Letters to the Editor

Hard fought rights

Ms. Ferruggia and the “‘W’ Stands for Women” group should be aware of a few facts before throwing their support behind President Bush in this year’s election.

Women in the Bush White House earn 78 percent of what their male counterparts make (Washington Post). Between January 2001 and July 2004, the number of unemployed women rose by over one million (Department of Labor). As of June 2004, 16 million women did not have health insurance (Kaiser Foundation). The FDA, under pressure from the Bush administration, rejected over-the-counter emergency contraception (AP). The Bush administration deleted and altered women’s issues information from government Web sites (Reuters). President Bush, surrounded in a press conference by a large group – only male – signed into law the most significant restriction on abortion since Roe v. Wade, and one ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (NY Times).

The Bush administration has ordered multiple financial audits of sex-ed non-profits that don’t promote abstinence-only programs, but has not ordered any audits of abstinence-only programs helmed by Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster, which were found guilty in court of misusing federal funds and openly violating the separation of church and state doctrine (Salon.com). The Bush administration signed into law a gag rule preventing federally-funded organizations globally from discussing abortion, which led to increased deaths among women (Women’s eNews). President Bush believes that discrimination against women is not as serious as racial or ethnic

discrimination (Fleischer, White House Briefing). Bush linked abortion to

the terrorism of 9/11 on the 29th anniversary of Roe v. Wade (White House

Press Conference).

The next president will likely name at least two Supreme Court justices to the bench; Bush has stated he respects justices Thomas and Scalia the most, both of whom along with Rehnquist openly wish to overturn Roe v. Wade. I cannot recall a group in history which, having fought so hard for deserved civil rights, is now actively trying to cede many of them to a man who would trample them. A woman supporting George W. Bush is one who spits on those who fought for her right to be equal. For shame, Ms. Ferruggia.

-Benjamin B. Williams, senior, Computer Science

Nothing to do with students

The reports printed in student newspapers across the country measure the pulse of the student body and report what is pertinent to this 18-24 year old crowd. The Hatchet, however, has once again come up short in this department. The front page of the Monday, Oct. 11 issue reported on a laid-off construction worker who plays guitar with his MIDI files. This compelling story apparently took up too much room for the student-related activities of the past weekend.

WRGW, the campus radio station, put on its 6th annual Octoberfest concert on Saturday, Oct. 9. A huge success for this completely student-run organization, the six bands that played between noon and 5 p.m. attracted over a thousand people to University Yard. The Pietasters, a local ska band, headlined the concert that featured two all-student bands. The Hatchet assessed this huge student-run and student-attended outdoor festival, and determined it was only worth a tiny picture and a single sentence as a caption buried all the way back in the Metro section of the paper.

The Hatchet once again has dropped the ball on covering a significant student activity, and yet still insists on being one of the nation’s premier student newspapers. The ability to afford fiscal independence from the University does not give it the ability to ignore the significant events held by the same George Washington community this paper claims to serve. The last time I checked, MIDI files and laid-off construction workers weren’t a priority of the students at The George Washington University.

-Matt Saunders, WRGW program director

Send me a refund

It seems like every week, another academic program at GW has been cut or merged. In addition to the merging of Romance Languages and Slavic Languages and the cutting of Earth and Environmental Sciences, the latest cut is the Peace Studies program. According to The Hatchet, this program had a measly budget of $8,600 a year.

Meanwhile, several multi-million dollar buildings are being built and the Smith Center has a flashy new scoreboard. I know that budgeting for a large University is a complex process and I understand GW has financial difficulties. Yet I find it hard to believe that GW could not find $8,600 to save the program.

Given the ubiquitous political rhetoric of war and terrorism, Peace Studies is a vital option of study for students in Washington D.C. However, no academic program should be cut. In fact, GW should be adding academic programs if it really cares about scholarship.

As I read about these outrageous cuts, I am constantly receiving e-mails from the Alumni Association inviting me to the ridiculous fundraising charade that is “Colonials Weekend.”

Do they really think that I will actually donate money? Things like this make me ashamed I ever went to GW and I would never think of donating. In fact, I think GW should send me a refund.

-Philip Longo, alumnus

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