To and from the editors
Last updated July 24, 2001
FOR THE WRITER LAMENTING the demise of Mikes Westview It is alive and well under new management, and has a new face. A former Mikes bartender, Mark Power (a.k.a. Harpo), U79/83(G), has reopened the former Mikes as The Harp. The atmosphere is Irish Pub, and that is reflected in the decor, beers available, and the newly re-opened kitchen. Irish music is played in sessions on Fridays and local Irish bands (and others) play on Saturdays. While retaining some of the old legacy, the new look is family and conversation-oriented. Not surprisingly, the clientele is mostly UMass alums and present attendees, as well as many former Mikes customers.
Mary Lareau Moore 73, 99G
THANK YOU FOR ALL the time that you and your staff have put in to keeping us alumni up to date on our dear alma mater. I have attached an MS Word document for the possible publication in both your print and online editions concerning the tragic closure of the Butterfield Kitchen. I welcome any further questions or comments concerning the issues at hand. If you wish to do an in depth article on the subject I have many resources at hand for you to access. If you do decide to publish this letter, then please let me know in what format it will come out (I have recently moved to Taiwan and for some reason am no longer receiving the print editions). Again, thanks so much for all of your efforts.
I am a former Butterfield resident (1989-1994). I was a co-director of the Butterfield Arts Group, the Head Bread Baker, Veggie Chef and sat in various honorary positions on the Butterfield House Council. I helped to organize the 1940-1996 reunion. I even know what is inside the time capsule in the Butterfield cornerstone. As you can see, I am incredibly devoted to Butterfield's past, present, and now, more than ever, its future.
I have watched Housing over the years wrestle with what they think are the problems of Butterfield: vandalism, lack of safety, and loud and embarrassing behavior. I have watched as Butterfield residents desperately try and make their voices heard as to what they think are the key problems, all seemingly on deaf ears. I have seen Housing continue to make poor judgements in trying to fix these real problems: flooding the dorm with freshmen, restrictions of student's freedoms, using sneaky and dishonorable tactics to ensnare unruly students. All of these actions may have had their logic within the given circumstances however, the most recent actions are perhaps the most backward and truly thoughtless of all of Housing's acts: the closure of the Butterfield Kitchen. This was not only a tragic moment in the great history of Butterfield but it is also the sad end of an era for the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Butterfield was originally designed as the first all-women's dormitory. With the onset of World War II the dorm became a ROTC dorm with the women being moved, I believe, to the newly built Van Meter. A short time after the war, Butterfield evolved into a jock dorm, due to the angle of the hill that Butterfield sits on for running and the fact that the flat grassy area in front of the building (that was cut in half to make room for more parking) doubled as an excellent playing field in fair weather and an ice rink for hockey in the winter. At some point in the late '50s or early '60s the dorm became coed. In the mid- to late 1960s the dorm was making more money than all of the student government combined, thanks to the entrepreneurial visions and strength of the dorm community. The '70s saw the creation of cooperative kitchen. Anyone who wanted to live in the dorm had to take an active role in making it run: everything from the house council, arts groups, and the preparation of the daily meals. At some point in the mid-80s the cooperative fell apart due to people not showing up for shifts in the kitchen and administrative businesses falling by the wayside. After this time people were paid to work in the kitchen and the various other elements of running the dorm became optional. In the spring of 1989 I was drawn to the dormitory because of the superior quality of the food. It was only after I was on the meal plan and eventually moved in to the dorm did I start to realize all of its wonderful potentials. By the end of my stay in Butterfield I had already started working on a massive reunion to bring all of these historical elements back together again to further understand what makes the place tick; and you know what the consensus was:The Kitchen. Everyone I spoke with at the reunion points to the fact that the dorm came together to eat as Family. Some of these people had their very first experience of family when they came to eat at Butterfield. In my many years associated with the Butterfield Kitchen it became a familiar sight to see a strange man or woman walk in the Kitchen door, introduce themselves as former residents and ask if they could take tour around their favorite memory of the dorm: The Kitchen. If you take away the last in-house dining plan (I know Chadbourne and Greenough and perhaps Van Meter used to have in-house meal plans only to be scrapped in thoughtless favor of the centralized dining fiasco) you are not only taking away a major chunk of university history but also the last stronghold of community spirit.
