February 3, 2008

An Open Letter: Parts 2 and 3

(continued)
Thank you to everyone who commented on the Gender-Neutral post. It is a contentious issue, and we're aware we don't take the popular view on it. We would like to clarify that we felt Morgan Warners' article was well-written, and we respect him as an essential member of the VSA.

Our reasons against Gender-Neutral housing, which can obviously be argued against, are as follows. First, we see the process of choosing a roommate from a wider pool as complicating next year's already challenging housing process, that is, with the closing of Davison. We have no facts to back this up, and we may be entirely incorrect. Second, we agree that every student should feel comfortable. That being said, we're also here to learn from one another. Isn't Vassar all about diversity? We feel there is a segregation issue, similar to that of the all-gay high schools. Couldn't living with someone who has different beliefs than you foster acceptance and teach tolerance?

Maybe we're just not as liberal as most Vassar students. Maybe we just find the concept too progressive. Either way, it's almost definite for next year, and this housing option is becoming popular at many institutions.

Finally, we would like to address the issue of "gossip." While this blog may have started with other intentions, we decided early on to trade in gossip for credibility. While we love the show, we're not trying to be Gossip Girl. On several occasions we have put up the "gossip" posts you long for, and we were highly criticized for them. We received harsh emails telling us how inappropriate such posts were. We've tried to use our judgement to decide what is entertaining, yet acceptable, but it's often difficult.

As always, we aim to please our readers. Please let us know how we are doing at madsvassar@gmail.com.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I still need my Hot Mess fix.

Anonymous said...

#1. the gender-neutral housing IS much too progressive. having co-ed bathrooms is progressive as it is. and i do not have a single friend at another school with co-ed bathrooms like we have here. it was the one thing i was apprehensive about when i found out i was coming here. i believe that bathrooms should be separated based on gender, but due to my affect for vassar i overlooked it and tried to deal with it. im still not 100% ok with it in theory, but i do not have a choice. just the fact that there could be gender-neutral HOUSING now is wayy too liberal. and i do not think it is popular amongst many other colleges.

#2. although mads claims to promote "diversity" just on this page alone, they have input their own personal opinions countless times instead of just reporting gossip and news to the students. so im not sure i totally believe their statement about promoting diversity so much.

Anonymous said...

just to respond to a previous post, many colleges offer gender neutral housing. according to various sources, these include oberlin, sarah lawrence, brown, columbia, uc riverside, university of pennsylvania, dartmouth, and even harvard with yale and cornell considering. so, although it is not exactly common, it is not unheard of. and it isnt just the famously left-wing colleges doing it either.

just some food for thought.

Anonymous said...

to respond to 8:13, authors/bloggers can put in their personal opinions without disrespecting diversity. i dont actually see how the two are really related...

Anonymous said...

farewell, old vassar.

Anonymous said...

first, as a response to anonymous #2, as long as gender neutral housing is an option, but not a requirement, who are we to be against it. as a female, i would probably always feel more comfortable rooming with another female, but for people who do not feel the same, they should have the choice to live with whomever they want. vassar is progressive, and if we don't change the trend, then who will?

second, mads, you are welcome to post your views on subjects. that's the glory of blogs, and people who disagree with you can create their own blog. i may not agree with what you say, but instead of getting angry i will try and convince you to change your mind through debate :-) that's what makes being human so interesting. so continue with the hot messes and with your opinions!

Anonymous said...

On your first reason, I can't see why it would be more complicated if you didn't have to room with somebody of the same gender. People will still put who they want to room with and for whoever doesn't, the same thing will happen where they are paired up with somebody of the same gender. If you can explain why gender neutral housing can at all make things harder, it would be appreciated.

For your second reason, how would moving in with somebody of the opposite sex marginalize anybody? I don't even know how I can explain why this doesn't make sense because everything about it doesn't make sense. I am one of those people who would partake in gender neutral housing if it passes and I am gay while the person who I would room with is straight. It's not like every gender neutral room is going to be a gay guy and a lesbian... actually I am guessing that will be quite the minority. Again, I am not quite sure how rooming with somebody of the opposite sex will decrease diversity if you can explain that, that would be nice as well.

To the second anonymous post, while I understand why gender neutral bathrooms might make you squirmish (although it doesn't bother me AT ALL) that is completely different than gender neutral housing. You are not going to be effected AT ALL by gender neutral housing... AT ALL. If you don't like the idea of gender neutral housing than room with somebody of the same sex, it's that easy. Don't ruin it for everybody else just because you wouldn't want it for yourself. I just don't get it.

