Seniors get shot down

After reading the Dec. 6 article about the new restrictions placed on Senior Week, I was appalled.
My reaction wasn’t due to an overwhelming desire to get plastered, but rather in regard to the administration’s blatant refusal to compromise with the Senior Class Council. From sources on the Council, the meetings about Senior Week went a little like this: The Council begged repeatedly for a compromise, or some forms of concession. The Administration outright refused.
Let me just state this – I respect the people who don’t drink as much as those who do. I feel that the administration should have allowed some concessions that allow both parties to enjoy Senior Week as they choose. Why couldn’t the people who wanted to drink in the towers be placed on a separate floor from those who don’t? We have something similar in place already – it’s called Wellness Housing.
If the administration is concerned about damages, then this is what I propose – those who choose to be on a drinking floor should understand that if any damages are found, every single person on the floor is held financially responsible. Again, we have something similar in place already – it’s called a Data Room Inventory Card (DRIC).
To me, it seems as if the administration has forgotten about many of its existing policies, which brings me to my next point. In order to participate in Senior Week, everyone must be 21 years of age, which is the legal age to consume alcohol. After reading the College’s alcohol policy, one thing became very clear: If you are over 21 years of age, you have every right to drink within the confines of your on-campus dwelling.
The state of New Jersey trusts us be to mature enough to handle the responsibilities of drinking alcohol when we reach this age. Why can’t the College do that as well?
I understand that there were problems last year, but it seems categorically unfair to penalize the following class for the actions of others. I can’t help but think that this policy change was made with the intent of forever canceling Senior Week. The administration knew that by banning alcohol from the towers and increasing the cost, student interest in attending would be at a minimum. With no one wanting to attend, the administration can get rid of Senior Week without much of a fuss.
I understand the College is under pressure to tighten up its alcohol policy, but this is not the way to go. We are not a dry campus. We have a bar in our student center. It makes no sense to take away the right to drink from those who are legally allowed to do so.
The members of the Senior Class have had a lot to put up with over the past four years. As a whole, this class has struggled to graduate on time thanks to the changing liberal learning requirements that were put in place our freshman year. The Senior Class Council that we have chosen to represent us has been effectively stripped of its powers.
To me, the administration’s refusal to cooperate speaks volumes. The College is telling its seniors that they don’t care what we think. I think the administration needs to reconsider. It needs to take one look at the College’s rate of alumni giving and wonder why it’s so low compared to the other colleges we attempt to benchmark ourselves against.
It’s things like this that make students feel disenfranchised.

Callan Wright

Lashing out at Lucas

I am glad that this semester will be the last one readers are forced to endure Kenneth Lucas’ unfounded opinions.

First, stop complaining about Greek Life; some people might suspect you’re on the College’s payroll. Sororities do contribute to their communities. Habitat for Humanity is not the only way to help and New Orleans is not exactly a local chapter’s community. The point of community service is not to only help the most severe and well-known causes but rather to enrich the community in which you live, learn and yes, even party.

Second, it is deplorable that Martin Luther King Jr.’s struggle for equality was misused. He is one of the few leaders respected across racial, ethnic and generational boundaries. Yes, he died for his beliefs, but he helped to create a world where it is no longer necessary to risk one’s life to help spread diversity.

Finally, does Lucas even know what Gandhi accomplished? Does his r?sum? say that he helped to end the colonial oppression of a subcontinent and that he started a self-reliance movement to end Western exploitation of India? Or that his efforts directly helped create one of the largest democratic states in the world? If it does, good luck finding someone in Human Resources who’ll believe it.

Mr. Lucas, you’re graduating college; you should be able to actually support what you say. At the very least, you should be more knowledgeable about political figures who had a hand in shaping our world beyond being able to use their names incorrectly to create the illusion that you actually know what you’re talking about.

Jonathan Barracato

As current president of the Panhellenic Council and a proud sister of my sorority, I would like to respond to the opinion article written by Kenneth Lucas in the last publication of The Signal.

It is sad to say that while Lucas’ claims are outlandish and inaccurate, they are not misrepresentative of the way that many students on this campus view Greek life. That being said, I feel it is important to provide a more accurate picture of the Greek life that I see and am a part of every day.

The sorority girl that Lucas describes cares only about herself. Her sole motivation for joining her organization is to have fun and go to parties. According to his description, now that she’s a member of a Greek organization, she thinks she’s better than everyone else. In response to this I would challenge him, and anyone else, to find that girl on this campus. I am confident you wouldn’t find her, because she doesn’t exist.

A more accurate description of the sorority girl that can be found on this campus is an individual who is dedicated to achieving academic success as well as being an active member of the College community.

Members of sororities serve on the executive boards of many on-campus clubs and sports teams. They are members of the Residence Life staff and the Student Government Association, they volunteer with the CCS mentoring program and they hold on-campus jobs.

In addition to these commitments, they spend several hours each week working to organize and plan events for their chapters. Events such as Miss TCNJ, Autumn Angel, Shamrock and the Lion King are only a few examples of the programs that are put on by sororities and raise thousands of dollars for charities each year.

Community service may not be the single reason women join sororities, but in my experience the Greek women on this campus do not represent themselves as joining only for the reasons Lucas gives.

Instead of judging from the sidelines and making assumptions based on rumors or appearances, Lucas and others who may share his opinion should sit down and speak with the sorority women of the College. He would find that he has not given us nearly enough credit. We are not the shallow self-absorbed individuals that he would lead you to believe.

The reasons we joined our organizations are as different as we are from one another, but at the heart of these reasons we share a common bond. This bond, the real reason women join sororities, is the belief that joining our organizations would in some way enrich our lives.

Whether it has been finding a place to be a leader or a home away from home, each of us has found a way to make our time at the College something to be remembered.

So take it from me, someone with considerably more experience with Greek life than Lucas: Sorority women care about a lot more than drinking and hooking up – they also care about their hair.

Meghan Bermudez

President of the Panhellenic Council

Sorority funds wasted on unworthy causes

Amid the onslaught of angry letters you will undoubtedly receive this week, I hope this humble e-mail stands out.

For once, I agree with a Lucas.

On that note, I should probably stab myself. But I digress.

Kenneth Lucas, though having made a good point about the intentions of sorority girls, has missed an enormous connection between community service and Greek participation (for females, at least).

Every year, the combined membership dues required for every sorority at this college alone generate a sickeningly large six-figure sum of money.

According to Neil Hartmann, a member of the Bonner Scholars, that amount of money could allow Habitat for Humanity to build four houses in North Carolina, two houses in Katrina-stricken New Orleans or two houses in our own backyard – Trenton.

Community service as a smokescreen for mixers and forced friendships is a farce at best and hypocrisy at its worst. But maybe it’s even more troubling.

Maybe some participants truly believe that funneling half a grand into shirt funds, birthday tiaras and the liquor stores of our nearby city actually creates better life opportunities for the families of Trenton than building houses does.

Delusional thinking is never a good thing, but I suppose it’s better to believe that the true reason to join a sorority is for the community service than it is to knowingly use that as a cover for the desperate need for human connections that it sates.

Many of my issues with sororities are admittedly too catty and personal to publish. I’m simply applauding Lucas for highlighting this single incongruity and taking a chance to expand upon it.

Erinn Black

Cause of death:

extreme apathy

In his most recent opinion piece, writer Keith Lucas states: “I am only concerned about my interests. In short, I do not care about the welfare of other people.”

Based on how Keith feels about his fellow man, I really hope that he is never in a situation where he is the only one available to save a life. Keith might decide that he’d rather order a pizza than dial 911. Someone would definitely die.

Matt Trokan