The UMass Amherst experience can be four years of facelessness and personal and educational priorities reduced to an ID number and amassed credit points. Due to my many roles that I played in Butterfield, I often would say, I go down the hill for my credits and come up the hill for my education. The Butterfield Dining Plan brought people together in a way that no other force on campus could. To sit down and break bread with strangers over the course of a single semester instilled a sense of respect and camaraderie that no other university-sponsored event could ever do. Perhaps, this is what Housing was most afraid of; or perhaps Housing mistook the strong sense of community built around the dining plan as a great conspiracy. Or perhaps Housing was grasping at straws because it is sick and tired (and rightly so in several cases) of the levels of delinquency and immaturity that a few Butterfield residents have become known for. If Housing was truly interested in respectfully putting a damper on vandalism and safety problems and fostering a sense of community in an otherwise fractured and de-unified state university, then they should have taken a look at the dorm's incredible history of intentional community and spoken with its devoted alumni. To have done away with the Butterfield Kitchen was to not only have a total disregard for the lessons of history but to metaphorically chop out the heart of a patient with a simple learning disorder.
Many others and I have a great deal to say about this issue, we would urge you to reconsider the actions that have been taken and would welcome a constructive discussion on the topic. The university owes it to itself to give this moment in history a second thought while the time is still with us.
If anyone has any further questions or comments on the history of Butterfield, the Butterfield Kitchen, community and the issuses raised in this letter I would be more than happy to discuss them with whomever wishes.
Julian Parker-Burnss letter refers to the same campus issue to which George Beauregard 47 is reacting (see Disgusted by Butterfielders, below.)
ANOTHER CHANCELLOR SERVED
IN YOUR VERY NICE ARTICLE about Judith Gill, CEO of the states 29 publicly funded colleges and universities [Coaxing the Cats, Spring 2001] you made one error of omission. Along with Jim Collins 68, who held the chancellor's position for only a short time, there was another UMass graduate who also served as chancellor. Paul G. Marks, class of 1957, was acting and then permanent chancellor in 1991 and 1992. He did a fine job and went on to become President of Montserrat College in Beverly, Massachusetts. He later received an honorary degree from UMass. I do hope that this correction can appear in UMass Magazine. Thank you for your attention and consideration.
Judith Fleischer Gass
DISGUSTED BY BUTTERFIELDERS
WHAT IN THE WORLD IS going on at beautiful old Butterfield? The behavior of the students is outrageous and total unacceptable, and should not be acceptable on any college campus. The decision of the university not to pursue the culprits is equally difficult to digest. The entire incident is just another example of the prevailing attitude in our society - refuse to take responsibility, and, if there is a bill to pay, just send it to the taxpayers.
A disgusted former Butterfield resident,
Alumnus Beauregard refers to a decision not yet reported in the magazine, but covered in the local press, to relocate all previous residents of Butterfield dorm next year because of persistent discipline problems. Coverage can be found at www.gazettenet.com.
WANTED MORE ON ASIAN ARTS
IN HER COVER STORY ON the Fine Arts Center [Balancing Act, Spring 2001], Marietta Pritchard makes only passing mention of the Asian Dance/Music Program. Yet it is this program that has been among the center's most distinctive. During the past few years, under the able stewardship of Ranjanaa Devi, the Asian Dance/Music Program has enriched the cultural repertoire of my family and of the entire Valley. It has afforded area Asians renewed pride in their heritage as marvelous performers from almost every region of the continent have taken the stage. Its focus on dance and music from Korea, Japan, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Turkey, Iran, India and (forthcoming), Gypsy culture has allowed us to witness the continuation of ancient art forms not easily found in any entertainment arena, even those of large cities. For a university to put forth such unusual and rich offerings is not only a treat for us all but a tribute to the program. I'm sorry Pritchard didn't feel it deserved more than the scant attention she gave it.
Rashna Singh 77G
Its a pleasure to have Rashna Singhs letter as a tribute to one of the many sterling Fine Art Center programs only mentioned in our recent overview. Visitors to our new website this fall will find direct links from articles to related ones in our archives, including this story on the Asian Dance and Music Program.
SHARPER AND SHARPER
ADDING A POSTSCRIPT to your caption Sharp-Eyed Readers in the last UMass [Exchange, Spring 2001], I can show that snow sculptures were indeed featured in the Winter Carnivals of the 50s! I am enclosing my copy of the Winter Carnival of 1953. The pictures in the centerfold were some of the best of the fraternity/sorority efforts of the previous year. Kappa Kappa Gamma (my sorority) did the Brinks robbery.
