Letters to the Editor

Another size to adjuncts

I am writing about an article written by Zach Ahmad, entitled “Teaching classes and winning tables: Adjuncts find it hard to make ends meet” (Oct. 18, p. 1). Unfortunately, Mr. Ahmad has a strong slant to his writing on this issue. This is the second time he has written an article that gives one side of the story and, in fact, he strongly overstates the case relative to adjunct professors and unionization.

I have been teaching at the law school for over 27 years, I teach – not for the compensation – but because of a strong fundamental interest in educating students, my overall professional responsibility and desire to contribute to the university.

I’m concerned that if the adjunct faculty is unionized, while compensation of the professors will increase, it will obviously put additional budgetary pressure on the school. This will result in many of the specialized courses being terminated because they are no longer economically viable under the circumstances. Who will suffer? The students.

I also have no interest in being a member of the union and being subject to direction by the union. I would be subjected to follow, for example, a sympathy strike or being fined because I’m not complying with their orders. I urge The Hatchet to present the truth about this issue. I represent a large group of the adjunct professors who teach not for the money but to contribute to the education of students and the University. I don’t believe adjuncts are disrespected; in fact, it is to the contrary. We don’t have the same job description as full-time faculty and typically have a full-time position in which we are well compensated and receive adequate benefits outside of the University.

-Michael I. Sanders

adjunct law professor

Equal coverage

I always enjoy The Hatchet’s positive coverage of campus-wide events like Colonials Weekend, covered in the Oct. 18 issue. Most students and colleagues know that references to “Foggy Bottom’s (drawing) thousands” always catch my eye, however, particularly when the Mount Vernon Campus is attracting “thousands” as well. Saturday’s Octoberfest brought over 500 to Foxhall Road, our two brunches served almost 600, 350 people dined at my home Saturday evening and three soccer games and smaller alumni events hosted many more. “GW has a sense of inclusion which is really unique for a University,” a parent said at the end of your article. We hope that future coverage demonstrates the inclusion of both the Foxhall Road and Foggy Bottom campuses.

-Fred Siegel, Associate Vice President, Dean of Freshmen

Action against raises

Students all over the United States are aware of the skyrocketing costs of college tuition, students at GW painfully so. Just last year, the Board of Trustees raised the tuition of an incoming freshman by $5,000. Egregious as this tuition gouging may be here, it is hardly better at other schools across the country.

Yet despite these extremely burdensome costs, the federal government still uses tuitions from the 1970s to determine the cap on loans that we can take out to pay for college. Currently, an incoming freshman can only receive an unsubsidized loan up to $2,625. This sum will cover just under one year of your mandatory GWorld balance.

Both presidential candidates have blown a lot of hot air this fall, but neither has made any serious commitment to repairing this archaic, failing system. A likely reason is that neither one sees the college-aged demographic as a vote worth chasing; they simply do not view young adults as a politically viable voting bloc. Certainly, there are many exceptions to this crude generalization, and Youth ’04 is an organization dedicated to making them heard. To learn more or sign the petition for better aid to college students, visit www.youth04.org/states/dc.

-Dennis J. Petersen, sophomore

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