Summer 2016

Cover letters

Love that cover (spring 2016)! Every time I go to Colgate, I find myself in Huntington Gym at least once — even though my photo from the Syracuse game that used to reside in the “Hall of Fame” downstairs has been moved to Coach Langel’s office window. There is something about that gym that draws me back. I guess I spent a lot of time there, either at basketball practice or basketball games, playing handball with Eddie upstairs, swimming naked in the pool, or just goofing off! Whatever it was, I love the place. With our 50th coming up next year, I can’t wait to visit again. Might even manage to put a hook shot through the hoop. Thank you, Colgate.

Alan C. Brown ’67
Bronxville, N.Y.


In a time of falling median household income, ISIS, violence in the inner cities, a no-growth economy, and a looming federal budget crisis, it is comforting to learn that Colgate students will have a firm grasp of “how hip hop is an artistic response to the challenges like racism and economic crisis that shape modernity.” Well, that ought to solve our problems, all for only $60,000 a year. Get real.

Robert Watson ’66
New York, N.Y.

Call to action

We were extremely disappointed to read Todd Clemens’s letter (Inbox, spring 2016) asserting that young women “cry rape.” This is a tired myth perpetuated by ignorance, sexism, and a culture of victim-blaming. Attitudes like Mr. Clemens’s discourage survivors from reporting, reinforcing biases among law enforcement and the judicial system, and adding yet another barrier to prosecution. According to the Justice Department and the FBI, for every 100 rapes committed, only one-third will be reported, seven accused perpetrators will be arrested, three referred to prosecutors, and only two will face conviction and prison. In reality, a person is more likely to be falsely accused of murder, arson, or burglary than of sexual assault.

Sexual and gender-based violence are topics we know extremely well. Kaite is a former criminal defense attorney who is now pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology. She dedicates her free time to working with survivors in Chicago through Rape Victim Advocates, a pastime for which she received the 2016 Illinois Governor’s Volunteer Service Award. Kaite serves as a volunteer shift supervisor for medical and legal advocates, taking 60-hour on-call shifts, fielding hospital pages, dispatching advocates to 14 emergency rooms, providing technical assistance and emotional support, and mentoring volunteer advocates and emergency department medical staff.

After earning an MA in International Human Rights, Chrissy spent several years in Washington, D.C., working with members of Congress to introduce the International Violence Against Women Act and codify the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally.

She currently leads fundraising and advocacy efforts for the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, supporting catalytic and innovative initiatives to address the myriad forms of gender-based violence experienced by women and girls worldwide.

Through firsthand experience working to prevent and address sexual violence, we are well aware of the ways in which the court systems in this country fail survivors. Unlike adversarial justice systems, universities are charged, first and foremost, with protecting students and creating a safe environment in which to live and learn. Yet constant reports of systemic mishandling of cases of sexual violence by universities, from Missoula, Mont., to Harvard Square, reveal how far we have to go.

As alumnae, we are relieved that Colgate is not one of the 250 institutions under previous or current investigation by the Department of Education for gross failures to investigate cases of sexual violence and protect survivors. We are proud to see incremental steps being taken on campus to ensure students’ safety and hear their concerns. These steps shouldn’t be mocked or discouraged, as there is much more to be done.

What should be shocking to Mr. Clemens, or anyone concerned with campus safety, is what we do know about sexual violence on college campuses: these are crimes committed behind closed doors, most often by an acquaintance, and largely with impunity, including at Colgate. A 2015 Colgate survey revealed that 12 percent of respondents experienced attempted sexual assault during their time on campus. Surveys of U.S. college students reveal that just 5 percent of campus sexual assaults were reported and 5 to 20 percent of college women experienced attempted sexual assault during their college career. Nine out of 10 campus rapes are committed by serial rapists.

We are extremely proud of the education we received from Colgate, and are equally proud that Colgate helped equip us to take on the monumental challenge of stemming the tide of violence against women and girls. Won’t you join us, Mr. Clemens, in being part of the solution, rather than part of the problem?

Chrissy Hart ’05 and Kaite O’Brien ’06
New York, N.Y., and Chicago, Ill.

Report from Germany

In response to “Refugee crisis: report from Lesvos” (Tableau, spring 2016)

In the small town in Germany where I live with my husband and son, we have a large tent across the street from our house. This tent is now providing shelter for 150 refugees from Syria, Egypt, Bangladesh, Iraq, and many North African countries.

The volunteer efforts in the town include 12 language courses organized and provided by volunteers, a bicycle workshop for the refugees, a get-to-know cafe every Sunday, an organized diaper express for the many small children, and a moving service for refugees who finally get an apartment. It is amazing to see how many people are helping and a joy to see the smiles on the children’s faces when they are finally allowed to go to school. These refugees are becoming our friends, who will probably stay and make a new home for themselves in Germany.

There is a lot of negative press about Germans who do not want these refugees, but there are many more who are helping.

A plan from the German government, the European community, and the United Nations is missing and urgently needed. There are still many refugees risking their lives on their way to Europe. As Chancellor Merkel has said, “We can do it.” We all have to help; otherwise, the crisis will be a greater one.

