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Letters to the Editor 10/6
Published 10/6/2011
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Marshall Lobbestael has brought pride to the Cougs


I have been a WSU Cougar for more than 40 years, following our teams through thick and thin and always supporting their efforts. Needless to say, as an Oak Harbor resident, I was very pleased when Marshall Lobbestael announced that he was going to WSU after taking Oak Harbor High School to the state championship in football. As it happens, college football can be difficult, and Marshall experienced frustrations with injuries and a new offensive strategy under Paul Wulff. Then, along comes Jeff Tuel, who took over the starting position, and Marshall was relegated to supporting Tuel’s growth from the backup position.

Finally, Marshall got his chance, as Tuel was injured in the opening game. He stepped up and has set records in stellar performances in the first four games of this season. Great job, Marshall, but that is not the reason for this letter.

I know many people on and off the field in WSU athletics, and the inspiration for this letter was driven by the comments I consistently receive regarding Marshall as a young man and a leader. From his backup quarterback position, he continued unselfishly working, learning, leading and teaching others on the team. He always has a positive attitude and seeks team, not individual, success. He is one of the first on the field to practice and one of the last to leave. At athletic meet and greet events where athletes rub shoulders with fans and boosters, Marshall leads the way with a smile and warm reception.

When we see how athletics, talent and notoriety sometimes undermine personal ethics and causes, athletes to act against their own self-interests, it is very refreshing to see a young man select a path of responsibility and maturity. When he could have complained about not getting enough playing time and could have spent his time on the sidelines frustrated and angry, he instead responded with honor, integrity and personal pride.

Whether or not Marshall achieves his goals in football, his dedication and maturity have not gone unnoticed. He has brought an immeasurable pride to his family, to his high school, to his town and to WSU.

Rick Stewar
WSU alum, 1976

The impetus of affirmative actions is to level playing field


People who are ardently against affirmative action establish their opinion on the erroneous premise that it is “based on the belief that people with a certain skin tone need special help to get into college and those of other skin tones do not need such help,” to quote William Stetson’s column published on Oct. 3. That is not the basis of affirmative action efforts of the past or the present.

The impetus of affirmative action programs is to attempt to level the socioeconomic playing field for certain minority groups in this country. I realize that it is not easy for the “Now Generation” to appreciate the historical basis for affirmative action efforts because this society has come a long ways in regards to race relations. That being said, there are centuries of public policy laws that specifically targeted African Americans, American Indians and Latino Americans that have played a very large part in the inability of these groups to keep up with the social and economic development of non-minorities in this country.

Both state and federal laws for decades forbid the aforementioned racial groups from owning a business, attending good schools with adequate school supplies, purchasing a home and even participating in the political process of this country. That is why these minority groups are behind in educational achievement and economic development.

There are those older members of society that understand the devastating impact that past discriminatory public policy has had on minority communities, and also understand that while affirmative action programs are far from a remedy for curing the evils of past, they are in fact a legitimate tool to be used to level the playing field for all Americans. For example, if Title IX was never passed into federal law, public institutions would still not fund women’s sports at almost the same level as men’s sports. Sometimes government has to lead society to correct unjust attitudes and behavior of the past.

Fear mongering that some minorities will receive special privileges over others is not only counter- productive but an uninformed position on just what these efforts are all about, which is once again to correct past public policy practices and level the current social, educational and economic playing field. One cannot base an opinion looking at our supposed “post-racial now society” in considering the “why” of affirmative action efforts.

 Darryl O. Freeman 
Individual Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program


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