The Firing Line

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Editor’s note: The best voices, the people’s voices. That is the why of the Firing Line. The true measure of any newspaper is its critics, and we want hard-hitting ones. Nothing is taboo except falsehood and libel. The editor will never change a letter’s meaning, but she reserves the right to shorten it so that others may also be heard. Letters should be under 150 words if possible. Don’t be afraid to tell us what you think, and send your letters to firingline@dailytexanonline.com

Greek bashing needs to stop
These Greek life bashing articles need to stop. They’re beyond offensive and completely untrue. For a section of the student body that can hardly be considered a majority, your staff certainly spends a lot of time showcasing us. Have you ever thought about showcasing all the good we do? The hundreds of thousands of dollars we raise annually for charities and non-profit organizations like Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish and Breast Cancer Awareness? Or how about all the Greek members in Student Government?

Speaking of tolerance, stop mocking what sorority girls, or just girls in general, choose to wear to class. Nike shorts and large T-shirts are comfortable. We earned our letters and are proud to wear them and represent our affiliations. They’re not meant to make us seem elitist or snobby. We genuinely feel comfortable and wish to spend more of our energy on class and extracurricular activities than getting ready in the morning. As far as “exchanging my shorts for my personality,” I’m pretty sure I still have the same morals and goals as I do when I wear jeans, or sweats, or a dress. My Nike shorts do not define me. I used to wear Nike shorts and large T-shirts in high school. It’s comfortable. Get over it.
— Sarah Ryburn, rhetoric and writing sophomore

Why do you care what I wear
Sorority girls may wear workout clothes, but so do a huge proportion of the women on campus who aren’t in sororities. To declare that none of them want to “waste time or effort” creating their own identity is absurd. I didn’t realize clothing was the most accurate indicator of personality and individuality. Stereotyping people based on their choice of clothing seems both petty and a cut below the quality of journalism the Texan should be publishing.
How should members of sororities dress, if their current style is so “conformist”? Maybe they can start dressing like Elle Woods, at whichpoint the Texan can publish an article on the vanity of conformist sorority girls, who waste their time dressing up for class instead of wearing something comfortable like everyone else.
— Lillie Noe, Plan II and textiles and apparel sophomore


Petty and below the cut
As a member of a sorority I have to ask, why is The Daily Texan so concerned with what I wear to class?
Why is it a pressing issue on the UT campus what a group of young women wear? Loose-fitting running shorts and oversized T-shirts are not sensational, sexy, body-revealing or politically charged with meaning. Were you going for an “eye for an eye” thing, playing off Mr. Maly’s front page article about the Fiesta party? Did you think, “two sororities [allegedly] made fun of a culture’s dress so we’re going to make fun of the way they dress”?
If there was some subtle, underlying editorial point you were trying to make with that cartoon and column, please enlighten me. I will be sure to pass your explanation along to my incensed sisters and friends in other sororities.
— Helen Hansen, Plan II and public relations sophomore

Is engineering the answer
I enjoyed your article on how men lag behind women when it comes to graduation rates. I think it serves as motivation to guys all around campus, including myself. I also think you’re probably right that women naturally adapt to new situations while men are tunnel-visioned and have a hard time changing with the situation. One thing I would’ve liked to know was the ratio of men to women in difficult majors such as engineering or MPA/BHP business programs. I myself am an engineer and while I came into college with over 20 credit hours, I am going to have a difficult time graduating in four years. The sheer amount of courses in rigorous majors could bring down those four-year graduation percentages and if there is an overwhelming male/ to female ratio I think that certainly accounts for the offset.
— Nick Burrin, electrical engineering sophomore

Free and insensitive
I just have a few statements I want to bring up about today’s paper. I read The Daily Texan every day on the bus on my way to campus. I am very appreciative of The Daily Texan because I can see the news outside of campus as well as what is going on here for free and all in one paper!

But today I was a little offended.  One of the first articles I read was about the fiesta-themed party criticized because people wore “ponchos, sombreros and fake mustaches.” The article discussed how this is disrespectful to the Latin and Hispanic cultures. I kept reading to discover that  two guests of the party were wearing T-shirts that said “Illegal” or “Immigrant.” That is extremely disrespectful and tasteless so it made sense why people were offended and why the article was published. I kept reading the paper and skimming the other articles for what I should read next.

I came along to page four to see a giant comic making fun of what sorority girls wear around campus. This is offensive to me because I am a sorority girl. I personally feel that everyone has the freedom of speech and the freedom of choice, including to choose what one should wear. A person has the freedom to express themselves and should be able to do it without criticism.

I just find it ridiculous that The Daily Texan features an article of people being offended because their culture was targeted and then goes and targets another culture for the same reason. It’s hypocritical and disrespectful.
— Casie Clay, psychology sophomore

Old arguments, new twists
I am very disappointed with the article on East Riverside that you ran. As a member of the working group for the EROC Corridor Plan, I feel that you do a disservice to our efforts to bring a new vision to the corridor. You trot out the same old arguments from the same old people with new twists.  I do not really know where to begin with how you folks have missed the boat on this one.
— Larry Sunderland