November 11, 2010 Volume CXXVIII Issue 9

Student suggests saving

Student lists ways for Georgetown to save money and
improve quality of life on campus
By JONATHAN BALMER
Staff Writer

Great writing is vigilant revising. I convince myself of this when I receive a scathing draft back from my Foundations or English professor. I persuade myself of this once again as I sit here immediately after deleting 600 words of rebuttal in response to two GSA articles written opposed to my original opposition (confused?). While I deem my position morally and theologically sound, I will not indulge in another lengthy article on the same old topic. I will only mention one practical point in favor and one opposed to the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance.

As my father has pointed out, a missed argument for a GSA alliance is practical: many Fortune 500 companies have GSAs. If Georgetown hopes to prepare students for the “real world,” it surely needs to put aside its opposition, no? Good ol’ Dad also recognized an unmentioned counterpoint—a campus GSA could upset donating alumni (those who hold their past at Georgetown and its traditions dear may hold their pocket books more tightly because of a GSA’s defiance of historical values). The GSA issue implicates a question of what ideals we, as a college, hold closest to our identity.

Director of Religious Life H.K Kingkade is asking that very question. As he elaborated upon at the SGA Q&A, the Executive Cabinet is striving to survey opinion on and to determine what this college’s religious identity is. I look forward to being one of 1,400 current Georgetown students who may provide input on this decision. I hope we may restore civil discussion, promote freedom of inquiry and keep our Christian heritage alive. Moving to new territory, surely we might all agree the alcohol and GSA debates are not the only concerns on campus?

In the spirit of realistic solution seeking, I will suggest a few ways to improve the quality of life on campus without immense cost. Two out of three of my proposals may sound like socialism. No, not write-a-bigcheck-to-the-government-and-feel-good-about-yourself-without-ever-interacting-with-the-downtrodden-directly socialism, but the kind of charitable camaraderie we students must learn to improve our own lives. I, a lover of capitalism, must admit that you cannot spell “community” without “commi.”

Jenga-towers of trash, puddles of chewing tobacco juice, drains clogged with ramen noodles in every third sink and, on especially unfortunate weekends, vomit three-days-old covering the floor, are all witnessed on a typical Sunday night in an Anderson Hall bathroom. As a freshman male, I cannot speak with much authority on other dormitories, but I do know this: Georgetown does not have cleaning services for housing on the weekends and that is not likely to change. Making our living conditions less disgusting is possible but painful.

What if there was a weekly rotation of rooms on each floor that would be obligated to clean their restrooms on the weekend? Students could trade weekends to avoid conflicts at home and with sports or extracurricular activities and it would ensure the bathrooms received some needed attention over the weekend. If students know they, a friend or a neighbor will be required to clean up any mess left behind, they will be less likely to live disgustingly. There is power in peer-pressure; let us utilize it to the benefit of our environment. Moreover, to add to the benefit, a good idea would be to assign extra bathroom-cleaning duties to those assigned community service for Code of Conduct violations. This disciplinary action would act as an especially effective incentive for curbing violations, would help keep our restrooms free from trash and costs nothing. If Georgetown enacted this plan, maybe I will walk into a restroom one weekend and find the toilets unclogged and flushed. Equally important as the conditions of the places students evacuate waste is the quality of the diet we intake.

As a committed omnivore, it is difficult, but important, for me to suggest Georgetown College consider a “Meat-less Monday.” Northern Kentucky University is a nearby example of a university which especially provides vegetarian entrées on Mondays. NKU did not do this because they hate students and wish to oppress their souls through the stomach. Providing meat-less Monday options forces evaluation of the choices available— right now, at Georgetown, the cheese quesadilla and veggie burger are the only vegetarian options available for cash equivalency in the Grille. The implementation of this minor meat-free inconvenience would result in numerous health, environmental and financial benefits.

One vegetarian day will cut down on saturated fat intake. A diet lower in saturated fat and higher in fruit and vegetable content can reduce cancer risk, heart disease risk and diabetes. Limiting meat consumption, even for one day, could also have significant environmental advantages. The amount of water and resources used to raise livestock would drastically decrease. The proponents of Meat-less Mondays, The Monday Campaigns, assert “[o]n average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. (compared to 2.2 calories of fossil fuel for plant-based protein).” Finally, there is a very real economic benefit. The cost of food rose more in 2007-2008 than it has in more than a decade, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The most affected food group was meat, increasing by up to 4 percent. Because of the aforementioned reliance on fossil fuel energy, meat prices are influenced by fuel costs in addition to intense demand. A Meatless Monday obviously decreases the amount of meat bought and saves money which should, in theory, lead to less expensive meal plans.

