Letters to the Editor

A warm welcome

As representatives of the wonderful and diverse religious traditions here at The George Washington University, we extend a warm and heartfelt welcome to His Holiness, The Dalai Lama on his visit to our campus and our city.

It indeed seems appropriate that His Holiness comes to us amid the charms and challenges of the diversity that is GW. His Holiness always has valued conversation over confrontation, service over strife and prayer over prejudice.

Because our University is a tapestry woven of vibrant fibers from many valuable traditions, the invitation to find those places of commonality and those places of shared values is one that we eagerly receive and one in which we hope all of the GW community will join us.

We wish His Holiness well in the challenges of seeking a spiritual and substantial peace in his homeland. We have much to learn from the wisdom of this world leader and much to share with him as students, faculty and staff.

May his visit enrich us all and may our welcome give him strength and hope to continue his journey of bringing words of justice and peace to a hurting world.

-The GW Interfaith Board of Chaplains: Rabbi Gerald Serotta, Gregory Schofer, Fr. Jim Greenfield, Rev. Laureen Smith, Elder Howard May, Dr. Mohammed Omeish, Fr. Andrew Sloane

Common ground

“See what they’ve done, not what they say.”

That’s what we ask in the election of new members to our Advisory Neighborhood Commission.

As a long-time Foggy Bottom resident and senior GW student, I have been troubled by the seeming obstructionism in relations between the Foggy Bottom ANC and the University. It seriously misrepresents the feelings of many Foggy Bottom residents.

The Foggy Bottom Association meeting Oct. 26 brought statements and promises from 12 candidates for ANC elections, including several students. It became plain that there is a pattern of almost automatic opposition by the ANC to any proposal by the University. This means great expense and delay for even the most laudable projects.

I especially deplore those fee-hungry lawyers who will oppose any proposal, no matter how necessary. “Maybe we can’t beat it, but we can hold them up two or three years.”

President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, incidentally, deserves more respect. He has accomplished the phenomenal task, it is said, of transforming GW from a commuter’s college to a world-class university.

There have been many efforts by students to work together with Foggy Bottom residents. Most obvious are neighborhood clean-up campaigns, helping the elderly disabled at home, shopping at the Safeway for those who cannot get about, etc.

But these are only the obvious and incidental. What is far more important is these are the students who will go out to confront the most threatening problems of our lives in years ahead. At Los Alamos and since, with nuclear and biological weapons, our scientists have given us the means to literally destroy our civilization. These young people will have tremendous responsibility, they deserve our utmost support.

But there are issues we have here and now – the homeless, the sick, the criminal, the disadvantaged needing our help.

As a great teacher once said, Come, let us reason together.”

-Don Tobey
Foggy Bottom resident

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