Letters to the Editor

Students have spoken

After reading Monday’s editorial, I was forced to ask myself, “What reasons did The Hatchet have for endorsing Sen. John Edwards for the Democratic presidential nomination?” Perhaps it is because of Edwards’ excellent showing in the D.C. Primary and his large on-campus support. Or maybe because of the serious resources he has pumped into Virginia and Maryland, or his large network of student supporters across the country working countless hours on his behalf.

In reality, Edwards decided not to participate in the D.C. Primary, has no official student organization on campus, is only now talking about Virginia and seems to have no clue that there is a Maryland primary March 2, and he has not captured the attention of students nationwide. One would think that The Hatchet would take these issues into consideration when selecting a candidate.

As our only major campus newspaper and the “voice of the students,” one would think that an endorsement would stem from issues that concern the needs and wants of the student body. If the above criteria were taken into account while making the decision to endorse, there would have been only one candidate who qualified.

Howard Dean has attracted the attention of students here at GW and nationwide. He not only boasts a major student organization on campus with a membership greater than the College Republicans, but a national student network with more than 23,000 members. I cannot recall the existence of a John Edwards presence on campus or a consistently active presence from any of the other candidates. As our student paper, The Hatchet should be loyal to the student body, including the 350-plus members of Dean 2004 at GW. It seems the students at GW have already spoken, and they have not chosen John Edwards.

-Kelly Taylor, freshman

Flawed endorsement

I have to say that I was perplexed by The Hatchet’s endorsement of John Edwards. The Hatchet alleges that Edwards is the “Democratic candidate most allied with causes important to college students” and goes on to cite his “outspoken” advocacy of gay rights as an example.

While Edwards supports revisiting the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, you’d be hard-pressed to find that out. I couldn’t find anything about it on the candidate’s Web site. I actually couldn’t find anything about gay rights at all. Contrary to The Hatchet’s report, Edwards has barely said anything about gay rights, does not support civil unions and wishes to leave it up to the states, and is regarded inside and outside of the gay community as the least supportive out of the major Democratic candidates.

Back to issues of importance to college students. The Hatchet saw fit to report Edwards’ stance on things like tax cuts and the Patients’ Bill of Rights, both of which have little-to-no-effect on college students. Yet the editorial neglected to cover things like Edwards’ policy on the Iraq war (he supported it but now blames Bush for the way it turned out), the Patriot Act (he supported it but now blames Ashcroft for the way it turned out) or the No Child Left Behind Act (he supported it but now blames Bush for this one, too). What about his stance on abortion, AIDS funding or the environment? What about drug policies, the death penalty or college tuition?

Perhaps I am in the wrong, but I would think that The Hatchet, as this school’s primary student media source, has a logical obligation to report on issues applicable to its readers and an ethical obligation to report them fully and accurately.

-Benjamin B. Williams, junior

Deflating GW

In response to The Hatchet’s staff editorial titled “Spirit Rising” (Jan. 26, p. 4), I am more than pleased that there was no mention of the three mascots as a deciding reason in why GW Spirit has undergone a much needed face-lift this year.

Don’t take my sarcastic tone in the wrong way. The mascot as a symbol of spirit has deep-rooted tradition and holds a special place in university and professional sports. I just don’t find the real necessity to have three. In the past four years that I have attended GW, Little George has acquired two new friends, both made of inflatable plastic and both 6 feet tall. In an effort to revive campus spirit, GW has managed to create two frightful creatures that serve no purpose on this campus except to scare away ten-year-old boys.

Having the privilege of watching two young children run up the bleachers screaming at the sight of the Hippo at the Colonials game against Duquesne was indeed hysterical, but it also got me thinking: Little George has agility, grace and a protective head cover in case of half-time injuries. Big George is filled with helium and has a spastic arm that will attack you if you stand too close. Big George and the Hippo provide nothing positive to the basketball experience.

As long as the Colonials are whooping Atlantic 10 butt, students will be filling the stands. So do us a favor. Keep the pep band, sell the shirts, but please pop all things balloon-like on the court.

-Stefanie Jackowitz, senior

Word and action

I recently finished reading Mark Harris’ column, “Triumphant Western Ideology” (Feb. 2, p. 5), in which the author equates “The Lord of the Rings” with the American necessity to eliminate “evil” things like Eastern culture. His misrepresentation of both worldly conflicts and mega blockbusters renders his column another useless conservative diatribe.

In the movie, it was the weakest characters, the hobbits, who ended up destroying the enemy. The hobbits had to be persuaded mightily to join the fight, as well. This certainly derives no connection with the current Iraq war, as many see the United States strong-arming its might around the world unilaterally. And there is absolutely nothing unilateral about “The Lord of the Rings.” In fact, if the current crisis in Iraq were like the J. R. R. Tolkien novel, the United States (Aragorn) would be united with the French (Legolas) and the Germans (Gimli), instead of merely Aragorn going it alone.

“The Lord of the Rings” was not just about ending evil, it was also about uniting despite differences for a common cause and being true allies to one another. Also, it’s humorous to see another kid who loves freedom so much but isn’t in our armed forces preserving that freedom boldly on the battlefield. As all conservatives like to point out about the United Nations, words need to be backed up by actions. Why doesn’t Mr. Harris join the military and back up his own words?

-Nick Mantzaris, sophomore

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