Going Postal February 10 2005

?I cannot tell you how upset I was after reading the News & Views article about Roger Kahn’s crimes against nature (“Roger Kahn, birdslayer,” Feb. 3). It’s too bad that nature can’t eliminate “nuisance” human beings. I was wondering if the fine just goes into some general fund or if it can actually be applied to environmental restitution. In addition, I think a large donation to the Audubon Society and creating a nature sanctuary would be appropriate actions in addition to his fine, community service (how about at the Chattahoochee Nature Center) and home confinement.

- Laura J. Waters, Atlanta

Editor’s note: Kahn’s Cattle Company paid a $170,000 fine that goes to federal court costs. Another $97,284 will pay for the removal of poisoned corn and reflects the value of the birds killed. And Kahn personally paid the remaining $15,000 of the original $282,284 fine.

?Come on CL, do we really need yet another right-wing viewpoint? I refer to your internal critic (mole) Reeves Jackson (News & Views, “Grilling the Loaf,” Feb. 3). The hysterical right owns Fox TV, the Washington Times, Clear Channel, Rupert Murdock’s empire, Rush Limbaugh, Neal Boortz ... and intimidates most of the rest of the media. In fact, if we had a real “fair and balanced” media, we’d have a different administration, a different Congress, and courts who serve the people rather than the interests of corporations and the wealthy. So why grant them another amplifier?

- Tom Ferguson, Atlanta

?Let me be the first to congratulate Alyssa Abkowitz on being as narrow-minded as the picture of UGA she was trying to paint (“Bulldog Barbie,” Feb. 3).

Abkowitz decided to take on a subject that is pretty much as taboo as it gets in these parts. I give her credit for such bravery. However, it seems as if her “in person” research for an article of such significance was lazy and pre-determined. Based on her observations of campus, I would imagine that she took a nice Tuesday afternoon to jaunt up to Athens to gather notes on what she observed, took a cruise down Milledge (Sorority Row), found a few choice “targets,” got the sound bits she needed to compose a one-sided piece, and quickly rolled out of town.

I transferred into UGA after a year at another school, which I attended to get away from everyone in my high school going to UGA. What I learned once I arrived in Athens was that first, I never ran into any of my former high-schoolers, and secondly, I had become part of the most diverse and well-adjusted campus in the U.S. I quickly found out that the minority on campus were those taking part in Greek activities.

UGA offers its students a multitude of options to meet new faces and interact with them in a myriad of ways. Quit hatin’!

- DJ Hammon, Atlanta

I am currently attending UGA for the second time, but I’m not your typical student. At least not how they’re described in the article.

I do not own anything North Face, I don’t really care what I look like when I go to class (I’m there to learn and graduate, not show off my clothes). I LOVE football games and NEVER dress up.

I’m from Gwinnett County, I do have blond hair, I don’t drive a fancy car, I worked my butt off to get into UGA, and I work my butt off now. I run my own business, work a part-time job and take a full load of classes.

I have met people from other cities and other countries. I find the campus and the surrounding area to have some cultural flair. Yes, UGA has plenty of sorority girls and frat boys, but there are a large number of us that are NOT your typical student.

Thanks for the article, we actually talked about it in class today.

- Nicole Oxford, Athens

I just finished your article about UGA and the “Bulldog Barbies.” As a Florida grad, I had a good chuckle, although Gainesville is equally obnoxious. Thanks for a wonderful read.

- Joel Berger, Montrose, N.Y.

When my friend Alyssa Abkowitz asked me for help writing her cover story, I happily obliged. I am always glad to help a friend. She was looking for a Kappa Alpha Theta from the Atlanta area to interview for her feature article about how the University of Georgia has “changed over time.” Because Alyssa is a Greek, Southern woman herself, I trusted her.

By involving Katie Weakley, I had no intention of damaging her reputation or self-worth. Your article made rash assumptions about the way UGA has changed racially and economically, and placed stereotypes on many members of the UGA community. If this is your idea of journalism, I suggest you re-evaluate your approach.

Anyone who knows Katie knows that she is far from “Bulldog Barbie.” Katie is a very special person who is involved in the Athens community as a mentor for underprivileged elementary students, and on the UGA campus as part of the Bulldog Basketball Marketing Group. Most importantly, Katie has a heart. You could not have placed the “Bulldog Barbie” stereotype on a less deserving person.

Katie has aspirations to become a clinical psychologist and help people. This is not something that an “elite finishing school for girls” would support.

The next time you would like to write an article about the University of Georgia or any other community, I suggest you look a little deeper at the faces of the students. You might just find that your bold assumptions are incorrect.

- Carley O’Shea, Nashville (UGA ‘04)