To the Editor:
The recent posters heralding the opening of the Rat brought many mixed emotions to me. The thought of relaxing with friends while listening to music in the midst of the ice cream shop decor seemed great. However, upon reading the entire ad it became clear that my friends and I would have to dye our hair purple and leave our boyfriends back at the dorm on Saturday nights if we wanted to visit this convenient gathering place. I have always considered myself an openminded person so it was rather shocking to me to feel I was being discriminated against. My question is, why is it necessary for one of the two nights the Rat is open to be designated for those with "alternative" lifestyles? What exactly is an alternative lifestyle? If there is going to be segregation on this campus, then let us have it clearly spelled out what constitutes an "alternative" lifestyle. Maybe we should carry this labeling even further and have Hispanic night, left-handed person night, people who actually shop at Campus Shop night, etc. ... My point is that by stating one night is exclusively for one group of people, the natural blending together of "diverse" people is prevented. Isn't our aim on this campus to bring people together and not set them apart? Is there truly a need for "alternative" lifestyles night? It is hard to believe that the few boyfriends that visit this campus on the weekend could ever upset a gathering anywhere at this place. I hope this plan will be reconsidered.
Name withheld upon request
To the Editor:
It was with regret that we read the new posters for the opening of the Rat. We think that the Rat is a much needed gathering place for students. Why, however, it is necessary for there to be segregated nights for those with "alternative" lifestyles? And why does this distinction carry the privilege of Saturday night billing? Shall we designate Monday for Black night, Tuesday athletes' night, Wednesday as Jewish night, and Friday as under 21 night? These, too, after all, are minority groups on this campus, as well as in the population as a whole.
As we at MHC theoretically live together in harmony, why do we need to allow separate nights for lesbians to gather at the Rat? Shall we start designating every other floor in the dorms as with those for alternative lifestyles? And if we should allow equal time at the Rat, is over 50% of the open time a fair allotment for less than 20% of the campus population? If Thursday night had been billed as "Straight" night only, there would have been an uproar on this campus. We are incensed that Thursday is an open night, yet Saturday is restricted.
Let us not divide the campus any further. We are here to learn together. Let us gather, together, on both Thursdays and Saturdays, for that matter, all week long.
Names withheld upon request