Letters to the Editor (April 25)

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April 25, 2008

3:38 AM

**Senate rightfully turns down Sentara**

To the Editor:

In response to Scott Morris’s April 18 letter, I question the strength and validity of the arguments made.

Morris first claimed that the total of $200,000 required to build the entire roof would be a major challenge for a not-for-profit organization like Sentara to raise. Personally, I have a hard time believing that an organization that can afford $7.5 million-dollar gifts needs to come to student governments “hat in hand” asking for $10,000.

If we were to reciprocate as a college and make a donation to their cause, should that money really be coming from student activities funding?

I personally went into the meeting with an open mind and was disappointed when the roof committee failed to show us significant student support or involvement for the initiative. Most senators agreed that while efforts did seem to be made to make the project more student oriented — the possibility for students taking environmental science courses to take an optional field trip, conduct possible experiments on it and have a few help with its construction — it didn’t seem to justify $10,000 of student activities money.

Instead, the committee chose to focus on the public relations aspect of the project, detailing how good it would make us look to the Williamsburg community. I’m sure it would have looked great, but that’s not what student activities funding is for.

With over 70 percent of students involved in some sort of service or philanthropy in the Williamsburg area, I think the community in which we “are to demand the equal treatment … we deserve” would be hard-pressed to label the student body as “greedy.”

The bottom line: When a financially well-off organization is looking to install a green roof on one of its hospitals, it shouldn’t come to the student government asking for student activities funding. I voted to send the request back to committee in hopes that they could return to show us significant student support and involvement at our final meeting this Tuesday. Looking at the agenda, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

— Ben Brown ’11

**College overlooks hate speech**

To the Editor:

What is up with the lack of coverage on the recent anti-Islam lectures that have taken place on campus of late?

This came to my attention with the Young Americans for “Freedom” bringing in Serge Trifkovnic two weeks ago. The lecture focused on the idea that Islam is a violent religion with a fundamental lack of love. From the responses that came from it, John Kennedy ’08 and his “speaker” are bringing on hate speech, starting with Jared Taylor and now with Trifkovnic, which targets a specific group of people on this campus.

Don’t we as the College have a diversity statement that we embrace everybody regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, social class denomination, etc.? While I support freedom of speech and recognize the fact that students have the right to bring whoever they want as their speakers, the sheer lack of exposure for such events astounds me.

With all the hoo-hah over the Sex Workers’ Art Show being a perverted and non-educational show, I believe that we must stand up and show that this College does not embrace such narrow-minded views. From where it stands now, it seems like the College does because the event went by without so much as a whisper. If we as students and faculty say that we embrace diversity, then we must not allow such views to go unnoticed and unmentioned.

— Edward Hong’ 09

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