Mads, you should stop looking for dumb not at all thought out reasons for why you are against gender-neutral housing. Just admit that you reason is the same as anonymous #2, the idea of a man and woman living with each other makes you uncomfortable. And in this case, as I said before, don't move in with somebody of the opposite sex. Being against something that doesn't affect you but affects lots of other people (only in a good way) is ridiculous. As somebody mentioned in the other post, the arguments (on both sides) feels a whole lot like the gay marriage debate. "I don't agree with it therefore nobody should benefit" "if you don't like it don't get it".

If you feel like Vassar is too liberal or progressive then you probably shouldn't have come here. Go transfer to BYU or Wheaton IL or some other school that dictates the way you are allowed to live.

Anonymous said...

mads, i dont know what i would do without this blog. so good for procrastination! im sorry people are hating. you just report what you see fit and everyone can deal.

Anonymous said...

whatever, 813, get over it lol.
if you dont like coed bathrooms, live in strong.
and, just because they put their opinion on this page doesnt mean it doesnt promote diversity. they post plenty of controversial issues in the past that ppl have fought over. the writers have the power to deny any posts they dont agree with. yet they continue to post the comments anyway...
whatevs though. LUV YOU MV!!!

Mina said...

anonymous, if you're a girl, move to strong and don't complain. if you're a guy...tough.

my feelings on gender-neutral housing are the same i have for most things: if you don't like it, you don't have to do it. making it an option does not mean you are forced to live with someone of the opposite gender. i'm sure a lot of people will choose not to live with members of the opposite sex. this will make housing much easier for any trans people in this campus or for people who just don't feel comfortable living with someone of the same gender. and those people are just as important as any other student.

how other people choose to live may make you uncomfortable or you may not approve, but that's a part of life. all you can do is make the decisions that are right for you. so, mads may never live with someone of the opposite gender, but if i want to i should have that option.

Anonymous said...

but gossip girl is what we WANT

if you're going to write a gossip/commentary/any kind of blog with any sort of opinion, you ARE going to receive criticism. It goes with the territory. There is a difference between reporting gossip and being mean...find it.

Anonymous said...

more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip more gossip

Anonymous said...

i only read this for gossip.
don't be spineless!

Zack Miller '10 said...

to 8:13-

Don't you think that by simply sharing its own opinions and allowing us to represent ourselves, mads is encouraging a diversity of opinions that would be missing if each post were a simple distillation of general opinion that most people were likely to agree with?

To everyone-
Also, I find it disappointing that people are so comfortable sharing their opinions on this blog without taking credit for them by attaching a name to their words. If we don't own our opinions, they lose their value because we can't meaningfully defend an idea that we don't take credit for. I would like to see more people using their names instead of hiding behind the anonymity banner, and I think that this would encourage a more respectful and honest environment on the comments boards of this blog. I hope some of you agree.

Matt Bourne said...

well said zack

Anonymous said...

to zack miller '10:

i don't see the need for anyone to not be anonymous, especially when mads him/herself isn't revealing his/her identity

a member of '11 said...

From my understanding Vassar is a school that wishes to encourage students of all different backgrounds to feel comfortable in its environs. That being said, the reason I feel compelled to post is thus not to argue for or against gender-neutral housing (although I do support it), but rather to express a concern I have about another's post: that Mads's opinion on the gender-neutral housing situation is "dumb" and that "if you feel like Vassar is too liberal or progressive then you probably shouldn't have come here."

My issues with this statement:

#1. Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion and should feel free to express it without fear that he/she will be labelled "close-minded" or "stupid." After all, different opinions encourage healthy discussion, the likes of which can be seen in several of the other posters's comments. As Zach brought up in his post: "Don't you think that by simply sharing its own opinions and allowing us to represent ourselves, mads is encouraging a diversity of opinions that would be missing if each post were a simple distillation of general opinion that most people were likely to agree with?" Furthermore, if we don't allow for this difference of opinion to exist, are we really the progressive ones? We may have gender-neutral housing and co-ed bathrooms, but are we being all-inclusive when we don't respect the opinions of others?

#2. My other issue with this comment is the intolerance that it shows for the moderates and conservatives on this campus. I would classify myself as a liberal and agree that the vast majority of the campus is slanted to the left; however, I would also like to point out that there is a need for those of differing political opinions on campus. Difference of opinion and respect for those with hold different political sympathies are fundamental aspects of diversity, aspects that I sometimes feel are lacking at Vassar. After all, if we preach diversity one moment and shun anyone who is not "liberal" the next, are we really the all-inclusive body we think we are? Comments that anyone who holds less-than-liberal sympathies shouldn't be attending Vassar are thus destructive: they discourage the development of the political diversity that a supposedly open school like Vassar should be welcoming and promoting.

Apologies for the long-winded comment... the lack of tolerance by some members of the Vassar community for "non-liberals" is a bit of a pet peeve I've developed in my first semester here, and it's pleasant to finally be able to express it.

Anonymous said...

Gender Neutral housing is probabaly going to pass regardless of how much comment space we waste arguing about it....