Celebrating the fall

Laugh. That was all I could do as I read The Hatchet’s April 10 news brief Fraternity shoe tree takes a fall. As one of the proud leaders of the 1996 campaign against the misogynistic attitudes and behaviors of certain fraternities on campus – shoes included – I celebrate the fall of the shoes. I feel pity for the tree as it had to sustain damage from years of shoe throwing. I am most glad, however, that the GW campus will not have that ugly sight for prospective students, parents and visitors to see when they take the campus tour.

Oh, wait. Delta Tau Delta moved the shoes to a nearby tree. Perhaps the new president of the fraternity was not a member when they had to pay the District of Columbia nearly $200 in penalties. Do remember that all trees in the sidewalks are District property, and the District did not like that behavior in 1996, since it is a health hazard and a liability to have pairs of rotten shoes fall on somebody’s head.

If the tree is on GW property (not on the sidewalk), I do hope that your insurance can cover any accidents to passers-by. Or better yet, that the University management takes into consideration that all the new improvements to the campus are tarnished by the sight of rotten shoes hanging from the University’s campus.

One of the most important lessons I received at GW can be summarized in one phrase: Feminism is the idea that women are human beings, too. I believe that both men and women can blossom in an environment where they are not subjected to harassment or objectification because of their gender, color, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, class or other background. Instead of hanging shoes on the tree, the members of Delta Tau Delta should care for the tree and help it blossom.

-Charlotte Hernandez
Class of 1997

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