Susan (Marano) Reibetanz ’81
Krefeld, Germany

Hockey history

I was a bit surprised to read the article “Sunset for the Starr Rink” in the spring 2016 issue of the Scene without any mention [of the man] for whom the rink was named.

To quote from Wikipedia: “A 40-year member of the Colgate faculty, Howie retired in 1965, when the university’s hockey arena was named in his honor. As head coach of hockey for 15 years (1932–42 and 1945–50), he won 87, lost 72, and tied four games. He was also Colgate’s first swimming coach (1926–33). And he was gymnastics coach 1928–1932. A 1922 graduate of Springfield College, he came to Colgate in 1926 from Greenville, S.C., where he had been director of health and physical education and basketball coach. At Colgate, he was an assistant professor of physical education 1926–1934, associate professor 1934–1946, and a full professor 1946–1965. He instituted the first intramural athletic programs at Colgate in 1934. In 1965, at the time of his retirement, he took a position at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and helped oversee the development and operation of their new ice skating arena…. During that period, he mentored a number of young skaters, including Scott Hamilton.”

Coach Howie Starr and a hockey player outside on the iceIt was not easy being a coach in those days. In 1932, he tried to get the Maroon to print news about intramural sports, but the editor (the graduate director of publications) refused unless he paid for it. Professor Starr went to President Cutten to protest. Cutten suggested he print his own paper, and in 1932, the Intramural News went to press with a student editor.

Nor was it easy being a hockey coach before Colgate had an indoor rink. Everything depended on the temperature. Whenever it got cold enough — no matter what the time — Starr would be down at the outdoor rink next to Huntington Gym with a hose, spraying the surface. This was often between midnight and 2 a.m.

Starr was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in World War I and enlisted again in World War II, which made banner headlines in the Maroon. He was commissioned a captain in the Army Air Force and was assigned to the 8th Air Force in England. He served in an intelligence unit called MIS-X, and for part of his service, he was assigned as liaison to British Intelligence Service units. Starr was injured by a V-1 flying bomb in London and walked with a limp the rest of his life. He ended the war as a lieutenant colonel and was awarded the OBE by King George VI.

He was my grandfather as well as the grandfather of my brother, Peter Kessler ’85, and great-grandfather to my son, Tristan Kessler ’06.

Richard J. Kessler ’70
Bath, Maine

Call for nominations: Colgate Board of Trustees

The Nominating and Trustee Development Committee of the Board of Trustees welcomes recommendations for new members to bring guidance and wisdom to the university’s governing board.

The board seeks energetic and committed people with expertise in areas including, but not limited to: higher education, finance, the arts, technology, global learning, legal affairs, marketing, or media relations. Nominees should display the ability to exercise informed, independent judgment and to act in the best interests of Colgate to properly steward the university’s academic, program, and fiscal resources.

Candidates should be willing to fully immerse themselves in the work of the board. They should place Colgate as a priority in terms of time and philanthropy, and be committed to staying abreast of the changing landscape of higher education. The full board meets four times a year, and trustees are expected to participate in committee meetings and conference calls at other times. Trustees are also often asked to attend and/or host other university events.

Each year, the board welcomes three to five new trustees for three-year terms that may be followed by two additional three-year terms. Recommendations may be made by mail to:

Trustee Nominating and Development Committee, c/o Robert L. Tyburski ’74, Secretary, Colgate University, 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346; or by e-mailing rtyburski@colgate.edu.

Band of brothers

Colgate Men's Hockey team picture in 1969.

Thank you so much for your numerous articles (including spring 2016) celebrating the “sunset” of Starr Rink. I spent four wonderful years on its celebrated ice surface as a center for our ’gate team 1966–1970. Your article on the Spink brothers (spring 2016) reminded me that we have had other brother combinations over the history of Starr Rink. During the years 1966–1971, we had no fewer than four brother combinations. My brother, Bill ’71 (pictured above, top, fourth from left), and I (top, fifth from left) were joined by John Coseo ’70 (top, seventh from right), Tom Coseo ’71 (top, sixth from left), Jack McGlynn ’68 (bottom, left), Dick McGlynn ’70 (top, seventh from left), and finally, Coach Ron Ryan (top, right) and Assistant Coach Wayne Ryan (top, left).

My brother Bill played for years at the semi-pro level in Aspen, Colo., with the Aspen Leafs. I played professionally in Denmark for two years and then returned to Concord, N.H., where I played for a bit with the Concord Eastern Olympics. I don’t know if the Coseos continued playing, but we were all rivals in high school, since they are from Canton, N.Y. (home of St. Lawrence University), and we are from Massena, N.Y. Jack McGlynn became a college hockey referee, and Dick played on the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team that picked up a silver in Japan.

Mike Finnegan ’70
Melbourne, Fla.


The Scene welcomes letters. We reserve the right to decide whether a letter is acceptable for publication and to edit for accuracy, clarity, and length. Letters deemed potentially libelous or that malign a person or group will not be published. Letters should not exceed 250 words. You can reach us by mail, or e-mail sceneletters@colgate.edu. Please include your full name, class year if applicable, address, phone number, and/or e-mail address. If we receive many letters on a given topic, we will run a representative sample of the opinions expressed.