Letters to the editor

Some at parade misunderstood MLK’s message

A funny thing happened at the Martin Luther King parade Monday.

A number of people joined the march, myself included, holding signs expressing MLK’s anti-war position.

All of us, I think, saw the parade as an opportunity to reinvigorate King’s anti-war politics — not to appropriate the parade for an agenda somehow divorced from it.

But an African-American woman irately told those carrying peace signs to go “to the back of the parade,” since this was a “Martin Luther King parade, not an anti-war demonstration.”

I said, “But King was against war.” She said that didn’t matter and “to go to the back of the parade.”

The irony of being sent to the back of an MLK parade is, I hope, lost on no one.

But the inspiring program told a different story and made me proud of our community and university. The content was thrillingly anti-materialist, pro-education and pro-peace.

The speakers emphasized that this was a day for all people. Dean Bailey thanked us for treating the “day off” as a “day on.”

As an advocate of equality, I try to raise awareness about how patterns of bias pervert us all. I hope my actions place me in the anti-racist, anti-white supremacist and anti-imperialist camp.

Afterwards, several sign-wielders said they felt vindicated. An African-American man said to me, “Sending you to the back of the parade like that — no disrespect was intended.”

Thanks to the program planners, performers, speakers and gracious people. I’d just like to say, “none taken.”

Jane Olmsted

Director of Women’s Studies

Associate Professor, Department of English

Northeast residents deserve better

I cannot figure out exactly why I bother to pay ($1,200) a semester just to live in Northeast Hall.

Nothing seems to work here. The cable was out for weeks last semester, the Big Red Card machines in the laundry rooms have not worked at all, the vending machines steal money, the hall has been flooded twice and the Internet is not working due to the second flood that occurred over break.

I am almost starting to regret moving here. If it wasn’t for the private bathroom, better furniture and the fact that the hall is co-ed, I would much rather be living somewhere else.

Improvements were made during the renovations. So why isn’t everything working? I understand some glitches may initially occur, but the hall has been reopened for two semesters now. Why should residents have to endure the inadequacies of Western and the contractors who were responsible for the renovations to this building?

Students living in the directional halls should get some kind of refund, discount or even credit on our Big Red card. It is not our fault, and we should not have to suffer through the incompetency of others.

President Gary Ransdell said in the Herald’s article about the renovation of DUC that campus is being upgraded in response to students’ needs.

But how are the troubles we are encountering in Northeast in any way meeting our needs?

Elizabeth Gholami

Louisville sophomore

Athletics, entertainment straining Western’s budget

The solution to Western’s budget crisis is simple: beer and bodies.

Sell beer at NCAA events and provide scantily-clad and provocative dancers at halftime. Attendance and revenues would skyrocket, solving all our problems and further increasing enrollment.

Yes, the university could fulfill its true purpose this way and attract more students. We could give to academics whatever new revenue the Pathetic Department didn’t use.

Besides, we need to comply with Title IX by getting women’s sports about $2 million more so that their funding represents the proportions of Western’s student body.

President Ransdell deserves an Oscar for his so-believable performance fretting over academic funding while diverting millions to entertainment.

The president, Student Government Association and Board of Regents should stop whining and focus on the core mission of the university by eliminating extraneous programs like the $8 million-plus in NCAA sports, $100,000 in SGA funding and $250,000 in Campus Activities Board funding.

The Hilltopper Athletic Foundation could also be converted into the Hilltopper Academic Foundation. And what about the $90 million capital campaign for Western?

Tuition is 50 percent less at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System down the street. There is no charge for parking, and they have a surplus of convenient spaces.

If our President, Board of Regents and SGA are really doing their jobs well, then why does Western cost over twice as much, lack parking and want more money?

By the way, Western spends only about 10 percent of the fees raised through tag sales on parking. Go figure.

Bob Bell

Bowling Green