Finally, I have an idea which requires few students to work or do without luxuries they currently enjoy. All students, however, may enjoy the fruits of the following, pleasantly capitalistic, effort.

The Georgetonian, to my knowledge, is currently funded completely by our college. This includes paying editors, writers (our nominal sum) and the cost of printing. Allowing local businesses to advertise would serve to increase the financial independence (from non-existent) or, perhaps, even improve the print quality of our charming weekly publication. Honestly, my high school newspaper had advertisements and better print quality than The Georgetonian. I have no room to brag or complain. The writers of the “award-winning” William Mason High School Chronicle are not paid and I was never among them—my application to be a staffwriter was coldly rejected my sophomore year. Digressing a bit, I firmly believe our paper’s pictures should not be so universally fuzzy or poor, when printed, that dark-skinned, or simply tan, students have a strange proclivity to fade into the background when printed on our pages. Be sure, this is certainly not a slam on the hard-working Georgetonian editors. I am sure they will promptly correct me if I am mistaken in my thinking. I am merely suggesting incorporating advertisements is a viable way to increase the print quality of our paper while increasing The Georgetonian’s financial independence and saving the college money. Maybe a business major or two could gain valuable experience by assisting The Georgetonian in this endeavor as well. The possibilities for progress are gripping reasons to consider this proposal.

Does your soul jump or your stomach turn upon hearing these ideas? Make them known or, even better, do something about it.

 


 

Student responds to idea that leggings are pants

By TORI BACHMAN-JOHNSON
Sports Editor

An example of why leggings are not always a positive fashion choice can be seen above.

With the change of seasons, a growing problem in our society has been brought to the forefront once more. In last week’s issue of The Georgetonian, a friend and colleague of mine claimed that leggings are pants. If you missed the article, she essentially argued that, because leggings are “a garment shaped to cover the body from the waist to the ankles or knees with separate tube-shaped sections for both legs,” they must be pants, and thus, can be worn as a substitute for other types of pants, such as jeans and khakis.

To be frank, I was disturbed by this article. Obviously, leggings are not pants. They are completely inappropriate as a substitute for pants.

In the effort to prove my point, I turned to the OED, the Oxford English Dictionary, which is superior to dictionary.com in every way imaginable. The trusty OED defines pants as “trousers of any kind.” Okay, not quite helpful—but upon searching trousers, I found the following definition: “Originally, a loose-fitting garment of cloth worn by men, covering the loins and legs to the ankles,” yadda yadda yadda, “now applied generally to any two-legged outer garment worn by both sexes, and extending from the waist usually to the ankles.”

Did you catch that? Outer garment.

Consider, for a moment, the uses of leggings that anyone in their right mind would deem acceptable: under a dress. Under your shorts when going for a run in the cold. Under your pants when it’s especially cold outside. Notice the common denominator— UNDER. Like underwear, leggings belong UNDER your other clothes. It’s just that simple! This is why wearing leggings with a long top that covers your behind is generally acceptable; you’re wearing leggings UNDER your shirt.

On the other hand, pants are worn OVER underwear (hopefully…). Hence, they’re an outer garment.

“But leggings are so comfortable!” you say. You know what’s not comfortable? Seeing CAMEL TOE. I just used that phrase in the newspaper. I’m uncomfortable writing it, you’re uncomfortable reading it, but not as uncomfortable as I feel when I see them in public, especially on our college campus. I’d like to move on and forget that it ever happened, just like the fact that I used the phrase “camel toe” in The Georgetonian with my name attached to it, but painful reminders just keep popping up everywhere.

“But leggings look good on me!” you say. Maybe, if they’re covering your butt. Maybe you look cute. Okay, fine. But the only person who enjoys seeing the indentions of your behind is the creepy guy that’s staring at you. If you’re into that, save it for behind closed doors, please.

“But the fashion industry says it’s ok!” you say. Of course they do. They want you to buy more leggings. But a lot of people say a lot of things to convince you to buy things that you don’t need.

As I write this, I know it’s useless . I’m fighting a losing battle. People will continue to wear leggings as pants, and it will only get worse in the coming months. I can only hope that perhaps these unfortunately-tight garments will somehow cut off circulation to some people’s lady parts, and that natural selection will win out in the end.

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