Letters to the Editor

Shame on the JEC

I think the Joint Elections Committee should be ashamed of itself. SA elections this year ran on the platform of changing and revamping the Student Association, making it an organization to represent the students fully. How can the SA even attempt to do that when its representatives were not elected with the majority of the student vote?

With all due respect, Julie Bindelglass and Nick Polk did not win the majority of student votes and would not represent the choice of the GW student body. The argument that Kyle violated JEC rules regarding finances is further reinforcement that the JEC and the SA are not fully representing and serving the students.

The violation has no bearing on how effective Kyle would be as SA president. The JEC continues to make and enforce rules which are perceived on campus to only trip up SA candidates. To be blunt, the JEC reinforces its reputation as an ineffective and unproductive organization on campus. How can students respect the election of the SA and the JEC when it does not represent them at all?
Olivia Hallihan, Junior

No to the smoking ban

While it is seemingly noble for the members of “Campus for Clean Air” to propose a campuswide smoking ban, we should all be wary of proposed policies that take away our individual liberties. I’m sure the members of this group have the good intentions of protecting people from the harms of secondhand smoke, but their tactics are rooted in fascist ideology.

While that accusation may seem extreme, fascists seek to exert control over individuals as a way to promote their agendas. If these students are truly concerned with the ill effects of secondhand smoke, there are ways to promote their agenda that don’t trample individual rights. If the GW administration allows such a proposed ban, it would set a dangerous precedent. If we let them take away our right to smoke on campus today, who knows what rights they will look to deny in the future?

While banning smoking on campus may not seem like a very serious issue, it is important to defeat fascist movements before they get out of hand. If you don’t believe me, go ask Neville Chamberlain. By the way, does anyone find it ironic that one of the best places on campus to enjoy a cigarette is right in front of the School of Public Health?
Allan Johnson, Senior

We don’t own the sidewalks

I just read The Hatchet’s article on the proposed campus smoking ban (“Students propose smoking ban,” March 12). If the University were a closed campus like Georgetown or American University, it might be feasible. However, given the open layout in the city, this seems a bit preposterous. The quad and walkways between Lisner and the library and similar spaces may be owned by GW, but are not exclusively used by GW staff and students. They are also used by visitors, area residents and workers in the area to get across campus.

I understand not smoking in closed areas and near certain entrances, but to me, this seems to be just another attempt to harass smokers, rather than a public health concern. If Campus for Clean Air really was concerned about student health they would seek to ban cars from campus and ensure that the university provides incentive to its employees to use public transportation. After all, motor vehicle pollution is measured in tons, not grams and milligrams.
Kevin B. Rost, Class of 1987

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