Letters to the Editor

The RACs are working hard

Recently, a column was published in The Hatchet explaining the plagues and problems that residents of the famous Thurston Hall are experiencing this year (“The party hall has gone too far,” Oct. 2, p. 4). The author mentions a lack of authority due in part to the removal of CFs, and the establishment of the Thurston Residential Advisory Council, which she suggests has yet to ensure order. For the sake of clarity, I would like to explain how the RAC works and how it will succeed when given time.

I agree with the author’s point that Thurston Hall is a very social dormitory that can be, at times, not conducive to studying. What the author failed to point out was that RACs across the campus, including Thurston’s, have already begun to address this problem by formulating plans to create adequate study areas in the halls.

The author calls upon the RAC to set and enforce laws. That statement exemplifies a gross misunderstanding of the RAC system – the RAC doesn’t create laws or enforce them. The RAC creates standards, or common statements the house agrees with, that do not carry any punitive action. Think of it as one big roommate agreement for the house.

The author of the column has written it prematurely. We have been in school for a little over a month, and the governing bodies themselves have only been in session for a week or less. Give us trust, give us time and soon we will take responsibility for our actions.

-Tim Swenson, Freshman, RAC president, Politics and Public Policy House

EMeRG not involved with medical amnesty

I recently read a column entitled “Drink, vomit, hospital,” (Oct. 2, p. 4) and wanted to clarify one issue that was factually incorrect in the piece. Contrary to what was suggested, EMeRG does not have any role in the implementation of the medical amnesty program, nor did we have a hand in instituting it. As I understand it, medical amnesty is a creature of SJS, and while we certainly applaud their effort to focus first and foremost on the health of the GW Community, we did not and do not have a role in the program.

-Harland Westgate, Public relations supervisor, Emergency Medical Response Group

Education complements free condoms

While sexual exploration may not be a novel concept for some incoming students, the idea of having readily available condoms sitting in buckets just waiting to be used, a scenario made a reality by the Student Association, is certainly a custom that most will have to get used to. We must all realize, however, that college students are having sex. Condoms do not encourage sex; condoms encourage safe sex among those already feeding their hungry libidos.

Protection, however, does not simply come in the form of an extra-lubricated latex sheath; we must remember that it also comes from education. Unfortunately, there may be a general lack of basic knowledge when it comes to safe sex. For this reason, Student Health Services, with their Health Outreach Peer Educators, work diligently throughout the school year to educate the GW community about sexual health issues. They also offer information, free HIV/STD testing and, of course, free condoms.

Already, we have offered “Coffee and Condoms” to those freshmen living in Thurston, and we are planning to extend such informational experiences to other freshman halls within the next several weeks. Students should also be on the lookout for free HIV/STD testing at least once before the end of the semester and remember that HIV testing is now being offered for free at student health (although a visitation fee will still be applied).

Certainly there is a concern that students may attempt to inflate the perception of their sexual prowess by taking more condoms than really necessary, but we are hoping that such behavior will subside once students become aware that the condoms aren’t going anywhere. Plus, it’s better to be over-prepared than empty-handed in the heat of the moment.

-Trey Watkins , Assistant outreach coordinator, Student Health Services

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