Letters to the Editor

Former SGA officers speak up, feel misled by Todd

As Western alumni and former Student Government Association office holders, we feel the need to speak out concerning Nick Todd’s remarks in the Aug. 24 Herald. As students who served with Todd in SGA, we are dismayed by his lack of integrity in this matter. His actions since last spring have left many who severed with him dismayed and done considerable harm to SGA.

During our years of service in SGA, we witnessed considerable “petty politics” and mudslinging. However, Todd has taken this to a new level by smearing honorable members of SGA rather than taking responsibility for his actions.

The hardest hit in this smear campaign has been Jessica Martin. Throughout our time in SGA, Martin was one of the hardest working and most honest members of SGA. Not one to be partisan, she consistently worked with members of both sides of issues to achieve results. She worked behind the scenes and did work that achieved big results but got little “glory” for herself. She is one of the most dedicated student leaders on campus and an asset to SGA.

Todd’s use of his much delayed resignation, just prior to an almost certain impeachment, as a forum to take parting shots at those who had to deal with the discovery and aftermath of this scandal is despicable. Todd did not offer any explanations concerning the facts of this matter. Instead, he chose to lash out with baseless accusations and groundless attacks. The students and this university deserve better, and we are confident they will get that in September.

Dana Lockhart,

2004 graduate from Hendersonville, Tenn.

former Judicial Council Justice

Brandon Copeland,

2003 graduate from Bardstown

former vice president of Administration

Matthew Pava,

2004 graduate from Bowling Green

former IT director

Another student bothered by image on fraternity t-shirt

I am bringing to your attention something that struck me as totally inappropriate. I was eating in Downing University Center with my roommate, trying unsuccessfully to avoid the “rush” week activities, when I spotted a shirt that made me somewhat angry.

The shirt was a Sigma Chi fraternity rush week promotion bearing Joe Rosenthal’s famous image of the flag-raising atop Mt. Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima in the Pacific campaign of World War II. The image had been altered to have a fraternity flag instead of the stars and stripes.

This disturbed me because some 23,000 casualties were documented in that battle. Men died to take a mound of dirt that lead to V-J day. Some of the men in the photo were later glorified as heroes and if I remember correctly, one man eventually killed himself over the photo’s exposure. Needless to say, 70,000 Marines didn’t fight to advertise a fraternity. The shirt was made in poor taste, and [was] very offensive to me. Show some respect and don’t make the stereotype that college kids these days are completely indifferent to the world around them a reality. I knew a man who was there when the flag was raised, a vet, and he would have cried at the sight of that image’s alteration. Please consider my remarks and take any appropriate action you wish. I felt like the Herald was the only place I could express my opinion. Thank you and have a good day.

Stephen Ogden,

Dyersburg, Tenn., senior

Marines fought for freedom and the right to don a t-shirt

U.S. Marine Sgt. Miki Padgett wrote Aug. 26 that he was disturbed by a campus organization’s use of the picture of the United States’ flag-raising at Iwo Jima -World War II -on a t-shirt. Padgett says he was disturbed at what he claims is the defamation of a flag-raising. He also claims that “many who wear that t-shirt have never worn a uniform…” and to not “…take something you have never earned and don it for your glory.”

I am disturbed that Sgt. Padgett seems to have forgotten the very reason for which he and thousands of U.S. service women and men put their lives on the line – to protect the most sacred and fundamental freedoms and human rights that our U.S. Constitution guarantees each and every U.S. citizen.

As enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The courage and valor of U.S. service women and men and veterans from all previous wars are for naught, Sgt. Padgett, if we are not free to exercise these most fundamental rights. Yes, I thank you for putting your life on the line to protect my basic rights and freedoms; however, I do not need to earn those rights and freedoms. They are my birthright as a human being as enshrined in the founding documents of our nation.

Jeff Dongvillo,

social work assistant professor

‘Life isn’t one big, red carpet’

Wes Watt’s commentary regarding his pet peeves belonged in a web log, not the Herald. If he sheds any more tears, I think we all might drown in his infinite sorrow. Here’s a reality check made out to Mr. Watt, and hey, look at that, I wrote it all by myself: Wes, the masses aren’t going to bend over backwards just to see you smile.

There will always be cell phones, popped collars and fads that make you squirm, but you don’t seem to realize that. I’m under the impression that you expect society to feed you grapes while you lay sprawled on a bed of pillows regaling us all with stories of yesteryear. Here’s a memo, Wes: Life isn’t one big red carpet.

Jeff Tetreault

Fairfax, Va., senior