LETTERS

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February 2, 2006

Letters to the Editor

Sexual Assault Policy

I applaud NOW’s initiative to pressure the U of C to form a sexual assault policy. When I was assaulted midway through last quarter, there was nothing I could do: I hadn’t been “harassed,” nor had I been officially “raped,” but without giving details of what happened, I can say that I was violated nonetheless. When I reported the incident, I was told to go to counseling and to talk about what happened with the offender and all parties present that night. There is a wide range of sexual wrongs that can be committed against women, and it’s the University’s responsibility to define them.

Andrea Natalie Goldstein

First-year in the College

LCD screens and SG

On a campus so recently shaken by race issues as seen this fall with the “ghetto” party and more recently with anti-Semitic statements found in Hitchcock, I find it inappropriate to criticize Student Government for trying to raise awareness of the diversity of student activities found on campus. Furthermore, I cannot respect accusations of SG being out of touch with the student body, given that they came from such an apparently closed-minded and isolated individual as the author that attacked SG in last Friday’s Maroon. (“Want something done? Don’t ask SG”, 1/27)

Barney Keller accused SG of having changed nothing in his life and being “unable to think like students.” These accusations were based on the fact that Robert Hubbard seemed to be proud of the new LCD screen in the Reynolds club which informs students of upcoming events, cultural shows, and RSO meetings while waiting for the bus, protected from the elements. (The actual posting of campus events is not scheduled to take place for another few weeks, however the mere idea of it was attacked, and should be defended).

The author’s inability to realize the fact that a large and diverse portion of the university community live off campus and thus benefit from any improvements in the bus system, can perhaps be explained by the fact that he lives in the center of campus. The author’s total close-mindedness can perhaps be better understood by the fact that his residence is in a frat house. I make this claim, not with the notion that frats attract or create close-minded individuals, but with the belief that their self-selecting structure does little to broaden horizons, and indeed, creates the danger of tricking their residents into thinking their limited outlook, shared by their four best friends, is the only way of seeing things.

Since I am unwilling to define University of Chicago “students” as a collection of like-minded frat brothers, I applaud SG for promoting awareness of the diversity of RSOs and their events, or in bureaucratese—getting the job done.

Lillian Connett

Third-year in the College

I think Keller makes a critical point about governance issues that really matter. He claims that we “expect” bureaucracy in government when we deal with the Social Security system, the State Department, or the Department of Motor Vehicles. He is correct: We have come to accept bureaucracy in every sphere, here and probably in the rest of the world too. But why should we?

As people who pay taxes and fund the government, we deserve that the government function for us. Similarly, a student government needs to be functioning for the student body. To illustrate my point: We will not accept a substandard food service from our dining halls just because there are people who don’t get anything to eat, and we cannot expect our faculty to be incompetent because somewhere in the world there are 70 kids in a school that is as large as my Broadview single. We deserve good food and good faculty because that is what we are paying for. The world does not run on obligations or charities.

We really do need to consider what Keller writes about the LCD screen (not screens) at the Reynolds club and evaluate our student government in light of this argument. Are the benefits of the not-always-working-$1,000-LCD screen, including our precious president’s jumpy heart, and publicity really worth what has been spent, and will continue to be spent, on the screen? Wouldn’t it be more useful to have the buses run efficiently (as they should in the first place anyway) and perhaps put up a couple more notice boards for people to stick flyers? Perhaps Barney Keller will run for President at the end of the year and help us get our economics straight.

Akshay Birla

First-year in the College