We agree: 9/11 Memorial should be free of politics. A clarification…
We request that the author of “9/11 memorial should be free of politics” in Sept. 12 letters to the editor would take a moment to step off his hyperbolic pedestal and realize that Students Defending Democracy also feels that political exploitation of the victims of 9/11 is incredibly unacceptable. I am pleased to report that the GW Democrats aren’t the only student organization on campus with a moral backbone.
Though the author claims that SDD sullied an otherwise pristine memorial with a heavily partisan and “overtly” political spectacle in actively recruiting a mourning audience into our organization, his accusation of SDD’s implication is quite erroneous.
In reality, SDD was integral in aiding the Student Association and University Events in the planning and execution of the event. More than 30 volunteers, comprised of SDD, College Republican and College Democrat members, made the evening possible by setting up, distributing candles and inviting audience members to attend the film screening of “The Flight that Fought Back.” Meanwhile, GW Democrats supplied no volunteers for the memorial and showed “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which we all know to be completely nonpartisan.
And it would behoove the author to not publicize hasty generalizations about organizations he is not familiar with. Though he branded SDD a “conservative organization,” co-chair Collin Stevenson has no mental reservation of leading this group as a proud democrat, one who is seriously considering voting for Obama or, dare we say it, Hillary.
A mother loses a daughter to a drunk driver. Tell me, is it immoral for her to use that tragedy as a catalyst to garner support for the elimination of drunk driving so that no other mother may have to endure that heartache? Thousands of innocent men and women fell victim to the most horrific terrorist attack this nation has ever seen, and SDD members choose to dedicate part of their lives to eradicating the threat of terrorism in the future. It is entirely possible and incredibly necessary to unite from either side of the political spectrum against this unjustifiable tactic by which our innocent countrymen lost their lives.
As a clarification, SDD has no political agenda. We seek solely to educate our peers on the threat of terrorism so that solutions of various and dynamic design may come to fruition. SDD took extreme offense to the accusation of politicizing 9/11. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Collin Stevenson and Claire Meyer, Co-Chairs, Students Defending Democracy
GW security must be revamped
I have a first-hand knowledge of the failure of GW security – I was a GW student security guard during my sophomore year. As a Community Host for the Community Living and Learning Center (now GW Housing Programs), my stated purpose was to make students swipe their GWorld a second time and sign in their guests when entering the dorm, from 7 p.m. to midnight during the week and from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. on the weekends, and to build community within the dorms.
However, my real purpose seemed to check and limit how many students a person could sign in – essentially a glorified anti-drinking monitor. I cannot tell you how many times students basically flipped me the bird and walked (or ran) straight past me. I couldn’t blame them – it should have been a qualified security guard, not a student trying to act like one. The lack of security at GW has increasingly bothered me since the April massacre at Virginia Tech. How was I to stop anyone with a weapon? And with the elimination of the program at the end of that year, how were students to cope without even the minimal nightly protection we student guards provided?
Perhaps a greater danger lies in the area at large. In the early morning hours at my Community Host job, I discovered and evicted a homeless woman sleeping on the lobby couch of JBKO. A fight between a cabbie and a passenger broke out in front of the dorm – another night, another call to UPD. I did not feel safe being a guard, let alone living in the dorm or any other since. The homeless reside all over campus, from the central location of the Metro to the bridge by HOVA, yet the front desks installed at the dorms are overwhelmingly empty. The campus dorm and street robberies of last week, one as early as 11 p.m. and less than a block away by the Metro, make me hesitate before walking alone at night. Let’s also not forget the assaults that have occurred on campus, from those at night to the alleged weekday morning assault in an Academic Center classroom in February.
We need a system like that at NYU (“Thefts highlight dorm security,” Sept. 17, p. 1) where there are 24-hour dorm security officers that check IDs for identity, not alcohol. We need increased UPD patrols not only through the dorms, but around campus as well – not just when there is a crime spike. And while it’s important to lock doors and be vigilant ourselves, there is only so much students can do without the umbrella of University-provided security. Foggy Bottom is a part of Washington. The lack of security at GW fails to acknowledge that Foggy Bottom is part of an urban city. It’s time for the administration at GW to recognize that and adequately protect its students.
Christine Grimaldi, Senior