I recall that in 1953 we had snow trucked in from Buffalo, New York, for some of our events, due to an extended thaw in the Connecticut River valley.
Great fun - great memories.
Elinor (Gannon) Lowe 53
CONCERNS ABOUT ADVERTISING
LAST FALL, I CONTACTED YOU about UMass Magazine and its new policy to accept advertising revenue. I also spoke to Royster Hedgepeth and a UMass alumni spokesperson. I considered pulling my funding of the UMass Alumni Association because of this decision but decided not to.
I am writing to you about the types of advertising UMass Magazine should not solicit. There exists some seriously misleading public relations advertising that should be avoided at all costs! Ive included some information about this in the letter. [Ed. note: the writer enclosed a clipping on greenwashing, a term used by environmentals to describe corporate advertising falsely claiming environmental commitment.] Again, I urge you to be selective about who is allowed to deliver what kind of advertising message in this public institutions magazine.
Please bring this to next board meeting and share with other members. Everyone should be aware of this. Thank you.
Richard McNeil 96
IN ON THE TOWN, [Spring 2000] former student Greg Lauzon 90 quoted as saying his most memorable show was the Beat Farmers at the Hatch. He thought they were a crazy-ass hillbilly rock-and-roll band from Texas. He was only partially correct: They were and will always be a crazy-ass hillbilly rock-and-roll band from San Diego, California! We in San Diego are very proud of the Beat Farmers and I wanted to make sure that America's Finest City was properly credited.
As a side note, Mr. Lauzon was particularly impressed by the drummer and lead singer of the band. His name was Country Dick Montana and unfortunately he passed away a few years ago from cancer. All of us in the San Diego music scene miss him terribly.
Thank you for your indulgence for my nit-picking. The article was cool and brought back many memories for me. Keep up the good work.
Mary Alice Cedrone 82
THANKS FOR THE GREAT FEATURE on the Fine Arts Center in the last issue [Balancing Act, Spring 2001], which struck a beautiful and timely chord. The memories the article invoked allowed me to trace my personal performing arts evolution to one of the most influential and formative times of my life.
As a viola player, I was recruited by the UMass Symphony Orchestra during freshman orientation. I got a personal tour of the brand new Fine Arts Center (then only two years old) and a viola to play. I still have the program from my first concert with the orchestra at Bowker Auditorium. While I opted for a degree in Art History as opposed to music, the richness of musical programming offered and the caliber of artistry presented at that time was outstanding - concerts by Dexter Gordon and Jackie McLean stand out. Having the opportunity to study jazz improvisation as an elective with the late great Dr. Ray Copeland and, as a summer resident, to listen to the extraordinary talents presented at the Jazz in July series, fostered my love for and desire to pursue my interests in music.
After graduating in 1982, I performed on keyboards at night and on weekends for about nine years with a Boston-based band, playing at most colleges throughout New England (including Amherst College - but sadly, never at UMass). I also, however, never quit my day job and went on to earn a masters of science in management, specializing in arts administration from Lesley College in Cambridge.
Fast forward to Miami, Florida, where I've lived since 1991. As director of operations for the Next Stage, a full service production company owned by industry maven Rob Glaubman, I had the pleasure of meeting Willie Hill, president of the International Association of Jazz Educators, at the 1990 IAJE conference in Los Angeles, and again during one of his visits to Florida International University. I was very excited to learn that Dr. Hill had accepted the position as the director of the center and very proud of the university's excellent selection.
Recently, I had the great fortune of being appointed producer of Festival Miami by the University of Miami School of Music. Founded in 1984, Festival Miami presents more than 20 performances over a four-week period each fall and draws more than 12,000 attendees. As the premier outreach vehicle of the School of Music, Festival Miami combines three distinct and exciting elements - stellar guest artists; the schools widely-known artist-faculty and student performing ensembles; and an educational component that offers a series of open rehearsals, master classes, lectures and free concerts.
An exciting and challenging opportunity! And while I still havent quit my day job, I do manage to perform on piano at local bookstores, clubs and festivals.
This new appointment provides an opportunity to fulfill my life's work, to which I knew I was committed 20 years ago while wandering among the geometric shadows cast by the architectural wonder that is the Fine Arts Center. (And sneaking into the practice rooms to bang out new tunes on the piano!) Is it a coincidence that the first concert I ever attended at the Performing Arts Center was by the then, emerging jazz artist Pat Metheney - the now famous alumni of the University of Miami?
