Letters to the editor

Adapting to college computer system

Going into my final semester, it shouldn’t bother me anymore. The letters addressed to the parents of Donald Lee Terry. Although my parents are amused, I can’t say that I am. You see, I am 39 years old and have been away from home for 21 years. It seems that the college’s computer system doesn’t weed out traditional from non-traditional students. Which is a nice way of saying appropriate age students from old ones.

While at Western one is surrounded by youth. It’s difficult for us non-traditional students not to feel old. We are, after all, older than most of the students. We are not the norm. So, do we strive to fit in? Should we be bothered by the letters to our parents? I guess not.

We should be pleased with ourselves that we have finally strived to further our education. We should be proud that we are jumping through more hurdles than many traditional students. Hurdles of families, jobs, homes, and yes, age. So, I will keep my head up, do my school work and open the mail addressed to my parents without grumbling, because that’s all part of being a non-traditional student.

Don Terry

senior from White House, Tenn.

There should definitely be a lawsuit

I would like to respond to Tiffany Passafiume’s letter, “There should be no lawsuit.”

First I would like to add that I, too, like you (Passafiume) have resided on campus for almost two years now. I stayed in Pearce-Ford Tower when someone was attempting to set the dorm on fire for about two weeks. The following year I was in Poland Hall when there were many major robberies.

I will not say that Western did nothing, but I didn’t see much of a change. The point I’d like to make is problems at the bottom of the Hill were evident, and they weren’t taken seriously or they were overlooked, and this is where Western officials screwed up. I am not saying that they are responsible for the murder of Katie Autry, but they are responsible for the safety of every student. Clerks are responsible for SOMETHING from the time they are behind the desk until the time they leave.

Students are required to check their guest in, but who said she let them in? If she did let them in, why didn’t the clerk sign them in or ask for IDs? If a clerk behind the desk is distracted from taking proper procedures, this should be taken up with their boss, the hall director – who is employed by WESTERN like the desk clerks.

If Saturday nights are crazy, there should be more than one clerk working the desk. Western is enforcing the rules NOW but they weren’t being enforced when Katie Autry died. The only new security measure that I have noticed at Western is the phones in the dorms. The point I’m trying to make is that Western played a part in her death because she wasn’t secure. It could have happened anywhere but it should not have happened on Western’s campus. Think about the tension and sadness that was on campus and in Poland when she died. If you were her mother wouldn’t you want answers too?

Amy Campbell

Louisville sophomore

Editor’s note: Please use caution when writing letters about the pending murder trial and lawsuit in the Katie Autry case. The accused in the case haven’t been convicted of anything and it is potentially libelous for the paper to print a letter which makes assumptions of their guilt or liability.

– Kyle Hightower

Against the lawsuit

Since Katie Autry’s death, I have followed the details of what happened to this fellow student as well as tried to fully understand how this horrible crime could have taken place in our seemingly safe surroundings. The lawsuit that was filed on Thursday has left me baffled.

It is absurd that the Autry estate is placing blame for Autry’s death on the staff of Poland Hall, Student Life Foundation and Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Each of these groups handled matters in the appropriate way. The residence hall staff should be commended for their work instead of condemned.

The Pikes provided Autry, along with many others that night, sober rides home. The Student Life Foundation as well as many members of campus came together over the summer to make campus safer for students returning in the fall.

I have lived in the residence halls and I have been to fraternity parties, and I never felt as though I was not safe.

My deepest sympathy goes out to the Autry family. I will not pretend that I understand the hardship that Autry’s family is going through, but I do understand their need for justice. None of the parties being held responsible in the lawsuit were negligent.

Tara Regan

senior from Akron, Ohio

Remembering life inside residence halls

Being a recent graduate of Western, I remember living in Poland Hall only three years ago. I remember having to show my ID every time I came into the dorm, even when the resident assistant at the desk personally knew me. That was the rule. So if the desk clerk didn’t check the IDs of the two men that came into the dorm the morning Katie Autry was killed – which is a rule implemented by Western – then Western is at fault.

In response to the letter Ms. Passafiume submitted in the September 23 edition, Ms. Autry is not solely at fault.

Whether it was a busy Saturday night or not, it is the rule that the desk clerk checks ALL IDs. If this is too difficult due to too many guests, then Western needs to change the rule.

Therefore, if the desk clerk indeed did not check the ID, he or she and Western are at fault. Yes, I was aggravated with the rule when I lived there as I felt we were all adults, but this is Western’s campus and Western makes the rules.

Rachel C. Taylor

Bowling Green graduate