Letters to the Editor

Readers want women on the coverTo the editors:I am writing to say how very disappointed and horrified I, as well as many other staff members, am that you chose to highlight the scandals at Villanova on the front page of this week’s The Villanovan instead of glorifying the women’s basketball team for the honor they brought to Villanova University. They are the ones that should have taken up the whole front page, not just a small picture in the back. At a time when our country is facing war it should make sense to glorify the good that happens, especially at a Catholic university. Joan Hawley Campus MinistryTo the editors:I am appalled that the women’s basketball team was not on the cover of the March 14 paper (that little insert in the corner doesn’t count). To say that they took the Big East title this year is an understatement. That win was huge!! I think it’s awful that instead of their story being on the cover, it was the men’s basketball team, which is now an embarrassment to the school. It’s about time that those girls get the respect that they deserve.Alyssa McNamaraClass of 2003To the editors:When I picked up The Villanovan this week I was amazed to find that the women’s basketball team’s victory over No. 1 UConn was not good enough for front page news. I was happy to see the full article and many mentions of the win throughout the paper; however, I think The Villanovan owes the women’s basketball team an apology for holding the men’s team’s shameful actions and a fraternity’s prank to be more important than their exceptional accomplishment of defeating UConn.Claire LetourneauClass of 2003To the editors:I was very disappointed to see that you chose to put the men’s basketball issue on the front page of The Villanovan while the exciting Big East women’s championship story was relegated to the back page. Why is it that the women’s teams get poor publicity even here on campus? I was excited to see the Philadelphia Inquirer chose to have the victory on their front page — how disappointing that Villanova University’s paper did not! Hopefully in the future you will choose to put the good news first, especially when it is such a major story!Marybeth AvioliOffice for University Information TechnologiesTo the editors:Two front page articles — “‘Cats ring up suspensions” and “Fraternity prank becomes cookie caper” — and the “Women crowned Big East Champions” on the back page?  Seems to me an apology is in order! Sandi Suprenuk Education and Human Services To the editors:On Tuesday night, I probably witnessed one of the greatest basketball games ever in the history of women’s basketball, and I was there in person. On Wednesday, I saw the covers of USA Today, The New York Times, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as ESPN.com and Yahoo Sports.com, and Villanova women’s basketball was the big story on all of them. Villanova women’s basketball also drew all the major networks from the Philadelphia area and was featured on their sports segments on the evening news. Well, this morning I picked up The Villanovan and had to flip all the way to the back of it to find the articles about the basketball team. Does anyone else see something wrong with this? Ms. Brophy wrote a wonderful article about the game; however, articles about suspensions and fraternity pranks cover the front page instead. Shouldn’t we be “accentuating the positive?” How often does a “historic upset” (as NBC 10 put it) occur? Our team has made history this week for winning the Big East Championship for the first time since 1987, breaking UConn’s 70 game winning streak and breaking UConn’s monopoly on the Big East Championship title (held for the last several years in a row). This game was huge! So next weekend, when we are at the NCAA tournament, please see if you can push the team up a few pages instead of 30 pages in or the back cover. It would be appreciated. Thank you.Katie PunchardStudent Athletic Trainer, Villanova Sports Medicine Class of 2005To the editors: On behalf of the student body, SGA would like to extend its congratulations to the women’s basketball team for their accomplishment at the Big East Tournament last week. Your hard work and ultimate victory makes the university community proud. That being said, however, we as SGA are disappointed by The Villanovan’s choice to run two alternate stories as front page news, leaving the women’s team only the last page to celebrate their win. In a time of war and confusion, the news is saturated with reports of scandal and disappointment. Positive, uplifting news such as the women’s victory should not be so blatantly brushed aside. Best of luck to the women in the NCAA Tournament. Please know that the Villanova family is behind you all the way!Maureen Holland and Dan SaboSGA President and Vice PresidentTo the editors:It is shameful that the vandalism of the Oreo got the front page while women’s basketball gets the back page! After beating one of the greatest college basketball teams of all time, you would think this campus, which supposedly considers itself one of the premier basketball campuses, would celebrate the women’s team! Yet we see where the priority of the newspaper lies — cookies and men behaving badly! Let us give the women’s team their due this next edition of The Villanovan, shall we?Ashish DesaiClass of 2000To the editors:I was highly disappointed as soon as I picked up The Villanovan this week. It seems as if the stupidity of our men’s basketball team and the stupidity of a frat prank have outshined our women’s basketball team beating UConn and winning the Big East Tournament. As much as I support men’s basketball, quite frankly I’m sick of hearing about them in relation to their suspensions. The women deserve much more credit than they