The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Letters to the Editor

‘Senate debate’ – you are the policy

Dear Editor:

Although I rarely find time to read The Daily Campus, when I do read it I always seem to read something troubling. Reading the editorial on Student Senate and its decision not to adopt the proposed change to the Student Code of Conduct proved no different. I must admit that it wasn’t the outcome that troubled me, but the rationale articulated by some in the opposition.

It is always disappointing to read that the most powerful organization on campus that has the ability and the duty to advocate and effect change for the students of SMU fails to exercise that authority. It was disturbing to read the editorial that characterized many senator’s opposition to the proposed change as being so, because it was contrary to “official University policy.” News Flash: you are the official university policy! Contrary to what you have been told, it is your voice, and your tuition dollars that can and will bring about change on the campus. All of you, whether Senator or constituent, must be the change that you expect to see on campus, and you can only be that change by standing up for what is right.

I understand that it’s tough to get things done. I served the Senate for several years, and in my last year as student body president many of the things that I worked for are just now coming to fruition (i.e. online course registration). I rarely agreed with the administration and its policies, but when we found common ground, we worked together. But I never backed down from a fight that I knew was in the best interest of the SMU community. If you think something is wrong with SMU (and there is a lot), work to change it. It’s okay to be afraid, but don’t be a rubber stamp. Someone once said, “stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.”

Senators, I know how difficult you job is. I know that your contributions to the SMU community aren’t always recognized. Moreover, I know that you can and you must be the voice for your constituents, whether the administration agrees with you or not.

Bernard Jones
Student Body President 2000-2001


‘You are unique’ – nobody’s laughing

Dear Editor:

Thus far I have resisted any urge I might have felt to write to The Daily Campus. Frankly, if I tried to respond to all the incoherent editorials, rambling columns, superficial articles and substandard writing found within its pages, I would most likely develop a serious case of carpal tunnel syndrome, limiting my ability to voice my opinion when it would be most sorely needed.

That time is now. Tuesday’s editorial, “Global Starvation,” was an attempt by the editorial staff of this publication to address a pressing issue on the international agenda. Instead of presenting a thoughtful plea for compassion among its readers, The Daily Campus sandwiched the real story between an introductory anecdote that grossly failed in its attempt to satirize the situation with an analogy and a closing joke that was completely insensitive.

The joke itself is not the issue. Had Jay Leno in his monologue or Chris Rock in a new book begun poking fun at this serious matter, there would have been no cause for disgust. Humor, when used appropriately, has no boundaries other than the personal tastes of the audience, whose decision it is to stay and laugh or get up and walk away. Humor, when used inappropriately, can be highly offensive and degrading, as well as a sad representation of the values of the joke-telling party. This editorial belongs to the latter category.

Editorials are a chance for the staff of a newspaper, hopefully well educated in current events and dedicated to critical thinking, to persuade its readers. Whether asking the public to vote for a particular candidate, to back a certain intiative, or to take action in the community, the editorial has always served as a forum for serious treatment of serious issues. They can be witty if such a tactic further promotes the issue at hand. But making jokes that are not only off-color, but just plain bad, conflicts directly with the ability to persuade. Their use only dimishes the respect with which readers view the paper, and impairs the ability of the paper to use the editorial space in defense of its ideals in the future.

Scott Harrison
Graduate student, music

Dear Editor:

If Fendi purses are status symbols and everyone has one, how is it much of a status symbol at all? If all girls collectively agreed not to make the purchase, everyone’s daddies would be $500 richer and all the girls would still be equal.

The Ed Board’s choice to attack those individuals choosing to be comfortable in Birkenstocks rather than wearing stiletto heels to class is a poor one. On a day when 12 women and children were killed during their morning commute in Israel and has-been pop stars are dangling babies over hotel balconies in Germany, the “holier than thou” Ed Board attacked the dude in the back of the class.

Luckily, like most “jam music” listeners, those whom the Ed Board wishes to denounce don’t base their personal worth on the opinion of others. This stands in contrast to those Fendi-toting fashionistas, requiring constant attention and reassurance that they don’t need plastic surgery – yet.

While Urban Outfitters does commercialize the “chill look,” and the store has some expensive items, it also offers jeans on sale for $5. And anyone who buys $150 jeans at Neiman Marcus from sales ladies that aren’t even nice has no room to attack Urban Outfitter shoppers.

When you dress casually, people see that you’re approachable and most people that wear bright colored sneakers of any brand are letting you know that they don’t take themselves too seriously – more than I can say for the Daily Campus Editorial Board.

Jake Lewis
Daily Campus A&E editor

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