Editorial >> Letters to the EditorLetters to the Editor

I was perusing through your publication the Vaquero, and I came [sic] across your article entitled [sic], “Fox News disgraces serious journalism.” After reading it i [sic] must say that the Vaquero disgraces serious journalism. Granted it was an opinion piece. However this article should have been somewhat grounded it fact, instead of repeating nonesense. You say its[ sic} biased, and that it’s conservative ranting, but are there any facts that support these claims listed in the article. The sentiment regarding that more fox viewers believe there were links between Al-Quida [sic] and Hussien [sic] in fact proves that it does provide objective journlism [sic]. They were one of the few networks who acknowledge Al-Zaqqari [sic] —the link.

And to use a news “commentator” as your example of how it lacks objectivity is foolishess. A news commentaor’s job is to analyze what has happened. Journalists and newscasters report. Personally i [sic] think this article is simply an example of irresposible [sic] journalism, and you should be ashamed of yourself for publishing such an article with no actual evidence to substatiate [sic] any of your claims.

—Ajibola Hassan

Dear El Vaq,

First, congratulations on a topical and extremely well done college paper. I think you do a superb job. However, there is one correction to the 9/24 edition. Thank you also for the photo on Page 2 that highlights the college’s Student Handbook. We want to make sure that every student knows these are available. However, your story credits ASGCC with the Student Handbook. While ASGCC does wonderful things for the college and the students, this is not one of them. The current Student Handbook is a collaborative project of the A&R and Financial Aid Offices as a way to give students a useful way to organize their schedules while providing important information about the college and expanding student awareness of the availability of financial aid.
But thanks for highlighting the Handbook and for the excellent newspaper!

— Patricia Hurley, Ed. D.
Associate Dean/Financial Aid Director


When students at a high school “Participation in Government” class were asked to invite outside speakers to debate controversial issues, I accepted this opportunity to discuss why I believed the school should stop purchasing animal “specimens” for teaching biology, and should instead use lifelike three-dimensional plastic models with removable parts and/or interactive computer programs.

I showed the class a People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) video, “Classroom Cut-Ups,” which depicted, among other abominations, workers at a dissection supply house embalming animals — from cats to crabs — while they were still alive.

Frogs are usually dropped into an alcohol solution, which takes about 20 painful minutes to cause death.

According to Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine, the formaldehyde used to preserve the animals’ bodies can harm people exposed to it. Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic irritant to eyes, skin, throat, lungs and nasal passages.

The National Association of Biology Teachers has urged schools to offer alternatives to dissection.

I shared all this with the students, and asked if their biology class dissection experiences helped them learn biology. Most replied no.
One student wondered if it was unethical to dissect fetal pigs that were taken from the bodies of their butchered mothers. They would not have survived anyway. I replied that dissecting fetal pigs was perhaps a lesser evil than killing live animals for dissection, but why dissect any animal?

Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer told Dateline NBC, “in 9th grade, in biology class, we had the usual dissection of fetal pigs, and I took the remains home and I just started branching out to dogs and cats.” I suggested to the students that while I trusted their dissection experiences had not demonized them, I nevertheless agreed with Adelphi University Biology Professor George Russell, who wrote that “dissection not only fails to promote reverence for life, but encourages the tendency to blaspheme it” by desensitizing students to cruelty and to the sanctity of life.”

But most schools and colleges in America continue to emphasize dissection. Educational adminstrators should listen to what one student told PETA — “I passed geography without leaving my home state, and passed geology without seeing planets collide. It’s insulting to argue that students can’t understand anatomy unless they stick scissors, not a frog’s brain.”

— Joel Freedman,
Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate New York