Letters to the Editor

Here are this week’s letters to the editor…

Dear Editor,

Last week in The Rambler my words were published in an opinion column concerning my initial response to reading “Mr. Pink: The Inside Story of the Transylvania Book Heist.” This reading occurred in late December, when I sloppily wrote those words online as a comment about the book release.
Members of the Rambler staff asked if they could use my online comment for their next issue and if they could change my review into an opinion column. At the time I had no qualms with this.

Here is my point of fault: for being so inattentive and ignoring the change of context.

The reverberations that I have experienced from having my words published are certainly not what I expected. I am ashamed of the implications that my writing has brought, and I want to apologize if I offended anyone in the process by praising the book so vigorously. I most certainly did not want to cause any psychological harm to those who suffered from the experience, nor did I want to imply that I praise thievery and assault.

Lesson learned? The Internet is a very powerful place. Never underestimate the power of the talk you so flippantly stroke on your personal desktop.
-Molly Crain, ’13
Dear Editor,

There was a time when students and faculty at Transylvania were willing to rush into burning buildings to rescue our library. In 1829, and again in 1863, major portions of our collections were carried from the flames in the arms of brave Transylvanians. Today, however, it seems that young men can blindfold, zip-tie and Taser a librarian in order to steal our cultural and academic heritage, and somehow gain the sympathy and admiration of at least one Transy student.

In light of this, I feel compelled to state that I value our community, the whole of which is injured when any individual member is injured; the coherence of which is diminished if we don’t universally condemn violence toward its members and looting of its common property; and the heritage of which is ultimately devalued when we permit ourselves or others to commodify our artifacts and appreciate them only in terms of their financial value rather than their historic, aesthetic and academic significance.

It is difficult to comprehend how anyone within our community can view a crime involving the premeditated physical and emotional assault of a woman to be a “stroke of genius.” It is difficult to understand why “it wouldn’t be a problem” for a man who willingly participated in the planning and execution of the robbery of our shared cultural heritage to be freed before completing his sentence. And, it is difficult to fathom why anyone who maintained such views would voluntarily publish them in our campus newspaper.

-Dr. Jamie Day, professor of physics
Dear Editor,

“One may be disgusted at the attempt to steal from the safe seclusion of Transylvania University, but I thought that it was a definite stroke of genius.”

What is not a stroke of genius is Ms. Crain’s sympathy for a convicted criminal. A criminal who, in case Ms. Crain doesn’t know or chooses to ignore, was a willing participant in the binding and gagging of a library employee. And this employee is a current fellow Transylvanian to Ms. Crain. Did she take into consideration how that employee would feel to read an article that recommends people to read the book (i.e., purchase it) so that her attacker could profit from her pain and suffering?

What I find disgusting about Ms. Crain’s opinion is the free pass she seems to be giving Allen because of his youth and immaturity at the time of the theft. He made the choice to go through with the theft regardless of the consequences or the harm that could occur to innocent people. That is not immaturity. That is stupidity coupled with a callous disregard for the well-being of others.

Chas Allen deserves to be in jail and should not be let out until he has served his full sentence. And when he is released, there should not be proceeds from this book waiting for him in his bank account. Ms. Crain should keep in mind that Chas Allen wrote this book to make money and not to atone for his wrongdoings.

-Eric Ramsey, office services support specialist


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