Reviewing religion

I read The Hatchet’s review of Left Behind with a great deal of amusement. Given the amount of grassroots hype the movie has enjoyed based on the popular book series, I am surprised you think the movie was deceptive in becoming a forum for religious ideology. Of course it was propaganda. This movie appeals to those who have read the book and know what to expect. It was not intended to cater to the secular, non-Christian mindset.
You make the standard critic’s error: trying to judge the movie or book on how you would have written it. Your comments imply that for this movie to be really good, it needed to be ambivalent about its religious message. But the producers and promoters knew that their hard-line message would not find a mass audience.

-Jim Holton
Ph.D. candidate

RHA responds

In the Feb. 5 issue of The Hatchet, Student Association Senator Matthew Silverstein accused the Residence Hall Association of attempting to limit the freedom of speech of candidates by changing the number of mail pieces they could deliver from seven to three (“Refusing to listen”).

Silverstein’s argument is a cop-out. The RHA is not seeking to take away the candidates’ freedom of speech. If we wanted to do that, we would not let them step foot inside any of the residence halls, nor deliver a single piece of mail. Rather, we took into consideration that this campaign period is the shortest in recent history, and heeded residents’ requests that candidates get their point across more efficiently with less paper.

This is the third year that both of us have served as members of the RHA general body, and therefore our third time engaged in setting rules in accordance with the Joint Elections Committee and the SA Senate. Never have we seen such a blatant lack of regard for the purpose of the RHA and the needs of students living on campus. The RHA is, by definition, the representative body of students living on campus. The people that voted in favor of allowing candidates to distribute three, rather than seven, pieces of literature in the halls are not distant trustees who ignore the will of their citizens – they live within the residence hall community and among their constituents.

Indeed, hall councils do have the authority to further change the
election rules, and this they are doing. As a result of the decision of Silverstein and other senators, candidates will now have to deal with 23 sets of residence hall election rules rather than one. How is that caring about your constituents?

-Noel Frame
Aston Hall representative
-Kelly Snyder
RHA president

Responding to SJT

I am an alumnus of the Columbian School of Arts and Sciences and the GW Law School. I also served as the national president of one of the largest men’s fraternities in the United States. That role lends me the credentials to comment on President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg’s letter to The Hatchet (“Fraternal fantasy,” Jan. 29). In short, he is absolutely right. My many dealings with him, both as an alumnus and as a representative of my fraternity, have never been less than cordial. He has been consistently supportive of Greek life on campus. While he needs no endorsement from me, I feel compelled as a dedicated Greek as well as a dedicated alumnus to set the record straight.

I am proud of my fraternity experience. It was and continues to be a significant part of my life. The sense of community that continues to be felt among a diverse groups of men is a constant source of strength for me. That sense of community can be destroyed however, when my fellow Greeks do not live up to the ideals of their founders. It serves neither our brothers nor the community to which we belong to blame our friends and supporters for our own shortcomings.

-Brian O’Dwyer
Class of 1966

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