Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Misdemeanor charges dropped against NU faculty for activity during pro-Palestinian encampment
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Everything Evanston: Behind the boba in downtown Evanston

Letters To The Editor

SafeRide not a Drunkbus

Kevin Hoban’s letter last Thursday (“New SafeRide policy safe in name only,” March 29), described his frustrations with Northwestern’s SafeRide Service. I, too, am often frustrated with the service, but from the other end of the phone. As a dispatcher for SafeRide, let me try to explain why we do not pick up from the businesses on Sherman Avenue along the Purple Route.

SafeRide was developed as a safety service. We exist to take lone students from the library to their apartments far from campus at 1 a.m. We do not exist to take huge groups of pregaming buffoons from the Patten Gym lot to The Keg of Evanston in groups of three. Yet these sorts of people had become our main patrons. Perhaps NU needs a Drunkbus service as well.

In any case, even with eight cars out at once last quarter, we were logging wait times up to two hours. We now don’t give rides to drunk students coming home from bars for the following reasons: They are rude and sometimes outright cruel to our drivers; more than half the time they do not show up for their ride; they puke in our cars; and they often lie about having ordered a SafeRide in the first place.

No thanks. Take one of the cabs that always lines up outside the Keg. In return, when you call in sometime going from Chicago and Main to Ayers College of Commerce and Industry, wait times will be much lower.

However, I sympathize with my tottering classmates in their oft-futile attempt to locate a shuttle. They often do not run on time. But keep this in mind: Students run Saferide. We know how fantastic a free ride home would be after a drunk-munchies run to Burger King. But that’s not what we’re for. Unless you bring me a Double Whopper with cheese.

– Charles PerryWeinberg juniorSafeRide Supervisor Dispatcher

Daily ad in poor taste

So you say you’re not a racist? That’s what students at Clemson, the University of Connecticut Law School and Tarleton State University in Texas said earlier this year after attending blackface parties on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. One Clemson student said, “We decided we’d have a ‘gangsta’ party for fun. You know, the gangstas like the hip hop culture. So we dressed up. We did not know it would offend so many people.”

Their idea of fun was to paint their faces black, stuff padding in their pants to make their butts look bigger and walk around with 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor and fried chicken. One particularly creative young student even dressed as Aunt Jemima. This sort of arrogance and ignorance is exactly the kind of thing that perpetuates division among the many subcultures in what is arguably the most diverse country on Earth.

With this as a backdrop, I opened The Daily the last two days to discover a large ad for a “White Trash Bash” at a Chicago bar. Students are encouraged to “pull out your wife beaters, trucker hats, overalls and mullets and come get trashy.” How is this any different than the trifecta of parties mentioned above? It includes boorish drunks dawning the garb of what they perceive to be a subordinate segment of our society. I am reasonably certain many will develop a fake Southern accent, and you can bet some will blackout at least one tooth. Sounds like the same ingredients to me. This is racism and discrimination in its purest form. The fact that it is being advertised through our school paper is disgusting.

That this theme party in Chicago includes mostly white people making fun of other white people does not free it from the racist label. The people they are making fun of live in the circumstances they do primarily because of circumstance, not choice. Most are born into low-income families. Their clothes come from Wal-Mart, not Neiman Marcus. Many of their schools are woefully inadequate. And yes, some grow up with bad teeth. These circumstances all emerge through an economic reality, not because they are somehow a lower species that is undeserving of the fruits NU parents provide for their children. It is never okay for one group to make fun of another, even if their skin is the same color.

The fact that these kinds of theme parties still exist is disappointing. But, in a free society we have to allow even the idiots to have their stage. What is more disturbing about this particular event is that the The Daily saw nothing wrong with publishing this ad.

Shame on you, Daily, by allowing this kind of trashy ad to be published. You have made me feel ashamed, if only for a short while, to be a part of this great university.

– Brian Cunningham Weinberg junior

(Editors’ note: The Daily editorial staff has no say over the choice of advertisements.)

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Letters To The Editor