Barbara E. (Mutz) Muze '82
REBUTTAL TO "RAPE OR REGRETS?"
I FELT COMPELLED TO WRITE in response to the letter headed "Rape or Regrets" in the last issue [Exchange, Spring 2001]. Rape is not a simple issue. It happens more than one way. While we often think about rape as the blitz attack with a man jumping out of the bushes, that is rarely the way it happens. Usually the attacker is someone the victim knows. This includes date rape and wives being raped by their husbands.
Just because a woman is confused about what happened to her doesn't make it any less real or any less traumatic. I spent several years working on a rape crisis hotline. One thing I learned is that women often struggle more with a rape that was a date rape or where alcohol was involved because they feel like they somehow should've been able to stop it. Having also dealt with rapists on the hotline, I learned to simplify what is rape: unless specifically invited, it is rape if a man inserts or attempts to insert his penis into a woman.
Unfortunately we need to teach men (while they are young) that NO means NO. In fact, following a conflict resolution program for teens, one young man reported that what he learned from the course was "not to rape women." If that's what it takes, then let's do it.
To assume that a date rape is "a one-night stand later regretted" further victimizes the woman.
Andrea Perr '82
MATH IS, TOO, LIBERAL
THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO "Third dream theme" by Lou Groccia (North 40, Spring 2001). Mr. Groccia asks, in reference to a book entitled Mathematics: One of the Liberal Arts, "Really? A liberal art? Have they changed the rules?"
I taught a course (Math 100) from that book a couple of years ago, and started the semester by explaining to the students just what a "liberal art" is, what were regarded as the "liberal arts" in ancient times, and why it is important for people now to master the liberal arts.
According to my dictionary, "art" means, among other things, knowledge or skill that can be directed toward some particular purpose. The original meaning of "liberal arts" is the arts. in that sense, suited to freemen (as opposed to slaves). Originally the liberal arts consisted of grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, astronomy, geometry, and music. Mathematics was very much included, so the rules have not been changed.
Mr. Groccia's piece was intended to be lighthearted, but his comment raises a serious point. The liberal arts, mathematics among them, are, in more modern language, the skills and knowledge needed by the citizens of a society, without which they are not truly free.
FRUSTRATED BY CAMPUS'S APPEARANCE
I COME OUT TO UMASS several times each season for athletic events. It is frustrating that I always seem to see the heart of the campus, in view of the Campus Center, so neglected. Weeding, mulching, and trimming the beds could be maintained by students. Proper lawn maintenance would also help enhance an area seen by students, faculty, state employees, alumni, and visitors. I have children who presently attend and have graduated from a state university and a private one. Both of those campuses were maintained. UMass should aspire to be a world class institution in appearance, as well as reputation.
David A. Katz '71
WANTS MORE ON BELOVED PROFESSOR
YOU SHOULD STILL DEVOTE an issue - or part of one - to Stowell Goding and his memory!
Mel B. Yoken '60, '72G
Mel Yoken is Chancellor Professor of French at UMass Dartmouth. His letter eulogizing Professor Goding appeared in our spring issue.
OUR FINE CENTER
Most of this staff is unknown to the general public, but each possesses a unique talent for his or her contribution to the exhibits and performances that come to the many spaces that make up the organization. Budgeting, fundraising, marketing, hammering together props - most of these are not what we think of when we consider a life in the arts. But the staff at the FAC deal with these realities daily and are always creative and humorous in their problem solving skills.
It was always inspiring to me to see Dr. Fred Tillis at every event, then and now, despite his hectic life as artist, administrator, and poet. His presence shows that he believes in what he says, "The arts are a way to bring people together and help us to understand differing viewpoints." I wish his successor, Dr. Willie Hill, the same kind of success in building a loyal following.
It was great to read about the Fine Arts Center in UMass Magazine, one of the best outreach tools the university has. Keep up the good work!
Honorè S. David '94G
CALLING ALL DREAMERS
I will be interested to see if other alumni also have recurring dreams (as silly as they might be) about UMass. .
Elizabeth (Moss) Driebeek '81
MAKE THAT "OUR TOWN"
MaryEllen Mackin Brown '70
INSPIRED BY "TIES"
Diane O'Malley '70
ANOTHER KENTUCKIAN HEARD FROM
Paul Wozniak '67G
Paul is not the only one -see Letters in Print, Spring 2001.
