Letters to the Editor

Keep it open
Democracy is about every individual being able to participate in the process; the scandals of U.S. political history were achieved while candidates were chosen in smoke-filled rooms. The GW Hatchet would prefer that two of the largest student groups on campus reject the input of their paid membership in endorsing candidates for Student Association elections (“Farcical endorsements,” Feb. 19, p. 4). As an elected leader of one of these groups, I am glad that we allow all of our members participate in our elections and endorsement hearings.

The CDs/CRs invited all candidates for elected positions to address our group and gave all candidates an equal opportunity to receive our endorsement. Numerous groups, such as the Black Student Union, don’t give any option for their membership to hear from all candidates or even for their membership to participate in the endorsement process. I would hope that every student group would be fair in their endorsement process and allow their membership to participate in their endorsements.

Lee Roupas has not only dedicated his college career to strengthening the College Republicans but has also worked tirelessly in the Senate and on the Finance Committee to fight for political student groups, including Students for Dean and Students for Edwards. He deserved both endorsements not only for his commitment but for his vision for a strengthened SA. Until our membership asks for the College Republicans and College Democrats ask for us to take them of out of the endorsement process, I hope that we will continue to accept their input and opinion.

-Christian Berle, senior, treasurer, College Republicans

Fan Conduct
Reading the March 1 “The Full Nelson: As team improves, fans must too” (p. 21) was about as painful as receiving one, and half as enlightening. Upon reading the column in its entirety it became clear to me that its author, who considered himself an authority on proper fan conduct, wasn’t a fan at all. The responsibility has befallen me, as a true fan, to defend our honor and set the record straight.

Mr. Nelson felt that those of us in the student section showed poor taste by insulting Richmond’s players, their fans and their referees – er, that is, the referees. Lighten up, Jeff.

Unless you’ve never been to another sporting event in your life, what transpired at that game should not have surprised you. Sports are all about passion. Half of the energy that courses through a fan is love for his or her team. The other half is hatred for any other.

I’ve never seen more school spirit here at GW than I saw on Saturday. Though Jeff Nelson hung his head in shame when the chants of “Richmond sucks!” sounded before the game, I swelled with pride at the thought of a team having to face the wrath of the GW student body before they were even able to enter the arena.

You want me to wave peace signs and root for everyone to have fun? Thanks, but no thanks. The GW basketball team already has people who spew positive energy around the clock. They’re called cheerleaders. We are fans. We’re sweaty, loud and angry. We wear foam hats, we tailgate and, yes, sometimes we give the elderly the middle finger. Take the hate out of sports, and you’ve reduced us to a glorified pep squad. You don’t want that, Jeff. I look bad in a skirt.

There will be no more namby-pamby whining about civility and gentlemanly conduct. Fair play is the responsibility of the players. We – and I’m not including you here, Jeff – are fans. It is our job to be unfair. Passionate fans are what give stadiums their mystique. That is the nature of home-court advantage. Every visiting team that steps inside should fear the Smith Center. It should shudder and shake with all the foot-stomping, fist-pumping fury that 5,000 bloodthirsty fans can muster. Placing leis around the necks of our opponents as they step off the team bus and chanting, “We’re all winners!” simply doesn’t cut it.

And before you tell me that I’m embarrassing GW for my bleacher etiquette, perhaps you should take your own advice. Among the more troubling aspects of your tirade was your pretentious slight of the University of Maryland. The irony was not lost on me. “If ‘Richmond sucks’ is all we can come up with,” you said, “we might as well rename the school ‘University of Maryland at Foggy Bottom.'” If I’m classless for ragging on a basketball team, what does that make you for insulting an entire university?

OK, so it’s obvious that I don’t share Mr. Nelson’s puritanical sentiments, but I feel I ought to at least say that I agreed with him on one point. There were those at the game who happily displayed their ignorance of the sport. Someone behind me, for instance, made it a point to yell “Traveling!” every six seconds. That I could have done without. However, I’m getting a little tired of the sorry excuse for referees the Atlantic 10 has to offer. Both squads were handicapped by a team of refs that didn’t know when to swallow their whistles and when to blow them. Until the fellas in the striped shirts learn how to officiate without affecting the outcome, they’ll hear from me.

Look, emotion is what makes sports fun. If you ask us to quell them, we might as well not show up for the game. However, if positive chanting really is what compels people to produce better results, there’s but one thing left to say on the matter: “LET’S GO NEL-SON!”

-Matthew Munkacsy, sophomore

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