Letters to the Editor

Biased reporting on Armenia

I read “Professor questions ethnic conflict” (Feb. 26, p.1) with interest and was somewhat disturbed by the biased reporting. Professor Turkkaya Ataov was presented to unsuspecting readers in a negative light with quotes like: “. who is internationally recognized for his vehement denials that the 1915 massacre of Armenians was a genocide .”

There has never convened a “competent tribunal,” as foreseen by Article 6 of the 1948 U.N. Convention on Genocide where the accused were given a chance of fair representation, cross-examining the evidence and producing their own evidence in defense. Therefore, a genocide verdict does not exist. How can one deny something that does not legally exist?

Genocide charges are political and cannot be substantiated with historical evidence. Resorting to denigrating descriptions like “genocide denier” when there is no court verdict to support such a label is nothing less than academic lynching of dissenters.

Also, asking someone “Do you accept or deny genocide?” is a racist and dishonest way of approaching history. The question should be rephrased: “What is your stand on the Turkish-Armenian conflict?”

This issue should be resolved by more dialogue, more research and more openness, not by name-calling, division and polarization.
Ergun Kirlikovali

What are you really mad about?

As an alumnus from the class of 2007, my years at GW were filled with men’s basketball bliss. With the success of the team, the demand for the best seating in the student section grew and students who wanted the best seats were forced to wait for them. It was in many ways a meritocracy: Fans who most desired the lower section seats would wait the longest and their fanaticism would be rewarded.

However, with the creation of the Colonial Army, a student group looked to take advantage of increased student interest in the men’s games. Students could pay a nominal fee, and as a result, they would receive priority seating for each game. Members of the Colonial Army were permitted to enter the Smith Center about a half hour before nonmembers were.

The effect of this was that any fan who wanted to show interest in this passing fad at GW would pay their fee and they would be guaranteed the best seats. Those who truly cared for the team but thought it a bit indignant that one student group could commandeer the best seats were relegated to the upper sections. Oh, and I suppose Colonial Army members did occasionally get a barbecue and t-shirt.

The point is, it seems to me, that Colonial Army members are crying foul over the wrong things. While they say that they are upset at a lack of barbecues and t-shirts, it seems more likely to me that with decreased student interest this year, there was decreased demand for student seating, and their Colonial Army seating privileges weren’t really all so special. While incompetent student leadership is nothing new at GW, students may wish to re-evaluate their motives for joining groups such as the Colonial Army. Were you really “devastated” by the lack of Colonial Army events? Or were you just devastated that you paid $15 to sit in the empty seats of the student section?
Benjamin Morrissey, Class of 2007

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