Letters to the Editor

Freedom of choice

I found Katherine Wootton’s Oct. 8 letter to the editor disturbing (“Misguided attacks,” p. 4). It seems to sum up an attitude toward our government and the laws it makes for us that could become dangerous.

Ms. Wootton was responding to another letter that suggested everyone on campus drinks by saying that she herself does not drink; a prudent choice on her part. Prudent, but not necessarily right.

Ms. Wootton goes on to say that college students are not exempt from “laws created by government in our best interest.” These same laws are “made to protect people.” So we shouldn’t be upset that GW does the best it can to help us stick to those laws.

This strikes me as odd. I thought we had laws to protect our rights and our property. The government should try to see to it that I can do whatever I want without hurting anybody or damaging their property and also ensure no one can hurt me or take my stuff.

I consider my body to be my property. It is probably the only thing I have that MasterCard couldn’t seize at a moment’s notice. As such, I should be allowed to do all kinds of things with it. Change the balance of certain chemicals, alter the way things are organized in my brain, anything.

After all, I am responsible for my body’s maintenance. If something goes wrong with it, the government isn’t going to pay to have it fixed.

It is true drugs and alcohol can ruin young lives. I don’t think the government’s solution to the problem – jail time, calls to parents, possible loss of financial aid – is much of a help in those cases.

It’s just bizarre to find so much unquestioned support for laws that restrict freedom on the editorial pages of a student newspaper. Is this the way our country is headed? Sure, the government treats me like a child without offering me any benefits, but gosh I’ve never felt healthier (or safer or more insulated from pornography).

No, that can’t be. Say it with me: 21 to drink is arbitrary and stupid, and America only has a drug problem because drugs are illegal. That’s better.

-Otis Towns
junior


More attention needed

In the Sept. 24 issue of The GW Hatchet, an alleged rape was reported (“Student allegedly raped in residence hall,” p. 1). However, not much was actually written about the incident. As a female student at this university, I have great concern with a rape on campus. I believe information about rape, alleged, date or any sort of violation needs to be addressed, and students need to be warned about an alleged rapist possibly on our campus.

In the crime report posted on GWIS, there were statements about theft and other crimes, but there was no mention about a rape. The only precautionary remarks were stated in The Hatchet as a warning to not have strangers in our rooms. That really does not even begin to address the issue of rape as a violation.

It was good to see the article “Students, faculty reassess GW sexual assault policy” (Oct. 1, p. 18). I am glad to see consideration of changing the sexual assault policy language and focusing on the meaning of consent. I also am glad to see proactive momentum to take sexual assault seriously and implement punishment, making offenders accountable for their behavior. Rapists should be expelled from GW. Our University, along with our society, needs to make it known that rape is not acceptable.

I also believe when an incident of rape is reported, it needs to be addressed seriously. There needs to be more information of what the University and the University Police Department are doing to address this issue. It cannot be just a short newspaper article. It needs to be posted at least on GWIS along with the “Crime Report.” I felt it was an insult to the person that reported the rape because it wasn’t even listed with other University crimes.

-Sara Bakker
junior

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