I was glad to see the front-page article about the financial difficulties the Gaia House Interfaith Center is going through, which indicates you recognize its importance to the campus community. However, it was unfortunate that you chose to position your statement about Erika Peterson resigning as president of the board right in the middle of that article. This might give someone the impression that Erika was responsible for those difficulties. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
Their financial problems have been a long time in the making, starting more than ten years ago when the center’s traditional sources of funding began drying up. It has been thanks to the heroic efforts of people like Erika, Al Parr, Bob Swenson, Hugh Muldoon, Millie Hankla and a host of others that the Gaia House has been able to remain open this long.
Hopefully, now that the precarious position facing the Gaia House has been brought to the attention of the campus and the community, they will respond accordingly. The Gaia House provides services to the campus that no other institution does. From its very beginnings, the Gaia House has been a joint venture, and making sure it continues to flourish will require a great deal of cooperative effort.
Gary K. Shepherd
Morris Library Senior Library Specialist