Changes to alma mater unnecessary

Letter to the editor

In a time where the Rutgers name is sullied by avoidable controversies, another rises from its oldest standing tradition. The Rutgers University Glee Club has changed a 140 year-old tradition, the alma mater, to gender-neutral lyrics. The sudden move for political correctness was done without consulting the Rutgers community — not even the female Rutgers community.

The all-male Glee Club, a 141-year-old Rutgers staple, changed the lyrics from “My father sent me to old Rutgers/ And resolv’d that I should be a man” to “From far and near we came to Rutgers/ And resolved to learn all that we can.”

The change offends me not only as a student who chose to study at Rutgers, but as a woman. I do not need the lyrics of a song that originated when the University was an all-male college to be changed because I was born female and am paying tuition.

When the Alma Mater is sung, I chime in “Or a woman” like the women who prioritize history and appreciate one of the very few traditions the University recognizes publicly. If this would be the lyrical change, I would welcome it as the University did me.

Casey Balch is a School of Arts senior majoring in journalism and media studies and double minoring in English and psychology.

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