Letters to the Editor

My Saturday morning ritual is always the same. I wake up at about 10:30 a.m., stretch, touch my toes and slide on some shower shoes; my roommate stares at me, waiting impatiently because I am moving slowly. We stumble, eyes half shut, to Dougherty and down the hall to that glorious glass booth where two overpaid Pit swipers await us.

But wait, stainless steel bars block our entry, and our eyes immediately open wide. Disbelief! What a shock, not a single e-mail let us know of this atrocious change, not even a sign outside the building informing us: “Stop. Don’t proceed. Disappointment awaits you; the Pit is closed for your inconvenience.”

We mumble as we shuffle over to Connelly Center with only two a la carte swipes a day. Our fingers are crossed, hoping that our hunger falls during that one obscure hour when they take meal plans for breakfast. Alas, the Belle Aire Terrace doors are closed.

We stare disapprovingly at the giant line at Holy Grounds. Subtext in my head as I wait in line: “So let me understand this, I am going to use a meal right now to get a small, overpriced bottle of orange juice and a bagel (because if I get a muffin, I will go over by 39 cents) when I could have had as much orange juice as I wanted, three bagels and a freshly-made omelet from the Pit?”

I sit down after 20 minutes of waiting in line, and as I begin to butter my bagel, the doors to Belle Aire open for lunch. An evil glare is sent in the direction of the workers. My roommate and I feel powerless to do anything. We don’t want to be the “bad guys.” We volunteer to work at the Special Olympics every year; we are patient when trying to get through the congested Quad, but Friday we were forced to walk to the Spit in order to eat … then Saturday our traditional Pit brunch was disregarded by Villanova Dining Services.

This is not the only time that this has happened. At the very least, we deserve a courtesy e-mail informing us of the inconvenience we will have to endure for the day, or worse, the weekend.

Cassandra Wentzel Class of 2009

The year is 2006, five years after the horrific attacks of Sept. 11 and the holiday season is upon us. Our fight against terrorism is still quite imminent. The Transportation Security Administration is doing everything in its power to make sure we’re safe and secure, or are they?

At 5:20 a.m. I traveled through security to make my 6 a.m. flight back to Philadelphia. After I had passed through the metal detectors and began putting my UGG boots and my NorthFace jacket back on, I was asked if the yellow backpack I had put through the x-ray machine was mine. I nodded and was told to step aside while it was searched.

After going through each compartment, the TSA agent pulled out a recent gift. The snow globe in my bag containing highly dangerous pictures of my boyfriend and me apparently didn’t meet the 3-ounce liquid limit.

I was told I’d either be escorted back through security at which point I’d be able to check my bags, or the agent would be forced to confiscate it. Since it took me 30 minutes to get through security, I was forced to leave the snow globe behind.

A key goal for terrorists, and obviously one that has been achieved in their fight against us, is to disrupt our daily lives. As a result, we have been forced to accept unreasonable lengths and measures in the name of security.

Despicable men like Hitler, Stalin and more recently, Saddam Hussein are the ones usually associated with such restrictive measures in the name of security. This time, however, the United States and its absurd air-travel safety regulations can be thrown into this category as well.

Don’t get me wrong; I fully support the war on terror, and I wholeheartedly believe it may affect our daily lives in one way or another.

Be that as it may, I don’t believe we should be taking off our shoes (including paper-thin flip-flops), checking our luggage because we have a bottle containing 4 ounces of liquid and, even more outrageous, having to wait while our 85-year-old grandmas are taken into private rooms to be patted down. Clearly, TSA must have superb intelligence to detect a threat from my 5-foot tall grandmother.

Instead of spending millions of dollars paying thousands of employees, why don’t we fix our system? Clearly, if we trained fewer officials to properly read people and their actions and identify actual threats for the same cost of the thousands of second-rate ones, we’d be better addressing the situation.

I acknowledge my snow globe incident is just one. Many will argue the TSA is doing a great job, and if we change our policy, we’ll have another 3,000 deaths on our hands.

My point is that the United States is one of the greatest countries in the world, but we’re certainly not showing it.

We should be using our intelligence and our state-of-the-art technology to combat this threat. As long as we continue to force our passengers to throw away containers holding over 3 ounces of liquid and subject obviously harmless old ladies to friskings, we’ll be losing the fight against terrorism.

As a citizen of (supposedly) the freest nation in the world, I’m outraged that our government hasn’t come up with something more reasonable.

We need to stop wasting our time and either do the job well and efficiently, or put it in the hands of someone else who will.

Maggie SeidelClass of 2009