Letters to the Editor

    Chancellor cheers first 5K challenge

    Editor:

    I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to members of the UCSD community for their support in helping make the Oct. 22 Chancellor’s Challenge 5K Run/Walk for Scholars such a success. Thanks to the participation of nearly 1,400 UCSD students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends, we were able to raise a total of $239,430 for undergraduate scholarships — the most ever in the event’s nine-year history.

    Since student scholarship support is a top priority for me, I was pleased to be able to continue this campus tradition with UC President and Chancellor’s Challenge founder, Robert C. Dynes, who returned to participate in the race.

    As he has traditionally done, Dynes donated $25 for each person who beat his time, and I pledged to match his contributions to the cause. UCSD alumnus Michael Robertson (class of 1980) was kind enough to also donate $25 for every runner who beat his time. In the end, 236 people crossed the finish line ahead of Dynes, and 198 beat Robertson, so through a combination of perseverance and fast legs, participants helped raise a cumulative total of $16,780 in donations from the three of us. The majority of the remainder of the funds raised can be attributed to the generosity of our many terrific 5K sponsors.

    Thanks again to the hardworking planning committee and all who participated on Oct. 22 to make my first Chancellor’s Challenge such a wonderful experience. I had a great time and couldn’t be more pleased by the outpouring of support that was demonstrated for the very worthy cause of undergraduate student scholarships at UCSD. I also want to thank A.S. President Jenn Pae and her friends for washing my car. It looks great!

    I look forward to continuing this important tradition and hope to see all of you cross the finish line next year.

    — Marye Anne Fox

    Chancellor

    MOU crucial to existence of co-ops

    Editor:

    Regarding Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Life Carmen Vazquez’s letter printed on Oct. 18: As a co-op negotiator of the original Memorandum of Understanding, and, of course, an alumnus of UCSD, I am heartened to see the UCSD administration go on record to recognize the educational, student development, and co-curricular experience and service that the co-ops have contributed to the UCSD community for the past 30 years.

    At the same time, Vazquez errs when she suggests that the co-ops aren’t accountable to UCSD under the MOU. Here, it might be worth mentioning some history. The proposal for student government oversight of the co-ops came not from the co-ops, but rather from Vazquez’s predecessor, Tommy Tucker, in September 1992. Eight months earlier, Tucker had illegally broken into and entered the UCSD General Store at 1:30 a.m. The co-ops were reluctant to accede to the administration’s demand for student government oversight, as it made their very existence subject to an annual vote. But in the end they conceded to this demand and have met the “best interests of students” test that Tucker established eleven times.

    The MOU was a compromise document. Yet it is important to acknowledge that without it, the educational, student development, and co-curricular experience that the co-ops provide to the UCSD community would have disappeared years ago.

    The MOU is not unchangeable. It has been amended before. If the UCSD administration desires amendments, it can propose them.

    Solving the immediate impasse, however, requires lifting the atmosphere of threat. The administration could achieve this by “agreeing to disagree” with the co-ops’ lawyer and acquiesce to two-year lease extensions, so that negotiations might truly take place in an atmosphere where the “best interests of the students” remain at the center of the discussion.

    — Steven Dubbs

    UCSD alumnus, class of 1996

    Vegetarianism brought to forefront

    Editor:

    The issue involving Panda Express brought attention to vegetarianism at UCSD. It is an issue that plays a significant role in the lives of a large part of the school, and of society in general. A 2000 Zogby poll estimated that more than 10 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 are vegetarian in the United States. The number of vegetarians is growing, and the selections in cafeterias and other dining facilities on campus that suit our needs need to change as well.

    As an institution that seeks progress, UCSD ought to embrace vegetarianism. From a view of pure self-interest, vegetarianism is the best way to go. Vegetarians are less likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, stroke, some types of cancer, asthma, anemia, obesity and other ailments than their meat-eating counterparts.

    The meat industry damages the environment more than any other. It pollutes more, with factory-farmed animals in this country producing 130 times the amount of excrement as that of the entire human population. For those concerned about global warming, deforestation, desertification, water and air pollution, soil erosion and the destruction of forest habitats, eating lower on the food chain is the single most important action we can take.

    We all know that every piece of meat requires taking a life, but what everyone may not realize — what the animal-product industry doesn’t want you to know, as they put out ads telling children that hamburgers grow in hamburger patches — is that the 20 billion animals slaughtered for consumption each year in the United States are not just killed. They are treated like living garbage, crammed into cages or stalls so small they cannot even turn around or lie down comfortably and their babies are taken away for veal or lamb chops — all without painkillers.

    Students Against Animal Suffering promotes the adoption of a vegan lifestyle and seeks a better world for all animals. For more information about vegetarian living visit our Web site at http://saasucsd.tripod.com.

    — Megan Sewell

    President, UCSD Students Against Animal Suffering

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