University officials should brag about — not belittle — SIU and southern Illinois

Dear Editor:

As someone who absolutely loves southern Illinois and has had a wonderful experience for nearly a decade as an undergraduate, graduate student and professional administrative staff member, I was appalled to read Jeff Goetz’s startling assessment of SIU and southern Illinois in the the Southern Illinoisan’s article on the Cardboard Regatta.

Mr. Goetz, identified as the assistant director of recreational sports and services, is quoted in the Southern Illinoisan as saying: “There’s not a lot that SIU and southern Illinois can brag about. This is something that started here and is now all over the world. It’s a unique event.”

With friends and boosters like this, who needs enemies? It is my hope that Mr. Goetz was misquoted. If not, why is SIU employing someone who feels this way about my alma mater and one of the absolute best areas of Illinois? How insulting to those of us who are happily associated with SIU.

I loved SIU so much that its letters are included in one of my email addresses. My husband likewise had a fabulous experience there. This kind of “trash talk” will certainly be fodder for SIU’s competitors. Good luck with Saluki recruitment and image with this kind of person on staff. He owes the SIU community and the Illinois taxpayers who fund his salary an apology.

May Rich Archer’s vision of the Regatta and our memories of a wonderful place live on. Go Dawgs!


Valeri DeCastris

SIU alumna

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