Letters to the Editor (Oct. 5)

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October 5, 2007

1:33 AM

**Sex column misguided**

p. **To the Editor:**

p. I recently was shown a column in The Flat Hat that is a veritable “how-to” on performing oral sex on a man. Such a column serves to highlight a piece of the depraved, immoral behavior of some students these days, but not much more. This tasteless content besmirches the intellect of fellow students, professors and alumni, and it further disgraces the legacy of great thinkers who resided at the College before us. I am embarrassed for the College and repulsed that this is the discourse going on in The Flat Hat. We live in an age in which our society suffers from abortion, high divorce rates and other social ills. The columnist’s writing skills would be better applied, and challenged, discussing how to maintain healthy, long-term relationships and good values.

p. __— Will Coggin ’07__

p. **Make a difference this fall break**

p. __To the Editor:__

p. As you make your way over the Industrial Canal westbound into downtown New Orleans, you can see in the rearview mirror the famed site of the levee breach. Written over it in red and white paint is a single word: “hindsight.” The view beyond the levee is nothing more than grass, empty lots and streetlights laid in a grid pattern — a spooky memorial to the neighborhood that once stood there. That was misconception number one before my trip to Louisiana. The lower ninth ward is not just a hard hit area of the city slow to recover. Some parts of it are utterly gone.

p. I planned a trip to do Habitat for Humanity the week after Labor Day. I had been to New Orleans a few times when I was younger and adored the culture. As I walked the streets of the French Quarter and held my breath, I found, to my delight, that its character remained completely intact. The drag queens who threw me beads were an assurance that The Quarter was still The Quarter. What storm?

p. But outside the heart of the city, a few miles to the east, lies St. Bernard Parish, gutted out and struggling to come to life again. Here, the abandoned K-Mart says it all. Two years later, the storm is an ever-present reality. Rebuilding is slow, contractors and government are equally distrusted, and the years that have passed have made very little difference to those just trying to get out of FEMA trailers and back into their houses. I did not learn this until I stumbled onto the St. Bernard Project — a non-profit begun by two people from Washington, D.C. who quit their jobs to come help. Unlike Habitat, which typically builds houses from the ground up, the St. Bernard Project guts out flooded houses, clears them of mold and warped studs, and rebuilds them with volunteer work. That was misconception number two: the Project has money. It has United Way and corporate sponsorship. It often receives donated building supplies. What it does not always have is volunteers to do the work.

p. After Katrina, much of the housing in St. Bernard was lost. It took weeks for the water to recede fully. Perhaps a few houses were livable, but most would need a complete restoration and still stand empty today. The red and white spray-painted “X”s, scrawled on the doors by rescue squads two years ago remain.
When I flew to New Orleans I expected to see cranes and trucks fast at work rebuilding the devastated city.

p. That was misconception number three. What I found was a small group of dedicated young volunteers who quit their jobs and now spend 10 hours a day, often six days a week, scraping out mold-infested houses, hanging drywall or laying kitchen tile. I came home with a duty to spread the word. They need help. Both Habitat and the St. Bernard Project present opportunities to make a difference: in the ninth ward, in the Parish or west in the Bayou. Anyone have fall break plans?

p. __— Ashley Wilson ’06__

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