I was more disturbed by Jhally and Katz's response. The strong points they made to rebut the Men's Health article were undermined by name calling, odd logic and other behavior more suited to the traditional male chauvinist than to the enlightened males they purport to be.
Even the most ardent adherents of the "boys-will-be-boys" philosophy are beyond name-calling by the time they get out of high school. Yet the authors engage in this time-honored, if infantile device, repeatedly. They refer to the "the knuckle draggers" at Men's Health (and this one paragraph after saying "Watch out when the' appears before any group description - you know crude stereotyping is about to occur."); they refer to women who do not adhere exactly to their way of thinking as "babes and bimbos"; they call the writer/editor at Men's Health liars because they do not follow the same statistics as the authors. As respected professional academicians, the authors surely know that everyone believes and cites the statistics that support their argument, while conveniently ignoring statistics that undermine their argument. Is this lying? Perhaps it's misguided, but we all do it, most of us presumably in good faith.
I also don't understand the logic of their first paragraph (again, this may be due to my own knuckle-headedness) in which they accuse Men's Health of Orwellian doublespeak because they say UMass, "a campus where women had recently been terrorized by what appeared to be a serial rapist" was a bad college for men. It seems to me that by their own argument, a campus where women are terrorized and raped is a bad place for anyone, men or women. So why is Men's Health being condemned? Isn't this what Jhally and Katz are saying also?
Finally, Jhally and Katz decide that because Men's Health deals exclusively (according to them) with heterosexual relationships, it is homophobic. This is a logical leap of the worst kind. The absence of support or endorsement of a position does not automatically mean hatred of it. I drive a Japanese car. By Jhally and Katz's definition, I'm anti-American.
Unfortunately, the many good points that Jhally and Katz make in their article will be dismissed by the very people they should be trying to convince. Those already in agreement will nod in assent, but is the point of such debate merely to preach to the converted? I'd rather think that such debate is intended to move us all toward a more enlightened vision of the nature of our relationships with other human beings. As with statistics, we generally hear what we want to hear and disregard the rest. By giving their opponents such easy means to dismiss their argument, Jhally and Katz have done little more than call names. And that seems to be an occupation better suited to knuckle-draggers and bimbos.
Dennis Harrod '76
BAND NEEDS HOME
LAST MARCH I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY to chaperone two students to the Massachusetts All-state Music Educators Conference/Festival. What occurred to me at the festival was how simply amazing it was to have so many UMass Amherst alumni represented at the festival, most of whom had or have connections with the UMass Marching Band.
It strikes me as shameful for a program as wonderful as the UMMB to be in the unfortunate circumstance of not having a home. No place to adequately store equipment, uniforms, music. No place for members to join in camaraderie. No place for the band to exist off of the practice or show field.
Such a strong ambassador for the university deserves better treatment from the current administration! The band is now housed in the condemned university apartments, having been thrown out of Old Chapel (its former home) due to repairs. Many letters have been written by alumni asking why these events have transpired without adequate foresight (or indeed without redress! - the band is still homeless!)
From my own days at the university, I remember always finishing practice or a show with "the mantra": EYES WITH PRIDE! I am sorry to say that with the lack of response to our questions posed to the administration, my eyes now are downcast for the lack of respect we have been shown.
Please support the band in its time of need! Empty promises of a new building will not help the current band. Do not turn these ambassadors away. They need a home and they need it now!
Gary Hyman '93
I CAN'T HELP BUT NOTICE as I read and reread my copies of UMass how the class years are coming 'round again like a Rolodex.
I knew a man from the class of '95. My wife Donna and I visited with him in his home in Amherst when we were juniors living on Hallock Street (General Hallock of Civil War Fame). I walked the campus by Bartlett to the new Union with a man from '04 one brilliant Autumn Homecoming Day as a sophomore - could that be?
It was me as a frosh who threw my beanie up in the air, fall '60, as the Minutemen scored our first touchdown- it was the custom then - you wore your beanie nite and day until that moment! God help you if you were caught without it by an upperclassman - even asleep!
We threw ours up - in the old wooden bleacher stadium behind Curry Hicks in a wave of hundreds - we just didn't let go - we still have ours . . . Donna '64 and me '64 . . . we met in '60 - UMass campus - Hamlin and Baker - 40 years together.
It was I - born in '41, who in full ROTC dress uniform who rode his bike standing up - pumping - through a then empty field - in a big sweat - late for drill . . . or was it?
Chris Schell '64