are currently getting (i.e., the back cover). Also, it was sad to see only a limited number of people with me to greet the team Tuesday night when they came back. We all know that had it been the men’s team, the entire school would have been there. I’m glad to see you’re highlighting the negative instead of the positive. Deanna HuntowskiClass of 2006To the editors:As members of the Villanova community, we feel that the layout of the recent The Villanovan showed a lack of respect toward the women’s basketball team. Their victory over the University of Connecticut was featured on the front page of both USA Today and the Philadelphia Inquirer and on March 16 was called “the story of the year in women’s college basketball” by ESPN. Yet in the team’s own school newspaper these women were placed second rate to the men’s basketball scandal and the Oreo’s vandalism. If the roles were reversed, and the women’s team engaged in such a scandal while the men upset a 70-game winning streak to win the Big East title, is it realistic that the men’s victory would be on the back page? Male or female, athletes train hard to win, and when such a large accomplishment is made credit is due. The Villanovan should celebrate the achievements of students instead of glorify their wrongdoings. The Villanovan’s prioritization is a sad statement on their respect for women’s college sports. As Villanova students, we will continue to be loyal to our women’s team as they enter the NCAA tournament as well as the men’s team in the NIT. We hope that the editors of The Villanovan will also give equal support to both teams.Yvonne Pierpont, Leah Mathews and Amy Brennan Class of 2003To the editors:I was disappointed by the lead stories The Villanovan decided to run on the front page of last week’s newspaper. More specifically I was disappointed that the Villanova women’s victory over number one ranked UConn only received a tiny front page blurb. Certainly the embarrassment of the men’s basketball team was newsworthy, but I would like to know who made the decision to run a story about a lame fraternity stunt involving Oreo cookies in the face of such a monumental achievement as the women winning the Big East Tournament and halting the Huskies’ winning streak at 70. The men’s basketball team has let us down time and again, and the women’s team is making NCAA basketball history. It is time that The Villanovan got behind the women’s team and showed them the respect that they deserve. Alex PacanowskyClass of 2003To the editors:I can’t believe your choice of a headline and picture for Friday’s The Villanovan. The women’s basketball team wins the Big East Championship and you choose to headline the negative story about the men’s team! Negative male story vs. positive female story … hmm … which one shall we pick? What a shame! And what an insult to a great team! Mary Agnes OstickHealth CenterTo the editors:I was extremely surprised to see the front cover of The Villanovan last week because the women’s basketball team was so poorly given credit for their amazing win. As a student and a woman I think their upset deserved to be on the front cover prominently displayed, instead of the little blurb on the left column. The girls’ basketball team isn’t publicized enough during the regular season, but after a win like that there should have been an article on the front page. The women’s team made national headlines all around the country, and it is pretty sad that their own school failed to give them the proper recognition they deserved.Elizabeth NeidererClass of 2004To the editors:I cannot even begin to express my disappointment upon picking up last week’s issue of The Villanovan and seeing the women’s basketball Big East championship win hidden on the back page (with a smaller headline font, no less) while the men, in all their suspended glory, held the coveted front page position. The women win the Big East Championship over UConn, a team that had won it the past nine years, while the men hang their heads in shame on the sidelines. To me, it sounds like an easy decision as to which story should be on the coveted front page.As former Editor-in-Chief of this very newspaper, I know the importance of the front page. It is reserved for the biggest story of the week, regardless of what or who it involves. The back cover is also important, but undoubtedly, it is the front page that people first see upon picking up The Villanovan every Friday. The women’s Big East championship win was good enough for the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the front pages of the sports sections of both The New York Times and the USA Today, in addition to being one of the headline stories on The Today Show. The women obviously were good enough for the front pages of these papers, so why wasn’t their win big enough for the front page of their own university paper?Ashley TateClass of 2003To the editors:We were very disheartened when we saw the cover of The Villanovan last week. We expected to see news of the women’s basketball win over the number one ranked UConn women, but instead were greeted with the headline, “‘Cats ring up suspensions.” The other headlining story was about the prank concerning the Oreo. In fact, the only mention of the women’s feat on the front page was a thumbnail on the side. While we understand that the back page of the paper is generally where sports articles are, we feel the women’s basketball team should have had the headline on the front page. Instead, we have chosen to acknowledge the infamous, while short-handing an already under-appreciated women’s team. After all, it’s not every week that our women’s team beats the top-seeded team, ends an opposing school’s 70-game win streak, wins the Big East Tournament and ends a nine-year stronghold over the Big East Championship. Jenny Cassone and James BallowClass of 2004To the editors: I was very disappointed when I saw the cover story of last week’s The Villanovan. The women’s basketball team winning the Big East Championship was newsworthy for front page coverage! Winning the Big East Championship is certainly an accomplishment that should make us proud as Villanovans. Congratulations to Harry Perretta and the wonderful women athletes on the team! Maybe this week’s front page could cover the rally on Wednesday in the Villanova Room.Marie O’BrienMathematical SciencesTo the editors:It is absolutely fantastic that the women’s basketball team won the Big East conference title and in so doing broke the longest winning streak in NCAA history.  