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Letters to the Editor 10/31
Published 10/31/2011
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We cannot all pull ourselves up by our boot straps


I would like to respond to Ashley Fisher's column on the Occupy Wall Street movement. First, I would like to say I appreciate that we all share different opinions; however, I would like to point out an opinion shared that defies reality.

In her closing argument against the movement, she said "Being a part of the 99 percent is a choice, not a fate. The decision where you fall is up to you." While America loves to hold on to the idea of pulling up your boot straps and making your riches "honestly," for many Americans the 99 percent is a fate. Whether you want to believe it or not, racism, sexism, heterosexism, etc. does affect a person's ability to have the same opportunities as a white, heterosexual male in America. For many of us, we have certain privileges simply because of how we are born. And yes, I believe we are born as who we are: gay, straight, rainbow or not — we are who we are at birth. But I digress.

The reality is that privilege is a key part of who will inherit wealth in America. While I do believe in working hard, earning what I deserve and living within my means, I also recognize that I am a white-Italian, educated, heterosexual female, which allots me privileges others may not have. When privilege turns to social power, and 80 percent of the wealth goes to the 20 percent of people at the top, no matter how hard a person may yank those boot straps, how is the 99 percent anything but a fate?

Stephanie Galvagno
WSU alumna, 2010

SafeWalk is a necessary program in Pullman


I am deeply disturbed by the opinions expressed in Ashley Fisher’s column on 10/24 concerning ASWSU’s SafeWalk program. As a student who has lived in this town for the past three years, I can tell you, nights get sketchy. Generally speaking, Pullman is full of good-hearted, well-intentioned people (when sober) during the daytime. At night, with a few drinks (and by a few, I mean a lot) affecting their reasoning skills and driving down their inhibitions, all bets are off. The situation is magnified when you are walking home alone — drunk or sober.

Ms. Fisher made the example of what she considers to be a typical “walk-along” for SafeWalk volunteers: “an obscenely drunk girl stumbling along in her skirt and heels, who called you all the way out to Greek Row so you can walk her from a frat house to Munchy’z at 1 a.m.” Be that as it may, I am sure the caliber of people who volunteer for SafeWalk would rather leave their warm houses for a bracing Pullman winter night to walk this girl than read about her in the next morning’s paper.

The recent example of Chad Heffelfinger, who nearly died after an alcohol-related fall, demonstrates the need for programs like SafeWalk. SafeWalk will never be an irrelevant or outdated program. There will always be people walking home at night who should not be alone. As long as there is common sense at WSU, there will be people to make sure they get there safely.

Sarah Donaldson
senior, psychology

Think of the children and the most vulnerable citizens


Columnist Rachel Egeland missed the larger issues when she wrote in support of Initiative 1183, in favor of pushing hard liquor in child accessible stores (10/24/11). Does not she care about the kids? Does she not care about the life-long recovering alcoholics? They should be able to go down to the grocery store for a bottle of milk and come home with that milk still sober. Vulnerable populations should be protected.

Alcohol does not belong in grocery stores or pharmacies. Vote "No" on I-1183. 

Wiley Hollingsworth
Pullman resident 


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