Letters to the editor

Western should have a heart

The following letter is directed at Western administration.

I was Katie Autry’s roommate. That being established, you know that I resided in Poland Hall, and I know for a fact that “the proper safety procedures” that were SUPPOSED to be in place were NOT enforced, and as a result Katie is DEAD. Instead of trying to cover (yourself) to get more students to attend (even though we are over capacity, which doesn’t seem to bother you guys), maybe you should start taking responsibility for the lack of security last year. This year does seem to be better, which means you have made an effort, but for God’s sake, with all the MILLIONS of dollars that are contributed to this school for FRIVOLOUS purposes, I’m sure you could find a couple of thousand to help out Katie’s family with the expenses they incurred as a result of the attack. Her family does not have that much money, and whether or not it was the university’s fault, the right thing to do would be to help them. Donnie Autry’s daughter is DEAD. She was MURDERED in her dorm room! By the way, I am FULLY prepared to testify for Katie’s family that the security was NOT effective in Poland.

Danica Jackson

Radcliff sophomore

There should be no lawsuit

I attended Western for three years and lived in the dorms for two of those years. I think that filing a suit against Western for Ms. (Katie) Autry’s death is completely ridiculous. It is the resident’s responsibility to sign in guests at the front desk of the residence hall, not the resident assistant’s or the desk clerk’s. Especially on a crazy Saturday night with numerous people coming in and out of the dorms, the desk clerk can get distracted with others signing in and checking out.

The RAs are not there to be babysitters. If you are mature enough and adult enough to move away from home for college and live in the dorms, then you should be responsible enough to obey the rules, such as checking your guest in. This is a rule to protect you and if you don’t abide by it, then it is your own fault. I am not saying that Ms. Autry deserved anything that happened to her, but the only people that should be held responsible are the guys that did this. Ms. Autry’s family need to understand that by not obeying the rules, she was the sole person that left herself unprotected.

Tiffany Passafiume

Louisville senior

Hypocrisy in the non-policy

Much has changed since my first days on the Hill in the fall of ’94. Most of these changes have only promoted the growth and improvement of our campus community. However, there are certain changes that I find unjust and hypocritical.

Recently I learned that if a student is caught with alcohol in his or her residence hall, that student must write a letter to his or her parents that, in essence, tattles on the student. Certainly, it is the case that Western maintains a dry campus. However, is this sort of tattling really necessary? I find it very interesting that the same university that sends letters to parents regarding alcohol so willingly sells cigarettes to students at extremely inflated prices via the Big Red card. Let’s face it, students drink and students smoke.

The very same Western that requires students to write their parents regarding alcohol violations allows students to spend their parents’ cash to buy smokes. Bottom line – Western sends a message of caring to parents but fails to mention that their child can buy cigarettes with Big Red dollars easier than they can smuggle a twelve pack into their room. I’m sure many parents would be VERY surprised to learn this. Western certainly doesn’t report those buying cigarettes with Big Red dollars, but why would they?

Don’t get me wrong. As a smoker, I like that cigarettes are available via Big Red dollars. I used Big Red dollars, okay, my parents’ money, to buy them as an undergrad. I just think that if Western is going to pretend to play big brother they should tell parents the ENTIRE story, and not just a piece of it.

Adam Routt

Louisville graduate

Information should be removed

In response to the September 18 article “Concerns raise about students’ privacy”:

I am a non-traditional student. I have been to many different places, I have a place of my own off campus, I work and do my homework for class the next day and … I have an ex-husband. I left my married life behind three years ago for reasons I will not get into here. However, over the past three years I have not lost the idea of looking over my shoulder, or expecting that one day I will open my front door with my ex standing there … still angry, still sad, still ready to lash out at a given opportunity.

From the beginning of my adventure here at Western, I have had reservations and concerns with my home address and phone number being so readily available for anyone to have access to. Now, I don’t mind so much that other students and faculty have the option of getting in contact with me when they need to, but when someone from the “outside” has that as well … well, I’m a bit uncomfortable with that.

Having said the above about myself and my own concern as a student here, I fully support the idea that such personal information should not be so openly available. Call me paranoid … whatever. But I know some others out there who are just as concerned and would rather not have past relationships or other possibilities to come knocking at their front door or ringing their phone off the hook.

Please continue to look into the safety of the members of Western, whether they are faculty, staff, or student. Privacy is one thing nobody can afford to loose.

Dianna Schaefer

Bowling Green sophomore

Mentality, not devices to blame

We all feel sorry for the two women who were hit on University Boulevard. However, before we devise new mechanical devices to improve safety, perhaps we should examine the culture in which (the girls) were raised.

When I started school in Milwaukee, we had no crossing guards. The philosophy was that children should be taught not to cross the street when cars are coming. When I was in sixth grade, I became a safety cadet. My job was not to stop cars, but to stop small children from making inappropriate choices of what times to cross the street. I don’t recall ever hearing of a child being hit during the 13 years I went to school in Milwaukee. Nor do I recall any of the 40,000 students at the University of Wisconsin being hit while I attended there.

In Kentucky, the law states that drivers shall stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and for pedestrians waiting in front of the crosswalk. My experience has been that students coming out of the parking structure step directly onto Big Red Way without even glancing to see if a car is coming. Many are talking on their cell phones. But the driver may also be talking on a cell phone. The driver would be wrong, and the pedestrian would be dead right. I don’t want to argue my case with Saint Peter.

Joan Krenzin

Department of Sociology

Another slant on huge issue

In response to Aaron Hughey’s commentary “State of Society Calls for Affirmative Action,” I just wish to say, I have never heard such a misguided opinion in all my life.

If Mr. Hughey could point me to these real barriers that are holding the black community down, then I would love to see them. Fact is, the only barriers that exist are these barriers which are created. Barriers that tell blacks they are a victim. Consider these facts and statistics:

Forbes recently investigated and surveyed to find the top 100 celebrities. Criteria included income, Internet Web site hits, number of articles and magazine covers. Twenty-six of the 100 were blacks. Yet while blacks make up 26 percent of the list, they only represent 12 percent of the population.

So what is the real problem with black underachievement? The lack of parental responsibility in the household is another issue, white or black, it does not matter. Bad parenting and lack of parenting are why kids are failing today.

Please understand, Mr. Hughey, that the problem lies in attitude, not in race and not in social class. Bad parents and influential leaders are the problem. I know many families who live on a low income, but have raised bright children, many of whom are in college. I also know plenty of upper class families that raised lousy children.

As a substitute teacher who has put in all of his subbing time at the high school level, I have seen what bad attitudes towards life and success can do to kids, especially after that attitude has been instilled into a child for 16 or 18 years of his/her life. I can tell you there is a significant correlation between these kids and bad parents/role models.

Clint Dockery

Morgantown senior