It is a real shame that the men’s basketball season ended the way it did.  It is totally incomprehensible that the men’s story was placed on the front page of The Villanovan instead of the women’s. If any sports related story deserves to be on the front page, it should be the women and not the men.  Don’t you think?Dr. Judith HadleyTheology and Religious StudiesTo the editors:As an alumnus and employee of Villanova, I wanted to express my heartfelt disappointment with the choices made in last week’s The Villanovan. I believe I echo the sentiment of most people whom I encountered on campus last Friday. The decision to headline a week-old story concerning the suspensions of the Villanova men’s basketball team over the three-day-old celebration that was our women’s upset over UConn was unfortunate. The women’s victory is being mentioned as one of the greatest upsets in NCAA women’s basketball history and is one of the top 10 sporting achievements in Villanova’s long and illustrious athletic history. It is a shame that a negative men’s story warrants the spotlight over an extremely positive women’s story. I am proud that the paper addresses the truth and does not shy away from negative stories; however, what does it say about Villanova and our community that a historic achievement is relegated to back page fodder? Yes, The Villanovan is a newspaper for the students; however, many of our alumni and most visiting high school students read this paper as well. Villanova receives enough disparaging press from outside media sources. It pains me that our very own newspaper has succumbed to these tabloid tactics. There was a much better way to have handled both of these stories. “‘Nova hoops: thrill of victory, agony of deceit,” found on page 37 of the sports section, was a more apropos front page caption. This could have served as a more diplomatic headline. With all that is wrong in the world, you had an opportunity to prominently display some uplifting news. You had a choice to run a banner article that could have boosted the University’s morale and improved our image to those outside our community who read The Villanovan, but instead you chose the road more traveled. Gerard M. BrettClass of 1998To the editors:I was surprised by last week’s edition of The Villanovan for having the men’s basketball team’s picture on the front page concerning the ineligibility of some of the players while the women’s basketball team, which did a wonderful job of upsetting the No. 1 UConn, got a small picture in the corner. Let’s accentuate the positive of the Villanova women’s basketball team and commend them for a job well done, and not give the men’s basketball team top billing. Even the Philadelphia Inquirer and the local TV news stations gave them move publicity than the student newspaper.Kathleen BrackenCareer Services OfficeTo the editors:Upon picking up today’s issue of The Villanovan, I exposed myself to one of the most appalling decisions I believe I have ever seen here at Villanova. Your decision to place an article on the front page with regards to the scandal that has rocked the men’s basketball program rather than an article documenting one of the greatest achievements in the storied history of Villanova athletics, the women’s basketball team’s victory over UConn, is disgraceful.The Villanova women’s basketball team completed an achievement that brings honor and respect to this University. The group of student athletes that composes the women’s basketball team should be proud of what they have accomplished. They have every right to be heralded as heroes up and down Lancaster Avenue; however, you overshadow their accomplishment with an event that disgraces this University and brings shame upon the entire athletic program here at Villanova. Your publication owes the entire campus an explanation and a humble apology to the women’s basketball team. Jason BrownClass of 2006Stand by your teamTo the editors:”The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands at times of comfort and convenience, but at times of challenge and controversy.” This Martin Luther King quote could not apply more during the controversial basketball “phone scandal.” After reading the editorial piece, I was disturbed that The Villanovan staff did not stand by their team during this time of challenge. The majority of the student population is angered by the scandal because “athletes get a free education.” However, their education is not free, if free means being able to take the classes or choose the major most desired. The basketball team, as well as other scholarship athletes, must confine their schedules to their team’s demands of practice and workouts. They do not enjoy the same educational experience as other Villanova students. They are plagued with far greater stress than which Burberry hat to wear Saturday night. As one coach tells his team they are “not student athletes, but athletic students.” Villanova students are quick to judge these players for their wrongdoing; however, how many students