liking or contributing to such a negative image of the university, what it stands for, and for the student body — past, present, and future — should be ashamed of themselves.

But even worse, it belies a fundamental problem with the university: that anyone could ever think that sort of behavior was appropriate, or not oppressive to people of color, women, and international students on campus.

Y'all make me want to hang up my Black and Gold.

Matthew Nelson
UI alum

Column didn't incite Occupy violence

I find it totally abhorrent to suggest that a journalist should be blamed for a violent act committed by self-possessed individuals as Jacob Rigal did in Wednesday's Letter to the Editor.

For whatever reason, even if the assault was in someway inspired by Matt Heinze's column, the "college frat guys" took their own meaning from the column and acted of their own volition. Unless opinion columns now have the magical ability to incite violence by simply existing, I'd say we should be looking to blame the attackers in this situation and not the journalist who gave his opinion.

Ryann Sparrow
UI grad student


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