Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Letters to the editor: October 8, 2009

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UMass dining is no impersonator

RE: “UMass an eco-impersonator;” Ashley Lesperance, Oct. 2

Dear Editor,


I would like to clarify the misleading statements made by Ashley Lesperance in her recent column on Friday, October 2, titled “Eco-Impersonator”.

Since joining the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program three years ago, UMass Dining has not served Atlantic Cod and we strictly adhere to the guidelines. In fact, we were the first large state university to become a member of the Seafood Watch program and serve only sustainable seafood. This coming week, in partnership with Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, we will present the Wild Alaska Seafood Week Special to help promote sustainable seafood through educational talks, and a guest chef from Alaska. We are not sure why the author thought that Atlantic Cod was being served three times at Worcester.

As for local produce, UMass Dining is committed to purchasing 25% of produce locally and during the months of September and October, this percentage will be much higher. During the family weekend, we featured recipes from parents as part of the Taste of Home program; we used the same local produce just like any other weekend. We had extra staff on duty as we served 5,600 parents and family members.

We are committed to going green, not just in word; we need support from everyone rather than cynicism to make it work. Go UMass!


Ken Toong

Executive Director,

UMass Dining Services



Legalization for those who believe


Dear Editor,

On Oct. 14, the Revenue Committee of the Massachusetts legislature holds its first hearing on a bill to fully legalize marijuana.

While the committee’s focus is on the narrow issue of potential tax receipts, broader concerns make this proposal a good one. Marijuana use is a de facto spiritual practice for a great number of its proponents, regardless of whether they think of it in those terms or not. And while people may view any particular religion (or all religion) as silly and worthy of mockery, many are still accepting of religious freedom as good public policy, if only because of the effort and cost to society of engaging in religious suppression.


Terry Franklin

Amherst, Mass.



Where’s the reporting?

RE: “Students arrested for larceny;” Michelle Williams, Oct. 1

Dear Editor,

I would like to comment on an article published today in your paper about two students stealing a Global Electric Motorvehicle . I had actually heard the story before the article came out, so when I saw the story on the front page, I grabbed the paper and read the article, hoping to find out the true story.

What I came across disappointed me, and then deeply saddened me. The information about the students all seemed about correct, though the word choice was boring and the article was poorly written, but something else bothered me. In the recent past, we have heard a ton about different cases of journalistic integrity, and reporters unwilling to reveal their confidential sources. A real digging for the story, with risk and mystery and intrigue. Defending the honorary status of a journalist, and their right to withhold their sources.

However, editor, what I saw in your paper discouraged me. The only source of information other than common knowledge (trust me when I say that everyone on campus had heard this story well before your article came out) was Facebook. That’s right editor, your reporter could not be bothered to go out and find some sources, perhaps some witnesses or people living in the dorms who heard the ruckus, people who knew these students or, most importantly, the students themselves. The source your reporter chose was Facebook.

Many journalists are being put on trial and almost imprisoned for refusing to reveal their sources, and your reporter’s only source of information about this incident was Facebook. I cannot tell you, editor, how disgusted I am. It is bad enough that Facebook can be accessed via cell phone, Blackberry and iPod, or that every other computer screen that I see when walking through our library is someone’s home page or profile, but to allow your reporter to do her job based on someone’s Facebook? Well, editor, that truly disgusts me.


Laura Reiman

UMass Student

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