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Letters to the Editor 5/19

Unity needed in fight against terrorism

In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia, which targeted Americans, other Westerners and Saudis themselves, it should be quite evident that al-Qaida is still functioning and committed to its aim of going after Western and moderate Islamic cultures.

In my opinion, America isn’t prepared to deal with this threat for one main reason. There is a portion of our society that has yet to come to grips with the reality that these terrorist have declared war on us and will fight to the death to accomplish their goal of destroying us and our way of life.

We still have some people that think we can either just ignore these terrorist or think we can sit down and have a friendly chat with them to discuss the problem. Americans, as a whole, are not committed to winning this war as the WWII generation was dedicated to winning that war. Americans, as a whole, are not committed to going after these terrorists at all costs.

Americans that speak out for winning this war are looked at by some Americans as war mongers. Americans who speak out as supporters of America and the American way of life are regarded by a portion of our society as “right wing zealots.” Patriotism to a group of people in our society is seen as “old fashioned” and “out dated.” The thought of America in the national sense is seen as a road block to America becoming part of some sort of global nation. A group of people in this country think our national security should rely on the United Nations.

Until we, as a nation, decide that America needs to take the war to these terrorist, we will continue to be on the receiving end of terrorist attacks. This war needs to become a priority for all Americans or we will fall as a divided nation.

Gary Stanley is a former marine and a senior majoring in secondary education

Student Body president has good start

I would like to commend our new Student Body President Omar Khan for sticking to his campaign promise.

I attended the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, May 15 and the Board was about to make a decision that could have adversely affected the students. This was the issue of a tuition increase due to legislative budget cuts. Although an increase is inevitable, the amount was the concern.

The final decision was to rest with the Executive Board of which the Student Body president is not a member. Khan spoke out to say that the students must be represented on the important issue. A discussion ensued and finally an agreement was made to allow the entire board to vote (including Khan). This being Omar Khan’s first board meeting, it is to his credit that he overcame the initial hurdle with such resolve.

Nori Cruz is majoring in Art History

There should be no excuse for hazing

The two teenagers in Scarborough County who have filed injunctions of their suspensions from Glennbrook North High School are a disgrace.

Marnie Holz, one of the girls accused of hazing her classmates, makes herself the victim of an unfair school district that has denied her due process and has thus violated her rights by suspending her. The defense insists that she and her peers were treated unfairly and arbitrarily and that their punishment was too severe.

Do these girls live in a vacuum? College campuses throughout the United States have adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards hazing precisely because it is a potentially violent practice.

As hazing is an established taboo at the university level, the implication is that hazing is no less wrong at the high school level. Yet, the students at Glennbrook emboldened by their power over their victims abandoned their morality and committed an act beyond comprehension, exemplifying why hazing is not a socially acceptable practice.

While the high-schoolers may not have been given express warning that their actions could cause severe consequences, there is no just argument for calling this act a harmless ritual. These senior girls made a conscious decision to cover their classmates in disgusting filth and to beat them. As if it were a game, the seniors brutally attacked their classmates. Not only did five girls have to be sent to the hospital for their injuries, all of the abused students suffered immense humiliation and trauma. This act had no constructive purpose. It was a pretense for violence.

Holz and the other plaintiff insist that their punishment is too severe. Not only do they callously ignore the damage they’ve inflicted, they supplant the girls’ rights with their own. The students who committed that atrocious act deserve punishment, and the county’s decision to file criminal charges is more than justified.

The county should make an example of these students. Their crimes are appalling, and under no circumstances should these girls be given concessions. After all, they are criminals.

Evana Tamayo is a Senior majoring in history