To stop hazing, find out the reason it occurs

To the Daily:

Regarding the recent hazing incidents: My first temptation is to
negatively judge these individuals, both the perpetrators and the
pledges who took part. I think a better approach, however, would be
to ask, “What leads people to inflict this kind of abuse on
their peers? What factors influence individuals to disrespect
themselves in such extraordinary ways for the sake of acceptance?
Why do they feel powerless to say, ‘This is wrong,’ and
quit?” The answers may lead to prevention of these
incidents.

We are justifiably outraged about the abuse at Abu Ghraib.
Although some may find the comparison inappropriate, it is
undeniable that these tactics of power and humiliation parallel
those used to abuse the Iraqi prisoners. In this case, it is
purportedly done in the name of fun and camaraderie. I’m sure
that University students, chosen for their intelligence and
potential, can come up with better ways to achieve these goals than
humiliating and harming those who they have invited to be a part of
their peer group.

Kari Tervo

Alum

 

Columnist misses the trees yet still finds the forest

To the Daily:

Sravya Chirumamilla’s recent column (Mental
masturbation = the lack of dialogue
, 10/20/04) badly misstates
the nature of God and distorts the realities of legalized
abortion.

She first states she cannot understand how God would “will
someone to be raped.” Quite simply, He can’t, and
therefore, doesn’t. If we allow the nature of God to be
perfect good, He cannot, by definition cause evil or will it. We
must, then, look to deduce what is the source of human suffering.
People primarily suffer because of our nature, which implies
imperfection. Suffering is necessarily part of the human condition.
It is incorrect to confound rape, an act of one’s own will,
with the will of God.

Chirumamilla states she cannot ever know when life begins, but
even if she did, she would be unable to “dictate her
beliefs” to others on the matter. However, if one accepts
that all human life is worthy of preservation, then there is an
obligation to dictate that belief, as basic as it is to human
freedom. If life cannot begin without conception, the
contrapositive must be true — either life, or the life
process, indisputably begins at conception. Also, she goes so far
as to say that abortions are a “necessity” for children
born into poverty. But this is manifestly flawed. It implies that
individuals in poverty are somehow less worthy of life than those
in first-world countries. Are we prepared to denigrate the billions
of poor around the world by stripping them of the dignity we esteem
to ourselves?

Finally, however, the conclusion of her column is laudable.
Chirumamilla is fundamentally correct that intelligent discourse is
what is needed most nationally and at this university. Though her
ideology of abortion may, in my view, be incorrect, her clamor for
discussion of this issue and others deserves praise.

Michael O’Brien

LSA freshman

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