Letters to the Editor

Enviromental concerns

I find it somewhat ironic that recently in the same issue of The Hatchet there are articles regarding our University’s debt of $680 million (Nov. 6, p. 1) and the choice to turn the University’s cooling system back on in residence halls (p. 12).

I must make clear that, although I do not live in the residence hall system, any longer, I do understand that certain buildings are affected by changes in outside temperature more easily than others. Additionally, I understand that University students are conditioned to expect a certain degree of unnecessary comfort at the University’s expense.

Annually, the University spends between $12 and $15 million on utilities alone. This includes the bills that are paid to allow University lights to stay on, water to keep running and buildings to remain at suitable temperatures.

I would hope that any student accepted to the University realizes that the 200 watts of electricity that a box fan uses on average is relatively insignificant compared to what it takes to cool an entire building such as Thurston Hall. Furthermore, as the University continues to receive its power from insufficiently protected nuclear reactors and antiquated coal-burning power plants, such a tremendous energy expenditure as restarting the residential cooling system seems extravagant.

Those with asthma and student athletes know as well as anyone that this summer the average ground level ozone measured 131 parts per billion, which affected physical performance and ability for proper lung function. Air quality, and I would argue recent temperature swings from cold to hot to cold again, are related directly to the pollution emitted from power plants that supply our University.

The Student Association, rather than applauding itself for addressing a “problem” that will no doubt be forgotten within the next week or two, should examine the energy use of the University and use its influence to address environmental problems that will affect future generations of students.
-Ari Mittleman
senior

Excess negativity

Why does The Hatchet always have to be so negative? Although Colonial Invasion happened nearly two weeks ago, you still manage to call it a “dreary spectacle” (“Hatchet Meter,” Nov. 3, p. 4) after bashing the event last Monday as well.

I understand your editorial board has a right to its opinion, but the same comments were reserved for last year’s Midnight Madness as well. “But this year’s Midnight Madness … did little to increase student spirit, as the event focused on side-show acts instead of the men’s and women’s basketball teams , and many students left before the teams were introduced.”

You cannot have it both ways. While you criticized both versions of the event, how about proposing a solution? Last year was too focused on side acts and this year was too focused on basketball, so what’s left? Maybe the Student Activities Center should turn over the reigns of the event to The Hatchet so maybe – just maybe – the event won’t be castigated like every other student event next year.

Sean Rose
junior, co-founder, Colonial Army

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