Letters to the Editor

    Editor:

    I find it necessary to respond to your coverage of last week’s horrendous prank, involving posted images of hate with the letters of my fraternity on those images. As one of several Jewish members of the UCSD chapter of Sigma Chi, I have experienced first hand the warm hospitality and welcome shown to all members and guests, regardless of religion, nationality, race or sexual orientation.

    The founding of Sigma Chi by seven students at the Miami University of Ohio in 1855 was an outgrowth of their desire to perpetuate the ideals of true friendship, equal justice and the fulfillment of learning. Although this vision of Sigma Chi was based upon the notion of shared ideals, they believed that true brotherhood would thrive best among men of different temperaments, talents and convictions. They further believed that genuine friendship could be maintained without surrendering the principle of individuality or sacrificing one’s personal judgment.

    Your coverage of this shameful incident entirely fails to show the genuinely positive impact our organization has on this campus. In fact, your articles have actually perpetuated the loathsome message of the pranksters by your posting of a copy of the actual flyer in the paper. A reproduction of the flyer itself should never have been printed. It only served to give those who littered our community with such a hateful message a new campuswide forum they did not deserve.

    This incident is certainly newsworthy and one warranting an honest, open discussion, but Sigma Chi should have been allowed a voice in this discussion. You have not interviewed even a single one of our 80-plus members and pledges. If you had, you would understand we are truly shocked and saddened that anything like this could happen on our campus and outraged that those who did it sought to associate us with such a reprehensible message.

    I honestly do not know what the intentions of the people who posted the flyer on campus were. I truly hope it was intended as a meaningless, tasteless prank, not a defaming, discrediting one. The message of the flyer is in stark contrast to everything for which Sigma Chi stands. I know I speak for all members of Sigma Chi at UCSD in stating unequivocally that we had nothing to do with this terrible incident, and we are ready to do whatever it takes to ensure that our campus grows stronger and more tolerant in the days ahead. If anyone would like to learn more about the aims and activities of Sigma Chi, please visit http://www.sigmachi.org or our chapter’s Web site at http://www.iotachi.org.

    — Aaron Parker

    John Muir College senior

    Brother of the Iota Chi Chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity

    Campustruth.org ads were not untruthful

    Editor:

    The Guardian’s decision to discontinue the Campustruth.org ads because they were “”purely offensive”” and “”incite negativity”” was based on false assumptions.

    The news article in last week’s Guardian (April 14) provided no explanation as to how the ads were not true or “”anti-Palestinian.”” It presented the perspective of Students For Justice with no alternative opinions of other campus organizations, which is typically required in a news article.

    The ads were discontinued solely on the subjective claims of one organization and one letter to the editor. On the other hand, the ads backed their claims with well-cited fact.

    One ad showed some Palestinians celebrating the Sept. 11 attacks. This is a fact: “”Thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip cheered the attack …”” (Washington Post Sept. 12, 2001).

    Another displays a Palestinian child’s hero as a suicide bomber next to an Israeli child’s hero as an athlete. Below the suicide bomber are the words “”68 percent of Palestinians approve of suicide bombing.”” This too is documented. Look at the London Guardian from June 21, 2002 as well as the Associated Press poll found at http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGA017HDYQC.html.

    Admittedly, the idea of a murderer as a child’s role model is horrifying, and one’s gut reaction is to deny that such a thing could be true.

    Yet it is true.

    All around the world.

    See http://www.operationsick.com.

    The ads do not generalize or make global claims about individual Palestinians. The ads call attention to Palestinian religious and secular leaders who promote suicide bombers as role models for their children. The ads call attention to a society where children are taught to look up to murderers as heroes.

    Why hasn’t the religious leadership issued a fatwa (religious edict) condemning these actions?

    Where are the Palestinian voices condemning these homicidal actions on moral grounds? Why does more than half of the Palestinian population support suicide bombings, according to http://www.peacenow.org?

    Perhaps it is because instead of being seen as a public disgrace, homicide bombers are honored as heroes with public squares, streets and soccer tournaments named after them (according to The New York Daily News, April 22, 1998) or because “”Gaza children are influenced by the schools, the mosques or gatherings attended by many children where praise for sacrifice and martyrdom is voiced”” (according to http://www.memri.org).

    Every society has its flowers and its weeds. In what ways has Palestinian society taken steps to uproot its weeds?

    Consider the father of a Jihad murderer from an Arabic language newspaper: “”By what right do these leaders send the young people in the flower of their youth to their deaths? Who gave them religious or any legitimacy to tempt our children and urge them to their deaths? Yes, I say ‘death’ not ‘martyrdom'”” (from http://www.memri.org).

    All of us who wish to end this violence should assist those in Palestinian society wishing to speak out. The Campustruth.org ads merely point out that it is the flowers of Palestinian society that are being rooted out, not the weeds.

    These ads encourage all of us to take action to stop this incitement of violence so that Palestinians and Israeli children can grow up to be positive, contributing members of their respective societies.

    In the future, I look forward to more balanced advertising and editorial policies.

    — Isra Yaghoubi

    UCSD student

    Bias against Watts not revealed in article

    Editor:

    I am concerned that the Guardian article entitled “”Warren College’s president-elect DQ’d”” did not accurately portray the extreme injustice of the April 16 trial or the motivations of the complainant.

    The judicial board was biased specifically because one of its members had campaigned actively against Watts during the election. Furthermore, her boyfriend had allegedly threatened Watts’ counsel to “”stay off my turf.”” This member of the Warren College Judicial Board was in a position to be compelled by Watt’s detractors to rule against him. She never should have been allowed to adjudicate this case; however, although the judicial board chair was made aware of her status prior to the trial, she was not removed from the board.

    In addition, the refusal of Crystal Kitamura to give Daniel Watts the evidence against him 24 hours in advance was utterly abhorrent. The article fails to mention that the evidence was able to be received from a reluctant Kitamura just three hours before the hearing and included about two hours of video footage that Watts had to sift through. In fact, because Watts’ counsel had a class to attend before the hearing, the late receipt prevented him from viewing the footage altogether. By admitting this illegal evidence, the judicial board denied Daniel Watts his right to a fair trial by denying him the time to prepare any sort of appropriate defense.

    Also, this article refers to Kitamura only as a student. It should be pointed out that Kitamura is also a member of the Warren College Residential Life staff. She filed this grievance at the suggestion of Warren College Resident Dean Claire Palmer, her boss. Claire Palmer also acted as a witness for the prosecution at this trial where she openly admitted to encouraging Kitamura to explore the election bylaws for a violation by Watts. The Warren Residential Life office has overtly expressed its distaste for Watts ever since he voiced his opinion that they used illegal interrogation techniques in the Guardian during the RA firings in October of last year. This is an unusual example of the administration meddling in the affairs of the student body. It seems that having administration on her side in this hearing gave Kitamura unfair leverage that Watts couldn’t hope to compete with. This article made the hearing sound as though it were business as usual when in fact it was not. Watts’ rights were shamelessly trampled and Kitamura’s motives are highly suspect.

    — Mia Beck

    Eleanor Roosevelt College junior

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