Letters to the Editor
Published: Thursday, November 3, 2005
Updated: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 21:03
To the Administration, faculty, and students of Duquesne University,We would like to express our deep appreciation for all the love, support, hugs and prayers we have received from so many of you. Your kindness in both words and actions has deeply touched our hearts. Jimmy loved life and it was this love and laughter that he shared with so many friends at Duquesne. Since the age of five, his love and support for the Duquesne Dukes have never waivered. He shared so many stories about his friends and he had a remarkable ability to make you feel that you were right there when it happened. His infectious smile and his passion for living life to the fullest will live on. "The world is diminished because he is gone A... but it is still a better place because he was here."
Our home, as well as our hearts, are always open to all of you. "Think of him as living in the hearts of those he touched A... for nothing loved is ever lost A... and he was loved so much" (E. Brenneman).
With sincere love and appreciation,
Jim, Pam and Kim Rocco
My friends and I couldn't help but notice some striking similarities between Ryan Miner's recent editorial (Oct. 27, 2005 issue) and some opinion letters written by Gitthaline Gagne and Deborah Sturm to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Oct. 24, 2005 issue). I respect Ryan's desire to express himself, but I feel that it may be considered disrespectful to both Deborah Sturm and Gitthaline Gagne, as well as to the Duke as a reputable source of information:
Deborah Sturm: "The answer is simple - no .... it seems to me that their mission is not merely about 'respect,' 'alienation' and 'support.' They want endorsement of their lifestyle."
Ryan Miner: "The answer is quite obviously, never! Although a Gay/Straight Alliance may claim that they wish to promote 'tolerance,' 'respect' and 'support.' The goal of this proposed immoral alliance is an endorsement of a homosexual lifestyle ... "
Deborah Sturm: "A gay/straight alliance...will attempt to inflict guilt ..."
Ryan Miner: "A Gay/Straight Alliance attempts to inflict nonsensical guilt ..."
Gitthaline Gagne: "As a practicing Catholic I am appalled that Duquesne would even be considering a gay-straight alliance. While the church acknowledges that members may have a same-sex attraction and be homosexual, they must not act on it."
Ryan Miner: "As a practicing Catholic, and a staunch supporter of the Catholic Church, I find it completely appalling that Duquesne University would even consider the idea of this uncanny and so-called 'alliance.' The Catholic Church recognizes that its members may have homosexual feelings, but that they must not act upon it."
Gitthaline Gagne: "It seems to me that a Catholic University must uphold Catholic teachings."
Ryan Miner: "Duquesne University is, of course, a Catholic university, and it must uphold the Catholic doctrine."
Naturally, I understand that these three individuals do share similar beliefs, and that by coincidence their statements may have similar aspects. However, it was Ryan Miner who provided a link to the Post-Gazette article on Facebook. If I were to turn in a paper with these uncanny similarities, I assume I would have a few angry professors to answer to.
There has been a great deal of news coverage of a University Judicial Board decision related to a proposed Gay-Straight Alliance. Unfortunately, many media organizations are incorrectly characterizing facts that I have provided. For example, the University has not threatened to expel anyone involved with this case.
Discipline resulting from the campus judicial process is intended to educate and provide an opportunity for reflection and personal growth. In all cases, consequences are determined on a case-by-case basis - and with concern for the best interests of the University community and the individuals involved.
Additionally, some news organizations have neglected to report that Duquesne students must adhere to the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct. As a private institution, the University defines the responsibilities of those who choose to join our community. These responsibilities include acting and speaking in a manner that demonstrates respect for the rights, dignity and worth of everyone. Opposing viewpoints on issues are welcomed; Duquesne is an educational institution. But the manner in which views are expressed must reflect our mission. Regardless of how deeply one may feel about a particular matter, language intended to exclude any person or group from the human community is unacceptable.
I will continue working with the external media, urging them to report on this issue in a responsible, factual manner. I ask for your support in assuring that media reports about Duquesne University are accurate.
Bridget Fare, director
The U.S. Constitution states, Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
After reading the article in the Herald Mail, in my hometown of Hagerstown, I am appalled by the decision of Duquesne University faculty. What does this have to say about the leadership at the University? I know Ryan Miner on a level that many people do not. I know that he stands up for what he believes in, and doesn't back down. Does that make him a bad person? Voicing his opinion on such a topic is his own personal opinion. What he says may offend others, but what they say about him may also offend him.