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Letter to the editor: In response to “It’s a great day to be a dragon”

Click here to read John Goerke’s original column.

Dear John,

Who are you kidding – it’s a terrible day to be a dragon.

We read your article last week on the condition of our university and may I just say, Wow! You sure know how to craft an argument. Your complaints resonated with us, and with others, too. I know some people may be upset with your arguments, but we just wanted you to know that we understand your arguments and fully support your ideas. Since your article was designed to provide pragmatic solutions to your interpreted criticism, we thought we would jump on the bandwagon and offer constructive feedback as well.

First of all, we understand your logic about sports. Since our teams lose all the time (just ask the track team- 23rd in the nation? Come on, you can do better) we are faced with a dilemma — what is the point of having sports? It certainly can’t be the thousands of people in our community who attend our sporting events every week, what good does that revenue have at MSUM? I know you frequent Nemzek, so you are well aware of the lack of spirit during basketball and football games. Our sports do not create camaraderie; they fill up our precious college time with such tomfoolery as friendship, entertainment and Dragon pride. School spirit is a mirage; no such thing exists at MSUM.

We also agree that it is a ridiculous notion to believe that our College plans for our future. How dare they take our tuition and mold curriculums around our evolving world. Internships? No thanks. College isn’t about practicality; it’s about poetic growth. We should be spending our four years at MSUM inside the classroom, discussing ambiguous philosophical ideas with no real purpose. At least then our hard-earned money would be reasonably spent.

It is true; the government had a shut down. It was a frustrating situation for everyone. And while we sat around, twiddling our thumbs, our helpless university suffered. However, John, you forgot to mention the perpetual shutdown on our campus as well. Sure, the school technically functions, but our political power has been usurped. As our legislature continues to squabble over state funding, students are not allowed to speak up or make a change. Our email has been shut down, cutting off communication to the administration and beyond. Petitions are strictly outlawed. Our student body has been rendered voiceless, making our time here solely run by bureaucrats. How unreasonable of the political pundits of our state to sit around and complain about their situation without making a change.

As for the logo, we couldn’t agree more. Seriously, it was totally fine being one the few colleges in the state that identify themselves behind a sports logo. Since you are such a proponent of sports, I understand why you wouldn’t want to advertise our educational programs. Who cares that our education wasn’t represented by anything more than the school name? We don’t need an identity, a symbol of success, or a way to spread our reputation as a strong collegiate school. After all, I’m sure that you attended MSUM because of our excellent athletic events.

Besides, what college administrator can sleep soundly at night knowing they are spending money toward an innovative future? Our college is better off without high-tech laboratories, 24- hour computer labs and a professional sound studio. Listen up, Edna — innovation is a thing of the past … stop wasting our money!

The only real problem we had with your article was a lack of solutions. But hey, no worries — college is all about finding problems, complaining, and then waiting for others to fix the error of their ways. We are glad you’ve made an effort to help with these problems; you make our generation’s future brighter:

First of all, Lommen Hall has to be changed. Why go to the Holiday Inn when you can go to the Hilton? Let’s ignore the fact that MSUM is behind on renovations — state laws are just suggestions, right? I don’t understand why our educational buildings should be kept up. Our first proposal is to stop all changes with the buildings. Burned out light bulbs should not be changed; broken projectors should not be fixed; and older buildings should run their course and die in peace. Think of how much money we would save for our education by not having to waste it on our educational buildings!

It’s really unfortunate that we have one of the lowest tuition rates in the state. If I want to attend a college, I want to make it worthwhile. I propose we raise tuition tenfold, and use all that money directly toward classes (not to be confused with the classrooms themselves … after the Lommen fiasco we can’t afford to have another building changed). Raising tuition will definitely help fund the solutions to all the problems you listed … once you decide to provide solutions, of course.

Once we raise tuition, we have to cut superfluous things on campus. Student clubs? Gone. Activities? Gone. Intramurals? Gone. College isn’t about the experience, that is not why students go to college — they come here for the poetic growth you discussed. Whoever said campus involvement promotes making connections and gaining experience was seriously off their rocker. Once we trim those funds, we can hire personal assistants for all students. Isn’t it the college’s job to make sure we are satisfied at all times? You are on the right track, John — this college is not considerate at all.

After your complaints of seemingly unintelligent people on campus, we thought it would be a great idea for you to tutor all those you deem unworthy of sitting by in class. You commentary makes it clear that you are the perfect student, a beacon of all that is right on this campus. We hope that by shedding your wisdom and empathy toward others, this university will be benefited exponentially.

It won’t even matter that these programs are cut because — as you so aptly put it — we live in an ocean of indifference. Our generation is apathetic, constantly thinking about themselves when things don’t go their way. It really is upsetting to read about students who are unhappy with the decisions of others but are too lazy to try and make a positive change. Luckily we have people like you, John.

We hope that our input will help your cause and you push for a revolution of a broken university. Your scathing article will pave the way for future Dragons, and for that we thank you. Even though you explained everything perfectly, we just have one more question:

If you hate MSUM so much, why did you come here?

Brian Ashburn and Lacey Nygard, MSUM students


  1. Billy McDonald

    Brian and Lacey, thank you for writing this response. You both have been incredible leaders at MSUM.

  2. JaNae

    Now that was an article!!!! Bravo!

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