Letters to the Editor

Dec. 1, 2010, 12:15 a.m.

Ram’s Head apologizes

Dear Editor,

We, the board of directors of Ram’s Head Theatrical Society, want to apologize to you, particularly the Class of 2014, for any hurt caused by this year’s Gaieties. Big Game Gaieties, a tradition dating back to 1911, has always intended to unite the campus against Berkeley, not divide Stanford students or make any of them feel unwelcome. While any harm was unintentional, Ram’s Head takes full responsibility for this year’s final product and wants to address the community’s responses in an effective and compassionate manner.

Ram’s Head would like to engage in a dialogue with the entire Stanford community about Gaieties of the past, present and, most importantly, future. It is time for our organization and the student body to re-evaluate the place of Gaieties in the Stanford experience. Next quarter, we will hold a town hall meeting to discuss where this year’s Gaieties caused hurt and how we can refocus for next year and beyond. We invite all members of the community to join us, but especially those students who have been personally offended. Ram’s Head is committed to addressing the impact of this year’s show and to redefining the Gaieties experience for all those involved.

We believe that, above all, Gaieties is an event for the Stanford community, a humorous love letter to this university and the amazing students who give it its heart. We apologize for alienating members of the community this year, and we thank you for your willingness to share your opinions and ideas with us about the future of this Stanford tradition.

Ram’s Head Board of Directors

Michael Rooney ’11, Executive Producer

Jean Ansolabehere ’11

Liz Stark ’12

Olivia Haas ’11

Paul Brownlee ’12

Randi Rudolph ’13

[Ed. note: Stark is a TV critic for The Daily.]

Keep it going

Dear Editor,

I woke up Sunday morning, following Stanford’s resounding victory over Oregon State, to find Stanford with a record of 11-1 — its best ever record in football. As I absorbed the historic magnitude of this accomplishment for Stanford football, I realized that Stanford’s international reputation as an elite academic institution was fully intact.

Despite reaching the pinnacle of college football success, there hadn’t been the slightest diminution in Stanford’s academic standing or prestige. Moreover, as I delved further into the impact of this remarkable achievement in college athletics, I discovered a student body and alumni that thoroughly rejoiced in the accomplishment, as well as beamed with profound pride in their beloved university.

I said to myself, “Wow, it is possible, and even a good thing, for Stanford to be successful in football.” Instead of detracting from Stanford’s elite academic standing, football has, in fact, enhanced the institution and its family of students, faculty, alumni and friends. Stanford has always excelled and been best in class in everything it does, and there is no reason why that shouldn’t apply to football.

Let’s hope we keep it going. Retaining Coach Harbaugh will go a long way toward sustaining this excellence.

Michael Messina ‘77

Malibu, Calif.

Don’t soak the coach

Dear Editor,

As a proud Stanford alumna and staff member, it was a thrill to rush the field after Saturday’s victory over Oregon State and bask in the Cardinal’s glorious 11-1 season.

Yet amid the throngs of celebrants, there was one noticeable absence in the moments after the victory: heroic head coach Jim Harbaugh, who had to make a quick getaway after getting doused with ice water on an indisputably frigid Palo Alto night.

Sure, the players meant it as a compliment. But the fallout was that a chilled Harbaugh couldn’t stick around to celebrate with his fans and players, let alone have his moment to shine under flashbulbs and cameras.

Harbaugh’s rushed reaction wasn’t sour grapes, just sound judgment. (Some may recall the death of former Long Beach State coach George Allen in 1990, which was linked to a Gatorade “victory bath.”)

When Stanford wins at the Fiesta Bowl, the Rose Bowl or wherever fate takes the Cardinal to cap this magical season, let’s see the team hoist Harbaugh on its shoulders and carry him off the field — so he can soak up the glory, not the Gatorade.

Karen Heywood McKinley ‘97

Mountain View, Calif.

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