Letters to the Editor

Advice for advising

When I received an e-mail today from the Student Association asking me to complete a survey about advisers at GW, I thought, “Wow, maybe someone else has noticed that advisers here suck.” Although I usually avoid surveys, I was glad to complete one on something that I have strongly felt is lacking since I was a freshman at GW.

In my four years here at GW my adviser has been little to no help. Whenever I ask him a question about some obscure GW policy, he gives me the standard, “Look it up yourself” reply. The only advice he actually gave me in the last four years was to take more elective classes, such as art or drama. Unfortunately he didn’t catch the fact that I was missing an English credit, necessitating that I scramble to make it up before graduating – not that I don’t enjoy being the only senior in an English class full of freshmen.

The only thing he is good at is removing holds. All I have to do is give him that little form with my classes on it, and he goes into his computer. Then, bam! – no more hold. If he only had more office hours than just one hour on Thursdays, I might not have had such a nightmare trying to schedule a meeting with him, and he might have had enough time to actually look at the classes before approving them.

At first I thought my adviser was a rarity among the advisors at GW. I figured I just got the bad one. However, while griping about him to some of my friends, they replied unanimously, “Of course- what did you expect from your adviser? None of us go to them for actual advice.” Something struck me as inherently wrong here — that advisers are known as a lousy place for advice.

It was then that I came up with an idea for advising incoming students. I think incoming freshmen – or sophomores, if they haven’t declared as freshmen – should be paired with seniors in their major to advise them. By meeting with a senior, they could gain valuable advice as to what classes to take, how to balance their schedule with general curriculum requirements, required classes for their major, and electives. This should not replace the faculty advising, but should supplement it. In addition, the faculty advising needs to be overhauled, and set up in a way that students are meeting with advisers who actually want to meet with them, and who are willing to give them advice.

-Angus Chambers, senior

Turkey’s other side

In “Changing the papacy” (April 25, p. 4), Kasie Hunt demonstrates her misunderstanding of history. Specifically, she critizes Pope Benedict XVI’s stance regarding Turkey and its membership in the European Union. Does Ms. Hunt not remember what the Turks did to Christians in the Balkans during centuries of repression?

Take, for example, the mass-scale kidnapping of first-born male Christian children to brainwash them and train them for the Janissary corps.

What about the Armenian genocide? The Turkish government still denies the mass scale elimination of Armenian Christians during the end of WWI. In fact, it is still illegal in Turkey to attribute any such thing to the Turkish republic.

What of the situation of the Kurds right now? Is Ms. Hunt aware that 20 percent of the Turkish population is treated as second class citizens? In short, before Ms. Hunt criticizes Pope Benedict XVI for his true-to-faith orthodoxy, she would be well advised to do her homework.

-Adam J. Ramey, alumnus

Fanning the flames

In David Ceasar’s article about a “sextravaganza” at GMU (“Sex fest arouses controversy,” April 28, p. 3) and the uproar it caused within the Virginia State Legislature he mistakenly refers to the “Pro-Choice Patriots” group as a student pro-abortion group. It is exactly this type of misstatement that causes confusion about abortion and right-to-life stances.

The bottom line is that nobody is actually pro-abortion. People who believe in pro-choice values are in support of having the right to choose when the time is right to bring another person into this world. There is no pro-killing babies undertone nor is there an “abortion is always the way to go” stance on the situation. Pro-choice supporters should not be confused with those who wish to curb population growth or have a Darwin-like outlook on having children. Pro-choice supporters see their position as supporting women and couples’ rights everywhere to have the freedom to decide when they want to have children.

-Elizabeth Roman, senior, *Editor’s note: See “Correction,” page 2.

No need to guess

In regards to Jen Nedeau’s column of April 28 (“What are we looking for,” p. 4) I wonder whether Jen Nedeau’s friend, the international affairs major unable to find “any” of the materials he needed at Gelman who does not want to “go through the guessing game of finding appropriate materials at other locations,” stopped by the Reference Desk. My colleagues and I would have been pleased to assist him. I’m confident that we would have been able to find, at minimum, “the six to 10 non-Internet sources” he was seeking. No need to guess – just ask.

-David Ettinger, Ph.D., International Affairs and Political Science Librarian, Gelman Library

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