I am an avid reader and big fan of your newspaper, though I must take issue with a recent article appearing in the District Line (“Foot Loose and Fancy Tree,” 2/7). The article detailed the “shoe tree” phenomenon that has taken root on the campus of George Washington University.
These dour women pictured and quoted in the article are furious at numerous pairs and singular shoes being tossed in a tree. In addition, they believe the rumors as to why these fraternity men throw their old shoes into this particular tree. My response: Who cares?
These young ladies should take a look around at perhaps the homeless situation in Foggy Bottom in order to make a difference, or consider sponsoring an alcohol awareness or date rape prevention program on campus. Why spend their time and effort chasing shoes stuck up a tree? I can’t fathom the thought that one of these women researched the law in order to seek relief from such a sight as this shoe tree.
My point beyond criticizing your writers for giving these ladies a forum is to defend the Greek system on the campus. I have been an active alumni brother and most recently finished a stint as an alumnus adviser with the charge of helping bring back a dormant chapter of our international fraternity, which boasts among other things a recent presidential candidate, numerous business and community leaders, and an aggressive investigative newsman who seems to be on TV almost every night of late.
In order for these young undergraduates to fulfill the guidelines for membership they must learn about our history, perform numerous community-service projects (many close to GW), maintain a minimum GPA, and never carry on as portrayed in Animal House. The chapter is chartered, and members must continue to lead the other brothers who join subsequent to them; I can say I have seen this occur firsthand. Why doesn’t Washington City Paper set precedent by stopping now and forever taking cheap shots at the entire Greek system and take the time to report the positives.
Finally, shame on Jan-Mitchell Sherrill, the associate dean, for such a lame defense of the Delta Tau Delta brothers and for describing all fraternity men as “being difficult.” The DTDs now realize it’s stupid to throw their shoes up a tree, and I’m sure they will take them down. They certainly don’t need the WIN squad of GW to make a federal case out of it.