Letters to the Editor

Act of cowardice

The Oct. 27 editorial encouraging the law school to try to thwart military recruiting on campus (“An act of great courage,” p. 4), failed to consider the true ramifications of such action. We, as citizens of the United States, owe certain duties to our country, including serving our nation. The Law School wasn’t standing up for gay rights in passing such a resolution; rather, it condemning, as “Ivory Tower” academics usually do, the very organization that gives it the chance of survival and the opportunity of dissent.

Consider the facts: The law school wants to stop recruiting from among its ranks, for whatever reason. It may be easy for the “scholars” of the Law School to tell the military it is not welcome on campus, but it is a severe disservice to the men and women who die to protect our ability to go to school. We are so removed from a time when our very existence was threatened directly that many feel the military is some kind of vestigial organ, and that world peace, the United Nations, Green Peace and other world “governance” systems can protect us.

If there is no other lesson we should learn from September 11, let us realize that the military is necessary to defend freedom and liberty, as neither the United Nations nor anyone in ANSWER or other global organizations have any interest or urge to protect the beacon of liberty. The Law School should be scorned for its cowardice. Instead of standing up for our fighting men and women, it played the politically correct card, and deserves any budget cuts it receives as a result of its actions.

-Mark Harris , freshman

Bad decision
The decision by GW’s Law School to go on record opposing the Solomon amendment is well meant, but its effects go well beyond its intentions. Colleges that oppose military recruitment aon campus risk losing all of their federal funding. Private universities get research grants and other funds from the government, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars every year. This money goes to important scientific research, which works to find cures for cancer, AIDS and other debilitating diseases. GW should find a way to affirm its commitment to gay rights without jeopardizing its academic mission.

-Matt Baer, junior

Appaling content
I am writing in response to Ranjan Chhibber’s review of “Blood for Dracula” (“Cinema Sinner,” Oct. 23, p. 10). As Director of Outreach for Men Can Stop Rape, a D.C.-based nonprofit organization, and as someone who taught in the GW English Department for 11 years, I find the article appalling. I would find the writing offensive enough were it coming from a student, but the fact that a professor wrote it outrages me.

There are several comments that demean and belittle women. “I enjoy having flyers thrust in my face – high-flyer female gymnasts” and “the most endangered species in Foggy Bottom … virgins,” for example. And when Chhibber compares Dracula’s circumstances in the movie “Blood for Dracula” to his own and other guys’ on campus, suggesting they get “played (manipulated?) by the slutty girls,” he blurs the sexual boundaries that should exist between male professors and their female students – unless he is also calling his female colleagues slutty girls.

The article’s messages would be inappropriate and irresponsible coming from a student, but they take on added resonance when voiced by a faculty member using his professorial status to create a campus climate in which women are a source of ridicule. And while some might argue the piece is supposed to be funny, humor that comes at the expense of another group of people diminishes us all.

-Patrick McGann, Director of outreach, Men Can Stop Rape

Be a moderate
I do not wear tie-dyed T-shirts, and I get my hair cut at the Watergate barbershop by the same folks who trim the likes of Bob Dole and Ben Stein. However, unlike these conservative icons, and The Hatchet’s own Will Dempster, I never supported the abuse of our military forces in Iraq.

Dempster seems puzzled by the fact that many of us self-described liberals ignored the allegations of our commander-in-thief (“Sorry state of liberal dissent,” Oct. 27, p. 5). I guess in Dempster’s world, every gurgling heard from the leader’s throat is to be taken as a divine message of universal truth. Or perhaps he has simply allowed his “mindless, fanatical, left-wing” mind to be distracted by bickering in the United Nations. It seems France and Germany didn’t share America’s undying belief in George Jr.’s wisdom. Because of this dissent, Dempster finds justification in our destabilizing of the world’s most volatile playground, complete with a collection of bullies, sand, pointless spats, explosive toys, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I shared some of Dempster’s disgust with the protesters. They littered to no end (what happened to “Be Green”?), and I got the impression that the majority had remained blissfully ignorant during Clinton’s eight years of economic violence toward and weekly bombings of Iraq. Despite these transgressions, I felt ANSWER’s (Act Now to Sto War and End Terrorism) collective, bleeding heart was in the right place. Dempster was offended, I take it, by the variety of slogans and concepts employed by the shouting masses. Perhaps a conservative, singular “No War” would have been nice for those who despise expression, but that’s not the liberal way!

Perhaps I am an extremist for wanting to protect the lives of my peers (a fair percentage of my high school class joined the military) and the wallets of American taxpayers. I may be beholden to liberal extremism, but I don’t consider myself weak-minded and offer no apologies for my beliefs. Dempster, on the other hand, seems to be ashamed of his leftist leanings. To him, I offer a simple solution: come out of the closet and admit you’re a moderate.

Being a moderate is no easy task. You’re right, Dempster, there really is no organization of your movement. It died off in November 2002 and has yet to recover. But for all you wild, protest-hungry, outspoken liberals who are reading this, we do have an organized candidate. He isn’t perfect, but he’s a step in the right (by that, I mean left) direction: Howard Dean.

-Jolian Kangas, freshman

Questionable judgement
As a student at the University, I feel the need to register a complaint concerning the GW Hatchet’s content on Monday, October 20th. The Battle of the Sexes column (p. 11) was not what I expected from a student newspaper from a school of this caliber. Underground, off-campus news stories can go whatever direction they want, but when a “school” newspaper goes down the road of explicit sexual conversation, the reputation of the newspaper and the judgment of the editor-in-chief are in question. I understand that The Hatchet is neither the Washington Post nor the New Times, but some restraint in content allowance is appropriate.

-Lance Manning, graduate student

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