In reference to the April 19 edition’s “Devil’s Advocate”:
Although many of us may perceive the Devil’s Advocate as one who adds fuel to the fire, it is my belief that the Devil’s Advocate’s purpose it to present an alternative for the student. This was not achieved at all in the first article. Going to the Chapel was crying out for advice instead received a reply that was so cynical, that her initial motive for writing went unaddressed. For issues of such sensitivity, there is a need for one to do research and present to the person in question, the pros and cons of any decisions to be made.
Furthermore, it is very important for you as a writer to pay close attention to the current social issues affecting the lives of individuals. In the response, you stated, “maybe it’s a green card issue.” I found this to be very insensitive and quite frankly disrespectful to all International Students and legal immigrants within the university. Aren’t you aware of the current U.S. immigration situation?
In addition, your statement. “Unless you consider working every day to make the rent, doing loads of laundry, cooking and cleaning a hoot.” is very offensive. Whether intended or not, I am saddened to see that today, people of our generation are still perpetuating sexist, hegemonic ideology. Why not shed light on the fact that marriage should involve a commitment to equally share responsibilities, as opposed to assuming and/or implying that she, by her very nature, will have to assume those responsibilities?
This is by no means an attack on your work. I read The Torch religiously and I do believe that it has come a long, long way (KUDOS). However, I cannot let such issues go unaddressed. As the Devil’s Advocate, I strongly believe that you are supposed to simultaneously present a summary of the person’s situation and alternative views, thus allowing them to at least make an intelligent, responsible decision. If this is too much to ask of a simple writer, then maybe you may want to open this column to a student with a psychology major in conjunction with the psychology department or counseling center. This way, you utilize the many resources we have on campus while allowing students to practice within their field.
It is OK to joke around, but let’s not forget that these students are subtly seeking some type of advice. I do hope that you see this as a helpful critique.
St. John’s College