Smith in the News
Smith's commencement speaker, Judy Chicago, caught the attention of media when she told the Class of 2000 that "having it all" was a "pernicious lie." "Women Grads Get Wrong Idea" was the headline of Eileen McNamara's column in the Boston Globe, in which she recalled a similar commencement speech at Barnard by New York Times editor Joyce Purnick. "Just for once," McNamara wrote, "for a change of pace, wouldn't it be something to hear a commencement speaker caution an audience of bright young men against expecting to 'have it all' in life?"
The Wall Street Journal had a similar reaction. "A word to the unwise" took issue with Chicago's selection as a speaker as well as the text of her remarks, saying her address "failed to achieve the arcane majesty of either her artwork or, for that matter, Gloria Steinem's 1995 Smith send-off: 'Now you are becoming the men you once would have wanted to marry '"
As usual, classes were suspended for the summer but Smith faculty, both current and arriving, continued to make news. The Associated Press, Parade magazine, and the Boston Globe noted that the fall faculty ranks will include Kurt Vonnegut, described by the Globe as "one of the 20th century's great satirists and an author who redefined the modern novel." Vonnegut will teach an advanced writing seminar and give a public presentation.
Professor of English Eric Reeves continued to make news in his advocacy for peace in Sudan. An editorial in the Washington Post lauded Reeves' efforts, while condemning Secretary of State Madeline Albright for declining to deem the civil war in Sudan "genocide." "If America's leaders relapse into amoral word-mincing, they are likely to be embarrassed by ordinary folk like Eric Reeves, whose understandable outrage hisses through a thousand modems," the editorial averred. Later, the Los Angeles Times quoted Reeves in an article about attempts to pressure U.S. companies to stop doing business with oil firms in Sudan, which include PetroChina, BP Amoco and the Canadian-based Talisman Energy. Reeves, who has taken a year's leave from teaching to focus on his campaign, is quoted in the Times as calling for a boycott of BP Amoco, the only firm linked to Sudan that sells products to the U.S. public.
Other recent examples of Smith in the news: a feature in Parade magazine about The Book of Heaven by religion faculty members Carol and Philip Zaleski; an interview with economist Andy Zimbalist, discussing athletics in Cuba on WBUR-Boston's award-winning show "The Connection"; an interview about campaign conventions on Voice of America with Howard Gold, professor of government; and a reprint of President Ruth Simmons' Smith Alumnae Quarterly column on civility in the Miami Herald.
Finally, a recent Chicago Tribune article addressed a critical issue in student life: dining. In "Universities Take Food Service to a More Palatable Level," Kathy Zieja, residence and dining services director, revealed the challenges facing her staff. "Students now are seen more as customers and consumers, and come with their own little databases of knowledge. They may come in as music majors or on pre-med tracks but they're all experts on food."
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