Letters to the Editor

Secret society still cause for concern

As a proud soon-to-be alum of GW, I am appalled of the still-existing Order at the Hippo. Secret societies and their rituals are omnipresent in colleges across the nation. However, the quasi-hidden nature of the Order of the Hippo as a co-sponsored group by the University should not be fostered by the administration.

Students at this University should be given access to full disclosure of all University-related events and to be denied such information is a slap in the face to the student body. I hope that the group that participates in such activities is a diverse and open-minded cohort that will agree that their “membership” in this society actually hampers and does not enhance the image of my (and about 10,000 other undergraduates’) future alma mater, George Washington University.

James Zarsadiaz, Senior

Necessary alert systems in place

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to both an editorial and letter to the editor recently seen in The Hatchet regarding the use of the e-mail system. The e-mail system is not the primary mode for notifying the campus of any type of emergency; in fact, it falls way down the list of alternatives.

There are two primary notification systems, both of which can be universally invoked in a few minutes: the Campus Advisories portion of the front page of GWU.edu and the Alert D.C. cell phone text messaging system. In addition to these announcement methods and the gwu.edu e-mail system there are other notification modes, from screen crawlers to the University Police Deparment’s public address system using police cruisers; but these methods are, for various reasons, not the primary choices under most circumstances. Though the system is very fast under a normal daily load, which spreads out three quarters of a million messages around the clock, trying to conceive, format and send an e-mail simultaneously to thirty-thousand accounts is not what the system is designed to do.

Virtually no university is currently considering their e-mail system the primary tool for the emergency notification system. Additionally, I read some complaints about the use of blast e-mails. True, not every e-mail is of interest to every person in the GW community, but every one of these e-mails is of interest to someone. The system is maintained by the University for the use of the University as a whole and serves us all, so just like any other widely used utility, from buses to television, it serves the greater good but not always everyone’s preferences.

Ron Bonig, Vice President and Chief Information Officer

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