Letters to the Editor

Letting things slide doesn’t solve anything

I just read “Regaining control over reactions,” in the opinions section of The Hatchet (Oct. 25, p. 4). I believe that everyone has a right to their opinion, but some things you cannot get over. I refuse to sit here and have racism in my community and not do anything about it. We need to draw attention to racism. We should not just see a noose hanging as “normal” and go on to class like nothing happened.

The writer said that we don’t need to “jump into a frenzy every time some lunatic hangs a noose on campus, simply condemn it and move on.” It’s not simple to move on. It brings up so many feelings of hatred and fear and racism. We have to do something so that it does not happen again. How do we move forward if people are still trying to hold us back? Do we turn the other cheek like nothing happened? No! We fight back. We involve the media. We march. We riot. We write letters to Congress. We write down our experiences with racism and tell somebody.

There is so much more than just the Jena Six situation or the University of Maryland situation. There is the woman in West Virginia who was raped and tortured. There are incidents of racism on our own campus. There are students on this campus who believe that the only reason that black students are here is because of affirmative action. There are students here who believe that Jewish people have horns.

We have David Horowitz coming to our school, which is just racism from head to toe. Horowitz said, “Guns don’t kill black people, other blacks do.” I cannot even explain how that makes me feel. Racism is an understatement.

Let everybody know how you feel about the racism, not only at our school but everywhere. Yell about the nooses hanging from the tree. Yell about Horowitz coming to our school. Shout from the top of your lungs about discrimination. Get mad. Get angry. Do not forget this anger. Do not let this feeling just fly out the door like nothing happened. Your voice will be heard.

Tiffany Shaw, Freshman

Ticket drivers too

I am deeply angered by the news that Metropolitan Police Department is going to start ticketing jaywalkers in an attempt to reduce fatal pedestrian accidents. Do the police not realize that fatal accidents involving pedestrians are not just the blunder of the pedestrian but of the driver? Putting the issue of how apparent jaywalking is on our campus aside, I ask you how often drivers on 23rd Street are ticketed by MPD for exceeding the speed limit or failing to yield the right of way?

As a student worker of Hillel at GW, I find myself crossing 23rd Street more often than the regular student grabbing lunch at Ivory. While I may be guilty of jaywalking a handful of times, I find that even when I use the crosswalk, drivers are anxiously speeding down 23rd Street into red lights or forcing their vehicle through a busy crosswalk to make a right on red.

According to a 2003 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, 14 percent of pedestrian fatalities are caused by the combination of “driving too fast for conditions” and “failure to yield right of way.”

Not once have I seen a single driver pulled over on 23rd Street for speeding by MPD, yet speeding seems to be a common practice among most drivers on our campus’s largest street. Are drivers not aware that they are on our campus and should slow down for pedestrians?

If MPD is going to make an attempt to raise awareness of pedestrian fatalities, they should realize that jaywalking is not the only cause. Both drivers and pedestrians should be ticketed for breaking the law, not just the ones that are easier to catch.

Andrew Klein, Sophomore

Pay attention to real crimes, not jaywalking

Is the University Police Department serious? Are they really telling me how I should cross the streets? Didn’t I learn that in kindergarten? Look ‘left, right, left again,’ and if no cars are coming, hold my Mommy’s hand and cross. I suppose UPD is thinking that I’m no longer with my Mommy, and so they need to hold my hand in her place – hence the recent “crackdown” on jaywalkers on campus. But I’m 21. Shouldn’t they be worrying about all the more important stuff on campus like real crimes? Like the burglaries, assaults and muggings that occur on and around campus? Aren’t there drunk freshmen who need escorting to the hospital and parties going on in Thurston? Does UPD really need to hold my hand when I cross the street?

Jake Melville, Senior

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