Summer 2013
Letters to the Editor

Readers weigh in on roommates, climate change and mental health

An Inspiring Champion
The article about Mitzie Hunter, the CEO of CivicAction, is an inspiring success story of a woman who is a child of immigrants to Canada (“Urban Crusader,” Spring 2013). I taught a number of young people in elementary school whose parents were Vietnamese “boat people,” Jewish immigrants and Somalian refugees. Their individual stories are all different, yet very moving. They are to be honoured for their accomplishments and drive.

Allan Miller
BEd 1969 OISe, Ottawa


Roomie Luck
Unlike the students who were polled for your spring issue about whether they got along with their first-year roommate, I cannot credit a residence survey for my good fortune. Maybe it was fate?

In first year, my original roommate decided to go home after Frosh Week. Back then, you didn’t have to attend U of T to live on campus, so my residence accepted a young lady who had arrived late at Ryerson and was scrambling to find a place.

We couldn’t have been more different: she was in fashion design, and I was a biology student who basically lived in sweatpants. She always had creative sewing projects on the go, and I remember she freaked out when I brought home a skeleton from my physical anthropology class.

Did we get along? Absolutely! We decided to live together again in second year. We became good friends and had tons of fun over the years. Alas, life happens and we’ve drifted apart. But, I still like to surprise her with a phone call on her birthday or Christmas once in a while, and have nothing but fond memories of those years at U of T.

Colleen Cotter
BSc 1984, Orleans, Ontario


Climate Crisis Is Real
Ken Stouffer doubts the veracity of human-induced climate change (Letters, Spring 2013).

While there is no question that climate has changed often and quite dramatically in the past, those changes have occurred over relatively long periods of time. That the unprecedented rapid changes we are witnessing are anthropogenic is as near a statistical certainty as such matters can be. If Stouffer were to pay as close attention, without prejudice, to the overwhelming evidence at hand as he has to the magnolia and fig trees of northern Greenland he would, I think, come to the same conclusion as nearly the entire global scientific community.

I, for one, think that a small carbon tax is a reasonable price to pay to help ensure that future generations, and indeed the entire biosphere as we know it, have a more propitious future than the one forecast by nearly every computer model based on present trends.

Bernie Terentius Scala
BSc 1988, BEd 1989, MA 2001, Toronto


Buddha’s Insights
I agree with Suwanda H.J. Sugunasiri (Letters, Spring 2013) that U of T Magazine should publish an article on Buddhist philosophy and psychology. Perhaps U of T researchers could design an experiment based on studies from adept and well-known masters, scientists, monks and yogis in this field instead of mainstream popular practitioners. When taken seriously and understood properly, Buddhist practices can help foster stable mental health among young people.

Abha Humeniuk
Midland, Ontario


Disrespecting the Bard?
Surely Vincent Massey would turn over in his grave if he knew what was going on in Hart House Theatre, with “male actors,” “penis jokes,” “homoerotic horseplay” and “masturbatory gestures” (“Enter Stage Left,” Winter 2013). Does U of T endorse such disrespect of Shakespeare, a great deceased author who can no longer defend his work? A university should promote the understanding of the past achievements of mankind and not tolerate obscenities.

Warren Kirkendale
BA 1955 UC, Rome

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