Letters to the Editor

Involuntary gift

The University should discontinue the nefarious practice of forcing students to ‘opt-out’ of the “voluntary” library gift. The current ‘opt-out’ procedure places yet another administrative burden on students, particularly those who pay their tuition directly with student loans and are forced to telephone the University in order to remove the gift. Forcing students to ‘opt-out’ of the library gifts defeats the voluntary spirit of the gift. Allowing students to request the gift with an ‘opt-in’ box would be more appropriate and less deceptive.
-David M. Rosner
graduate student

Omission

For the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranked GW’s undergraduate business program among the Top 50 in its recent “America’s Best Colleges” survey. Our program was ranked number 48 out of more than 375 accredited undergraduate business programs. This ranking is based on assessments by deans and senior faculty at U.S. business schools accredited by AACSB International, the premier accrediting agency for business programs.

Further the magazine ranked GW’s undergraduate business specialty in international business among the Top 20 – GW was number 16.

The August 25 Hatchet article, “U.S. News ranks GW No. 52,” neglected to mention these significant rankings.
-Susan M. Phillips,
Dean and Professor of Finance
GW School of Business

Revise CI

The first days of college are ones that we should all remember. However, for those of us in the Make-up/International CI, our experience was something that we probably want to forget. I have no intention of bashing our CI staff. I must, however, respectfully dissent from the belief that the current class registration system for late CI’s is acceptable. It isn’t. All of us found that, contrary to what we were previously informed by the CI staff, a sufficient number of places were not held for us. This resulted in the inability to register for the classes that I, as an Elliott School student, should have been able to take first semester. Consequently, I have been forced to take classes outside my major and areas of interest. I don’t want to lay blame, but I would appreciate it if next year’s planning committee would make sure that students who register for the last CI are not left out.
-Noah Wall
Freshman

Non-violence and arrest

For an English major, the author of last week’s column (“Peace and non-fiction,” Sept. 3, p. 4) would do well to learn the meaning of ‘civil disobedience.’ As anyone who has read Henry David Thoreau, Martin Luther King or even a dictionary should know, civil disobedience necessarily involves an intentional breach of law and, yes, arrest. The most prominent nonviolent demonstrators – MLK, Mandela and even Gandhi – all served jail time.

In fact, that the author mentioned Gandhi as a paradigm is interesting. Just last month, Arun Gandhi, Mohandas Gandhi’s grandson and head of the MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, visited the West Bank to encourage nonviolent resistance to Israeli occupation; such an approach would invite arrest as a means to protest unjust measures. As for the wall, he was reminded of “apartheid South Africa. The walls surround cities and towns, choking the people.” But such events are overlooked, as is much information that depicts Palestinians as anything other than mindless fanatics.

This oversight is likely related to the author’s fixation on Arafat, despite the expressed dissatisfaction of even his own party members – Qurea and Ashwari, for example. Moreover, it would contribute to the author’s absurd supposition that all Palestinians deserve their hardship, as if civilians disconnected from the violence merit the same treatment as terrorists if they share the same ethnicity and geographical origin. In fact, the present condition of the West Bank is largely the result of Israel’s maintenance of settlement activity – including checkpoints, limited access to roads, and denied access to water.

Meanwhile, the wall serves only to encourage problems by perpetuating these illegal settlements. The route would fortify nearly 80 percent of settlers while cutting deep into Palestinian territory; the ‘ruling to minimize Palestinian hardship’ has, in reality, done little beyond the surface and falls severely short of the only legitimate option left open to Israel: reduce the wall to its proper borders.
-Kaiser Farooque
External Vice President
Islamic Alliance for Justice

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