Readers share their thoughts

Amazing artifacts

What a wonderful article about the 1934 medical school lab in your summer issue. The skeletal diorama of the hunter on the horse with his dog facing an upright bear was extraordinary! I am passing it on to my son-in-law, a science teacher. I am sure that he and his students will be equally amazed. Thanks for an always interesting publication.

Eleanor Bachara Scaffidi (BS ’63)
Williamsville, N.Y.

Another view of the skeletal hunting scene.

Another view of the skeletal hunting scene. 

Thank you for the article in UB Yesterday [Summer 2016] with the great 1934 photo of the medical lab. I graduated in 1955 from the medical school when it was still on High Street, and I still have very vivid memories of the building.

Stanley Goldfarb (MD ’55)
Emeritus Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wis.

Gender neutrality not neutral

This is in response to your article on “gender neutral bathrooms” [“The Weigh-In,” Summer 2016]. Gender is hardly a social construct; it refers to the equipment with which an individual is born. It is not designed to organize society or privilege one group over another. To state that “ceasing to regulate bathroom use based on gender” may lead to “a society that actively supports all people in leading happy and productive lives” is absurd. People lead happy and productive lives because they work to do that and, as such, are responsible for their own happiness.

Paul S. Schulman (MD ’68, BA ’64)
San Diego, Calif.

Margaret Sallee’s response:
Thank you so much for your letter. We live in an age where we do not often enter into dialogue with those with different viewpoints, so I appreciate your taking the time to respond to my take on gender-inclusive bathrooms. First, to clarify definitions, it is actually “sex” that refers to the “equipment with which an individual is born.” Gender refers to how an individual identifies. I could be born with male “parts” but identify as a woman and live my life as a woman. It is for this reason that gender-inclusive bathrooms are so important—they create spaces where people feel safe to be who they are. And while gender may not have been designed to privilege one group over others, it has been used in that way. Masculine behaviors (aggressiveness, assertiveness, etc.) are valued and rewarded much more so than feminine behaviors (caregiving, nurturing, etc.). When we live in a world where people of any gender can adopt whatever behavior they choose without penalty, then I agree that people will be responsible for their own happiness. Until then, we need policies and practices that reaffirm the worth of every individual.

Kudos for our summer issue

Congratulations on the masterwork that is the Summer 2016 issue of At Buffalo. I found it insightful, informative and invigorating.

Douglas Griffin
Sarasota, Fla.

One night last week I couldn’t sleep and reached for something to read. I opened At Buffalo thinking I’d be sleepy shortly. An hour or so later I was still sitting up in bed, lost in the best issue ever! Thank you one and all for putting it together.

Fran Young (BA ’69)
Boones Mill, Va.

I enjoy At Buffalo, which feels like a little home away from home. Thank you for all of the interesting articles. I particularly liked the article featuring the international students [“Culture Klatch,” Summer 2016]. Keep up the good work!

Nicole Johnson-Scales (BA ’96)
Chicago, Ill.

Amazing nanomaterials

The nanomaterials research of Luisa Whittaker-Brooks [“Tiny Particles, Massive Rewards,” Spring 2016] is so amazing. It seems that her research will soon provide practical applications to the world at large. Bravo to Professor Whittaker-Brooks.

Ruth McLean (BA ’86)
Staten Island, N.Y.

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