Letters to the Editor

Be Tolerant

This is in response to the editorials in your April Fools’ edition. It took some time for me to gather my thoughts concerning “The Day I Found Jesus” and “Mel Gibson Is Going to Hell,” (p. 4), but I cannot resist expressing my outrage. It is fine if you do not like “The Passion”; however, for The Hatchet to portray a picture of a student wearing a crown of thorns is to make a complete mockery out of – how shall we say it – a pretty important figure in Christianity. We as Christians believe that Jesus wore that crown and suffered horribly for the sins of this world. I am not going to argue with anyone who doesn’t believe that, yet I do believe that we should maintain a certain level of respect and tolerance for all religions on this campus. For a campus that is supposed to be so tolerant, you are completely contradicting yourself. Next time, please think twice before making such a careless and thoughtless mistake.

-Christina Hayes, Word Up! Bible Study, senior

Good choices

Once again, there are negative rumblings because the Commencement speakers do not have enough star power for the GW population. My response to this is: Who cares? The Hatchet suggested that Commencement’s organizers recruit someone like Conan O’Brien or Bono. As much as I am a fan of Conan’s program and Bono’s music – as well as his recent work with AIDS in Africa – I, for one, applaud the fact that GW selected a Nobel laureate and a former NATO commander to speak at this year’s Commencement ceremony. The real-life lessons that these speakers can impart upon the Class of 2004 are far richer than those of a man who has made a career out of, albeit well-crafted, arbitrary humor.

-Alex Harisiadis, graduate student

Respect

It is a shame that on a campus that prides itself on having a diverse student body, there are people who believe unfounded personal attacks are a productive form of communication. In response to Fadi Kiblawi’s editorial titled “Standing with a Racist” (April 15, p. 5), a piece riddled with misrepresentations, we, the co-presidents of the GW Student Alliance for Israel, would like to address the claim of SAFI “affirming support of racism.”

SAFI continues to stand by its belief that the “GW campus will benefit from a celebration of diversity.” In line with this goal, the GW Israel community has supported left-of-center programs such as “Do Palestinian Textbooks Really Teach Hatred?” with Professor Nathan Brown and right-of-center programs like the upcoming Walid Shoebat event. SAFI provides the resources for bringing together differing viewpoints. It does not mean that we individually or collectively agree with the viewpoints expressed by any one particular person. We fully expect that Mr. Shoebat, unlike Mr. Kiblawi, will present his viewpoint without resorting to inflammatory or hateful comments. In addition to this, we have had and will continue to have numerous programs that celebrate the vibrant and diverse cultures of Israel.

SAFI is a large, inclusive organization – not just Lauren Marks and Rebecca Horwitz. Our more than 800 diverse members are proud of our record of working with different cultural groups like the Black Student Union and the Organization of Latin American Students, as well as with groups that hold conflicting political views. We have organized and participated in several programs promoting the coexistence of Israel and the Palestinians in peace and security. If Mr. Kiblawi were interested in anything more than name-calling, he should have attended one of the Students for Peace and Justices’ dialogues on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but he has not. Instead, Mr. Kiblawi shows a clear preference for tantrums. This past fall, Mr. Kiblawi failed to show even a modicum of respect to the formerly imprisoned Soviet dissident and current Israeli Minister, Natan Sharansky, during his visit to campus.

If Mr. Kiblawi sincerely wishes to engage in a thoughtful and respectful dialogue about the important issue, a fundamental respect for human life and dignity, we encourage him to participate in some of the valuable programs like those of Students for Peace and Justice. We only ask that if Mr. Kiblawi wants his viewpoint to be respected he perhaps refrain from personal attacks on those who hold differing views from his. As the sage Hillel admonished one of his critics, “Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself.”

-Rebecca Horwitz and Lauren Marks, co-presidents, GW Student Alliance for Israel

Terrible process

Michael Barnett writes, “University officials said they expect a smooth registration process as students continue to choose fall classes this week after a worm limited registration times Friday and Monday” (April 12, “Worm hinders class registration,” p. 1). Sadly, worm or no worm, the registration process at this school is awful.

Ask yourself if Townhouse Row and Ivory Tower provided students and teachers with more classrooms on campus. Ask yourself whether the University would have provided professors with more modern, technologically enhanced classrooms. Additionally, ask yourself, would the University have built Townhouse Row and Ivory Tower if it weren’t facing a housing shortage.

Now ask yourself why the University had to completely alter its schedule and why it had to schedule more classes than ever before at Mt. Vernon. Ask yourself why students will no longer be able to work or intern on Fridays. All these disastrous changes are the result of one thing: the University’s continued policy of accepting larger and larger freshman classes, and with them, comes more and more money to spend on future GW students. The next time you are closed out of a class when you register as a senior, or you can’t get into a class you need to take to graduate, or you can’t work to make money to feed yourself, know that the University cares more about the GW class of 2012 and 2020 than it does about you.

-Daniel Aires, senior

Open letter

An open letter to the members of the GW Student Association:

I am writing to express my complete outrage and disgust at your decisions to uphold Kris Hart’s vetoes on both resolutions regarding the arrests of March 29. I would first like to point out that the date on Hart’s veto message is April 8.

In denouncing your own resolutions, you turned your backs not only on the 11 students who were arrested in the Marvin Center, but on the hundreds of students, faculty, and staff members who support us. You also undermined your own authority and the integrity of your organization. You have said that 11 students, sitting peacefully in a circle in the Marvin Center, should go to court and face jail time. You claim that we must not be sincere because if we were truly activists we would have just taken the arrest and not asked for the charges to be dropped. I implore you to reread your high school history textbooks. No person arrested for civil disobedience has failed to cry out against the injustice of the legal system.

You claim that dropping the charges would set a precedent for further protest. Do you honestly believe that there are students at GW lining up to take over buildings and that they are just waiting to be able to do it with no consequence? But your actions have set a precedent nationwide. Your actions have set a precedent for individuals elected by students to turn their backs on those very students. Congratulations. You are the first Student Association in the nation to turn its backs on its student labor activists. Do you truly believe that we belong in jail?

I hope you all have fun at your $6,000 transition dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel. I promise you, dissent will continue at The George Washington University, and the rights of workers will one day be upheld. Unfortunately for you, the history books will reflect your shameful actions. I encourage you to rethink your decision, and I invite you to join us at our arraignment on Wednesday April 21, at 10:30 a.m. at the courthouse at 500 Indiana Ave. N.W., Courtroom C-10.

-Allie Robbins, GW Tent City resident

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