would not use the same code if given the opportunity? In addition, the basketball players are either practicing or in-season year round with no opportunity of employment. Who are we to judge their financial situations? Some say, “Many of them have cell phones.” But how often are the cells phones turned off? Does each player have a cell phone? The students do not put the basketball team on a pedestal. They are looked upon as merely entertainment. The average student does not stand by their team during controversy. As said in last week’s letter to the editor, we even boo them during the home games. Why should the players be loyal to fans that turn their backs on them during times like this? Lindsay RodmanClass of 2004Ashamed of men’s basketballTo the editors:As an alumnus who played college athletics, I am ashamed of the scandal that has enveloped our men’s basketball program. My anger is on two levels. First, it simply amazes me how these 12 players (or any college athlete for that matter) can violate such a simplistic rule. As far as the NCAA is concerned, if it’s free, it’s illegal! It’s that simple. The fact that these players also apparently stole the code from an athletic department employee also shows an embarrassing level of deception and selfishness on their part. This behavior goes against the fundamental values that our Catholic University stands for.My second level of anger deals with the fact that the University decided to stagger the suspensions in order to field a team. The coaching staff and the athletic department handled this scandal expeditiously, honestly and with a great deal of class. However, the decision to field a team was a poor one, and, in my opinion, based solely on financial concerns. First, to have to witness seven suspended young men in shirts and ties sitting on the bench during two nationally televised games was utterly embarrassing. Why were they even rewarded with the chance to continue traveling with the team? Couple that with the fact that the players in both games were part of the suspended 12 was intolerable. The athletic department and the University rewarded these players for their conduct at the expense of the University’s reputation. Despite the fact the staggered suspensions were done with the blessing of the NCAA, the University should have held these student athletes to a higher standard and forfeited the remaining games to begin the suspensions immediately. Let’s be honest, if these students were anyone other than scholarship basketball players they would have been kicked out of school. It is time for universities to hold student athletes to the same standards, and to hold them accountable for their misconduct. The fact that Villanova did not do that in this instance has tarnished the University and what it stands for.Joseph M. CorazzaClass of 1996″Chalker” actually a whinerTo the editors:On Tuesday morning I noticed several spots around campus that had been chalked with anti-war graffiti. I took definite exception to those notes, not because of their message, but their timing. For the past several months, the nation has debated whether or not to head to war with Iraq. I would have no problem if the “protester” had decided to spread his or her beliefs during the months before Bush issued his ultimatum, because protest is an essential freedom for Americans. But now that Bush has committed the nation to war, we must all lend our support to the troops overseas and end all internal strife. The time for protest is over, a decision has been made, and Americans should unite together. I believe the “chalker” to be no longer a protester, but a whiner. A decision has been made, and America must remain strong.Nick MathewsClass of 2005Tolentine holding up wellTo the editors:Ms. Brachelli needs a sense of tradition. Tolentine Hall (wasn’t it formerly Mendel?) was pretty much the same 50 years ago. It sounds as if it is holding up pretty well. Getting to an 8:30 class in third floor Mendel from Sullivan provided many, many Villanovans with much-needed exercise.It’s good to see that some things do remain the same.Dan CahalaneClass of 1955Flier advertising policy too strictTo the editors:I am writing to voice my concern over the far too strict policy regarding fliers advertising student activities. I am the director of the Villanova Spires, the University’s male a cappella group. This past week we held our annual spring Acappellapalooza with the Villanova Haveners and the Villanova Supernovas. I had printed about 150 fliers to notify the University population of the festivities. I had the flier properly approved by Music Activities and handed them out to my group and the other groups to hang up around campus. No sooner did the fliers go up than were they ripped down. This was never a problem until last year when it seems the University redefined the rules regarding the posting of fliers (or perhaps just began to enforce withstanding policy). At any rate I believe it is completely inappropriate for anyone to rip down an approved flier. Such fliers are the best way to get word about events to the University community and to foster extracurricular involvement. No one reads the mass e-mails and now no one can read the fliers. Last time I checked this University prided itself on graduating well-rounded students. How can a student become well-rounded if he or she is not given the opportunity to partake in extracurricular activities?All that being said, I would like to thank Tom Mogan for his help in our advertising. He was a great asset when I inquired about hanging a banner off the top of Dougherty and I know I speak for the rest of my group when I express great thanks for his unwavering support of the student body and the events of various student groups.Kevin ChupkaClass of 2003