Letters to the Editor

Shocking immaturity

I was awed but hardly shocked at the level of immaturity in a recent Hatchet column, “End the Pessimism” (Oct. 16, p. 5). Contributing Editor James Gilbreath’s blunt accusation that the Republican Party is “spread(ing) lies” is haphazardly thrown into casual speech as if it were an indisputable fact not requiring any factual foundation or citation of precedent. The article aggravates further when Gilbreath goes on to plainly state that the United States should not be “such an ass” in its foreign policy.

This irate little invective comes right as the United States obtained unanimous approval from the United Nations Security Council (whose ranks currently include Germany and Syria, as well as permanent member France) for its resolution on the future of Iraq. This resolution will bring no overwhelming amounts of monetary or military support to the war-torn nation; however, American diplomats worked tirelessly to produce a plan that the entire world would approve, beginning the process of revitalizing strained trans-Atlantic relations.

The Bush Administration is working to garner legitimacy for the American occupation; a necessary struggle that we all pray will end soon.

Though the headlines tend to highlight doom and gloom, Iraq currently has a balanced budget and widely available electricity (which is more than can be said for California). If Iraq can make the transition from independence to a final, written constitution in one year, it will have done so 12 years faster than the United States of America. I dare say that qualifies as cause for optimism.
Dennis J. Petersen

Erroneous change

As a student and now as an alumnus of GW, I am no longer amazed by GW’s constant and insatiable greed. As I am sitting here reviewing my snail mail, there are two different letters from GW asking for donations, as if the $150,000 dollar donation (tuition) was not enough for a couple of years.

The purpose of this message, though, is to warn the student population against the proposed University printing fee for residence hall computer labs. While I agree with the University about misuse of printers and erroneous printing, I also know that if this fee is allowed, the University will endlessly increase the printing charge from the current 7 cents.

When GW sees a chance to make a profit off of students, it jumps at it. The current proposal circulating among the GW administration to raise the 7-cent printing charge in the public computer labs is only further proof of this. GW started the printer fee out of necessity to pay for printers and supplies, but now they see a tidy profit can be made. Students already pay exorbitant residence hall fees that, in my opinion, should include a full computer lab without a 7-cent fee. With that said, though, students should also do their part and not misuse the computer labs.
Charles Baxter
class of 2003

Disappointing weekend

I am probably not the only student at GW who has a quiet unsettled conscience about having my parents fork over 40 grand a year, for a degree we all know I could get in my home state for a fraction of the cost. Therefore, when I see GW trying to save or make a quick buck at the expense of my parents or myself, to say that I am agitated would be an understatement.

As a senior, Colonials Weekend at GW has always been a worthwhile affair that my parents anticipate each year. GW has consistently managed to provide an enjoyable weekend with great entertainment and social events, which let parents know their voluntary trip to come to GW for the weekend, as well as the exorbitant contributions they make to this institution throughout the year, are appreciated.

To see that efforts and expenses were blatantly cut from this year’s Colonials Weekend was disappointing, to say the least. First, Midnight Madness was removed from the weekend’s agenda, the only event of the school year designed to foster school spirit among students and parents, at university where it is desperately lacking. In addition, the Beach Boys concert, which sold at $30 a ticket, was a disappointment to many. Spectators who were not seated in the front row could barely decipher a word of the music because the pitiful sound system was wholly inadequate for a room the size of the Smith Center. Lastly, GW has traditionally hosted a live D.C. jazz band to play at a party held in the center of Kogan Plaza, a fun and lively event where parents can dance the night away. With a smorgasbord of desserts and great music, the event has always been free and quite welcoming.

However, this year GW decided to host a luau in the Elliot School building, two things which, needless to say, do not go together. Not only were parents required to make reservations for the event ahead of time; they were greeted with a 20 dollar-per-couple charge upon admission. This cost afforded them entry to an ice-cold room lacking entertainment, dancing and many refreshments, where my father was charged two dollars for a six-ounce glass of Sprite. Thankfully, however, GW did have the resources to provide some music to liven up the event. The Beach Boys gave an encore performance, on CD. Considering it was an effort for most parents to even find the event, as it was arbitrarily located on the top floor of the Elliot School building, attendance was unsurprisingly low.

Frankly, it beats me why the University would be cutting from the budget of Colonials Weekend, considering the already-inflated amount of money we pay to come here each year only continues to increase. This year’s mediocre efforts to show appreciation to our parents were an embarrassment to me, as a student and as a daughter. The next time GW wants to save a quick dollar, perhaps it should reconsider expenses that actually are unnecessary, such as the large golden pole in the Marvin Center lobby.
Lauren Wuethrich

Georgetown bashing

I recently read your interesting article, “An encouraging case of Hoya paranoia” (Sept. 25, p. 5). I write “interesting” because the word “sucks” was apparently already used by Georgetown students in late September. I also read “Liquor-related arrests decrease” (Oct. 16, p. 1). It is not so much that your paper dedicated an entire column to Georgetown University bashing or that the very Georgetown bashing, you espouse should be directed toward Richmond; rather, it is the fact that you dedicated an entirety of two lines at the bottom of the second article to clarify the incident.

Georgetown students are proud of the fact that they got into Georgetown; we are proud we have been accepted at the school we’ve always hoped for. George Washington students might do well to express the same absolute pride in their own community rather than basing it on a relative scale to Georgetown.

Georgetown and GW are unarguably the two best universities in the city; they have the best students, the best faculty and the best prospects of making a real contribution to the humanities and sciences. If GW feels so inferior about its ranking, which it need not (after all, you are tier one), why don’t you make a conscientious effort to strengthen the consortium, improving both universities simultaneously?

Our two universities are fine, indeed; if we want to make a contribution to the academy rather than to our own inferiority complexes, we’ll spend more time engaging in serious news and less time living in the past. Both universities will be the better for it.

Finally, by-and-far, Georgetown students don’t go out of their way to attack GW’s dorms, and I doubt GW students find the time to attack Georgetown’s, either. Anyway, attacking dorms would be far less a thrill than inter-city sports rivalries.

Joseph Corcoran
Georgetown University freshman

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