Letters to the Editor

From the homefront

I should first of all thank GW for the opportunity it has given to my son to attend this great institution. The experience has been enjoyable and a learning experience for me also.

Just for the record, it was a no-brainer to budget the $300 for the residence hall lottery. The balance due for the semester just will have to wait a while.

-Sally Albright
GW parent

Ceremonial confusion

Last week I found out that the Elliott School of International Affairs’ individual school graduation ceremony was moved from a Sunday to a Friday afternoon. I am confused by this for several reasons.

Inquiring seniors will find out that this “new” date has been posted on the 1999 graduation Web site for months. However, this unusual change from previous years has not been advertised in any way.

The supposed reason for the change is to prevent the different schools’ graduation ceremonies from being on the same day, and thus presenting a conflict for students, professors or parents who may want to attend multiple ceremonies.

But did anyone think that it may conflict with parents, students or professors’ work schedules? Most parents, and probably most adjunct professors, have Friday jobs. Not to mention that most parents have probably already booked their plane or train tickets on the assumption that graduation ceremonies would take place on a Sunday.

I understand the supposed rationale behind the switch, I am just disappointed in the Elliott School’s lack of publicity and thought. I have a feeling that attendance at this year’s Elliott School ceremony will be low.

-Caity Leu
ESIA undergraduate senator

Protecting free speech

The recent Hatchet editorial (“The Nuremberg Files”, Feb. 4, p. 4) confused me. At one point in the editorial about this disgusting Web site (which basically advocates the execution of abortionists) The Hatchet wrote, “It is true that the First Amendment protects the Web site and its political ideology.” But then in the next paragraph it states that the ruling against the Web site “was correct.” Excuse me?

If you’ve already admitted that the First Amendment protects this kind of speech, then how can a ruling against that Web site be correct? Unfortunately, you can’t have it both ways.

This case should, and I suspect will, be thrown out. I’m not a lawyer, but my recollection is that the only way the speech can be held liable for violence is if it incites immediate violence.

I hate the thought that I’m defending the people who run this loathsome Web site, but I have to, because defending free speech means defending the speech of all. To ban one sort of speech because we don’t like it leads to banning other speech we don’t like, and so forth. This is one slippery slope we should not start down.

In short, I’m disturbed that the editors of a newspaper, of all people, would not understand and cherish the First Amendment.

It was said best by Voltaire, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

-Jeff Baxter

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