Leiber’s letter was unfair

Professor Todd Lieber, you’re very right. (Letter to the Editor, Jan. 24.) What a college! A college where not even a professor believes in his students’ abilities to think critically, engage in political, social or cultural activities, or even express concerns about this complex world which is too overwhelming at times and yet worth investigating, exploring, studying, and embracing.

I agree fully with your dismay about The Simpsonian and its inability to fully represent the true faces, shades and minds of life on campus. Yet your attack on the student newspaper turns into an attack on the student community when a supposedly hypothetical reader turns into an expression of opinion in the last paragraph, which I could not leave uncommented.

I can’t support the allegation that “the paper probably gives a fairly accurate view of the atmosphere here.” At least as long as I have been here, this college has been graduating some very fine and bright minds-students who spent their college days to the fullest in preparation of life in that complex world-not just a small-town Iowa life. I have seen students study abroad. I have seen students attending forum events, with no need of a yellow slip to officially show that they were there.

I have seen students create wonderful artwork, research papers, and meet individuals of renowned public status. I have seen students organize discussion groups and campus worship services. I have walked by students discussing Aristotle and Thoreau in the Mary Berry stairway and international affairs in the library. I have seen students question their professors (I have also seen them being silenced upon doing so) and spending hours in their offices trying to learn more. I have seen students being there for their friends.

I have seen scientists, writers, politicians, economists, speakers, artists, lawyers, and human rights activists among Simpson students. I have seen students who don’t wear Columbia jackets.

I feel blessed that I can call these students my friends and therefore, to bear witness that even though yes, I have seen more of the opposite and it does sadden me, there is a lot of utilized potential at Simpson. I just wanted to let you know.

As for the Simpsonian, it does make a great underlining for bedding in mouse cages. The animals love to tear it up, too, and form the pieces into little beds to cuddle up on.

Jenny Smith