Hatin’ on NPR

Dear Paul Koenig,

I read your piece entitled “A Low Tolerance for Highbrow Snobs” in this week’s Free Press. While I agree with your assertion that culture shouldn’t be stratified so aggressively, I am appalled by your violent expression of such a temperate idea. As far as I understand, in suggesting that no one’s idea of culture is superior to another, you are seeking to create a midpoint for an consumer of information to join and be educated in areas in which they are ignorant. To bring this argument forth with such corrosive and inflammatory language defeats your own purpose.

The very first statement [“I hate NPR” – ed.] alienates the very readers you wish to address and at best they will continue to read but consider your opinion a joke — at worst, offended readers will dismiss the column entirely. Your rhetoric increases the polarizing of culture rather than supports merging “low” and “high” culture. Neither have any intrinsic value beyond what is placed upon it by consumers of that culture. As the introduction buys into the “shock factor” of boldly overstating your point of view to draw readers in, you are feeding the very division you seem to argue against. So while you have a marvelous concept, your execution becomes the ruin of any potential it could have had.

Victoria Stiles, junior

English and Biology major

A History of Monsters

Re: Be Kind To Your Neighborhood Monster by Andrew Henry

I completely understand where you are coming from, however, you should have read a little bit more about vampires before attacking the Twilight series. Vampires have actually always been seen as a “sex idol”. Yes the glitter is harsh, and frankly I’m not a fan. But Vampires have been seen to have great sex appeal, at least since Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

As for werewolves, yes, the Twilight MOVIES called them werewolves, but that isn’t actually what they` are at all. If you actually read the books (I have and they are quite good), the author didn’t intend for the wolves to be called werewolves, they were something completely different, but when the movies were made the term “werewolf” was easier to be said that explaining something entirely new.

So, in conclusion, I love your article, but please, read up before attacking such things.


Web commentor

From The President

Dear Members of the USM Community,

Every 10 years, the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) thoroughly evaluates member colleges and universities to determine whether they meet rigorous standards for institutional accreditation. USM was last accredited in 2001. We are now in the final stages of the process to earn reaccreditation.

The NEASC Evaluation Team, an 8-member team of peers from other institutions, will be here on April 10-13 to submit a recommendation on our fitness for reaccreditation.

Several open meetings have been scheduled to give students, faculty and staff opportunities to meet with members of the Evaluation Team. For details on these meetings, please visit our NEASC page.

This has been a rigorous process, spanning nearly two years ands involving some 200 members of the campus community.  A major component of this process was completion of a 100-page Self-Study Report that offers an honest appraisal of how we have met 11

NEASC standards related to such areas as academic programs, services to students, and status of our facilities.  Please read the report on our NEASC page. I also ask that you join me in thanking Professor of Sociology and Women and Gender Studies Luisa Deprez for chairing the Steering Committee and guiding us through this two-year process.

On behalf of USM, I sincerely hope that you will be able to attend these meetings and thank you for your participation.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sharoo Wengland in my office at [email protected], (207) 780-4487.


Selma Botman

USM President


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