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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Amid Acrimony, Finding Chemistry

    As a general rule, I try not to involve myself with subjects about which Iknow next to nothing. Sometimes, when I get emotional, I break that rule. AndI start talking about things like Chemistry.

    A quick recap: students in CHE 322, Organic Chemistry II, were given an examon April 1, the day after we returned from Spring Break. I got upset when Ilearned that a number of friends were compelled to study for much of the break,especially during the Passover and Easter holidays. Consequently, I wrote aneditorial sharply criticizing Professor Dale Drueckhammer for administeringan exam on that day.

    Anyone who read Statesman last week knows that I am not a popular man amongmembers of the Chemistry Department these days. I certainly anticipated that,and while it may seem hard to believe, I am glad that my piece received responses.

    I mean that wholeheartedly. I appreciate the candor with which Professors Drueckhammerand Kerber wrote in defense of their course. They each spoke eloquently andpassionately, and I respect their arguments.

    I would, though, like to offer an explanation. I did do some fact-finding whenit came to my article. Before publication, I placed a call to the ChemistryDepartment, and inquired as to who was responsible for the scheduling of theexam. The woman to whom I spoke assured me that exam scheduling was done bythe individual professor, not the Chemistry Department itself or any other Office.

    Going on that information, I proceeded to write my piece. Apparently, I wasthe recipient of some wrong information, which then made its way into my article.For that, I absolutely apologize. A journalist always checks his sources; Ifailed to do that, and damaged my credibility as a result.

    That said, I do stand by the general thesis of my article. I still believethat it was wrong to schedule an exam on that date. It continues to bother methat my friends had a vacation full of studying. Thanks to Professor Kerber,I am now aware that the Dean’#146;s Office approved of this schedule. And Iwould still like to know why.

    But that is for another time. I would like to end with a word for ProfessorDrueckhammer. Sir, I yielded you the floor, and you showed me how one shouldproperly use it. Grade changed to an A.

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