Welcome to OU Magazine's new Letters to the Editor section. Readers offered prayers and understanding for the dilemma faced by ailing former OU Women's Basketball Coach Beckie Frances. One reader questioned comments by a nationally recognized researcher in our coverage of racial profiling. Another weighed in on OU Magazine's redesign.
We hope to hear from you. Send a Letter to the Editor by submitting the online form.
Still in 'the game'
I read the story, A dream cut short, about former OU Women's Basketball Coach Beckie Francis – and my heart goes out to her. I had symptoms of Chrohn's disease (related to ulcerative colitis) when I was a student at OU. Bowel disease can be debilitating, especially for active people. Please tell her not to give up hope. There are still ways to make a contribution and participate in "the game" – at a different level. After four operations – trips to the Cleveland Clinic – I'm still doing the job I started as a student at OU in 1975, assisting students with their student employment needs. I credit OU with opening doors for me just as others were closing. Please forward my best wishes to Beckie.
Michelle L. Simmons, CAS '78
Associate Director, Career Center
Bowling Green State University
Comfort and Healing
I read the article about the disease that former OU Women's Basketball Coach Beckie Francis and writer Ann Ruppenthal both have. I was absolutely thrilled to read the story, because I recently have been diagnosed with the same disease, ulcerative colitis. The article gave me some comfort knowing that I am not alone. Because I am so new to this disease, I also learned a bit from your article, such as stress makes you worse and rest is more necessary than ever if I ever want to heal.
Thank you to Ann Ruppenthal for writing the article and to Beckie Francis for letting her story be told. You both have changed my world, all because of one article. I was also happy to read that Beckie has a great faith in God. I, too, walk in faith and without my relationship with my savior, I would never believe in healing. Everything happens for a reason, especially when you are a believer. Thank you, thank you again. God bless both women. I will be praying for the recovery of you both.
C.F., SEHS '80
St. Clair Shores, Mich.
Driving While Black
I read my wife Julie's OU Magazine and found some interesting and useful articles in it. I found the Driving While Black article very troubling, however. It seems to say that profiling by race/place is wrong or bad. David Harris' comments were the ones that triggered me. He talked about "...police hunting for black people..." and "the further away blacks are from black neighborhoods, the more pronounced this activity becomes." But such race/place is merely common sense and should be encouraged. Just as policemen should question why a black man is in a totally white area, they should question why I, a white man, should be in a totally black area. Of course, this does not mean they should stop either such person, but they should be checking data available to them to see if they can learn more. I feel that we need to work to eliminate racial prejudice wherever it exists, including strictly racial profiling by police. But race/place profiling is not racial profiling, and, as (Auburn Hills, Mich., Police) Chief Doreen Olko said in the article, "The study proves that more things come into play than just race."
West Olive, Mich.
Colorful and Appealing
I really enjoyed the winter issue of OU Magazine. As a Presidents' Club member, I have been getting publications for many years from Oakland University, but this is the first one that ever really grabbed me and said "READ." The layout was colorful and appealing and te content was varied and interesting. I found myself even reading Class Notes, and I'm not even an alum. I especially appreciated the article on Beckie Francis, A dream cut short. Women who achieve success have many difficult personal choices to make. Ann Ruppenthal's insightful article expressed that. Great job!
West Bloomfield, Mich.