Letters to the Editor

Sex column tasteless, not informative

Your “sex column” is nothing more than crude, tasteless, poorly-written banter about topics that quite frankly have no place in a newspaper of The Hatchet’s purported caliber. I recall the first article – anal sex. Really? Nothing is sacred with you people. Don’t you feel some kind of obligation to uphold journalistic sophistication?

It’s as if you’re purposefully trying to find the most in-your-face way to push your liberal agenda and then infamously hide behind your First Amendment right, no matter how pointless or inappropriate the topic.

It’s one thing if you want to report on something that readers can benefit from, such as a chlamydia breakout and how to protect yourself. I particularly enjoyed your coverage on the rape kit lawsuit and the transgender issues on campus. Your sex column, however, is a failed attempt at edginess that brings the overall quality of the paper way, way down.

Doing a quick Google search on virginity statistics, as in your latest column, doesn’t begin to compare to the decades of research done by the abstinence programs you bash. Why not turn it into a sex advice column? That way people get to read about things they actually want to know about. Of course that depends on readers actually submitting questions to someone no more knowledgeable than themselves on the issue. Perhaps you could ask people to write about their experiences. Then it’s at least artistic – and this is coming from a God-fearing conservative. The Hatchet’s sex column is neither artsy, informative or useful.
Angelica Sabintsev, Sophomore

Protest “Don’t ask, Don’t tell”

It brings me great sadness to see that on this fine campus, a young man who wanted to serve our country with honor and pride was denied this basic right. Todd Belok, a freshman in the NROTC program, was dismissed, and in reality disqualified from any military service, due to the fact that he is gay (“‘Don’t ask’ hits home for NROTC,” Feb. 12, p. 1). “I want to be an officer because I feel that it shows character,” Belok said. “You are paying back your country.”

How was this patriotism rewarded? By destroying the young man’s career. How can you tell an individual who is willing to die to defend our country that he cannot because of his sexuality?

The University policy clearly states any group using its trademarks will not “discriminate against any persons or groups based on age, ancestry, belief, color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status or other illegal basis, or in any other way that would be a violation of University antidiscrimination policies.” I call upon President Knapp and the NROTC program to stand up for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. I call upon the students of GWU to not sit down and let a student be discriminated against on our campus. Write letters, protest and do whatever it takes to prevent discrimination and the denial of this student’s ability to achieve his full potential.
Marc Friend, Junior

Sex and relationship columns off base

I really wish you’d stop indulging your columnists. If I were an outsider checking out the GW Hatchet last week, I’d make horrendous judgments as to the emotional immaturity of students on this campus. Last Thursday’s issue, perhaps unintentionally, emphasized and legitimized the hook-up culture (“Dating is not dead, just different,” Feb. 12, p. 4), lack of “real love” in relationships and cited scientific reasons for not engaging in sexual behavior (“It’s OK not to have sex,” Feb. 12, p. 4).

The assertive, sometimes wistful nature of these love and sex columns last week was insulting. Your columnists keep trying to whittle down the intricacy of our relationships into categorical, analyzable, short theses only relevant to their own experience. Declaring a social theory out of what you’ve noticed in the alleged “brothel-like atmosphere” of this college campus is simply na’ve and obnoxious. Everyone tackles this stuff in her own way, columns like these are just alienating.

Conrad Murphy completely failed to address the physical risks of sex. Perhaps a big reason why some people are also “OK” with not having sex is they don’t want to worry about pregnancy or disease. Also, a tip: Evan Schwartz should probably stop referring to women as cows. Not a cute metaphor.
Laura Westman, Junior

Supporting Todd Belok

I am writing to express my support for Midshipman Todd Belok and my distaste and disgust for his dismissal from the NROTC program. I would like to preface my letter by saying that I have always been in support of our service branches – I have family serving in the Iraq war at the moment and grandfathers and uncles who have served this country bravely.

But Belok’s expulsion from NROTC is unequivocally open discrimination based on sexual orientation, and I am shocked the University upholds it. I have only ever interacted with Belok in class discussions and while we differed on many issues, our debates were always spirited and honest. I felt he was too conservative, but enjoyed our discussions and the challenges he presented.

From the casual relationship I have had with Todd, I know that he is an outstanding member of the George Washington University community and, above all, loyal to his country and to his duty to serve. I am truly appalled that a University that prides itself on diversity and acceptance has supported this archaic policy. This law has been flawed from the start and is in need of serious re-evaluation.

I understand the University’s fiscal and economic motivations but, in my opinion, taking a stand against discrimination and bigotry in any form should be top priority for any academic institution. I have been ever so willing to crawl through the red tape of GWU to achieve my goals here, but this is the final straw. If I understand the University’s stand on this situation correctly, I now know that as long as the government sanctions discrimination, GWU will stand behind it, not me.
Caitlin Marie Krieck, Sophomore

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