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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Letter to the Editor: Have you ever been homeless?

Published: March 17, 2006
Section: Opinions

To the Editor:
Im writing to express my deep disappointment in Nathan Ehrlichs article Cheers to Mike (3/10/06). I strongly object to Nathans expletive-filled piece which blames homeless people for their situation. Has Nathan ever been homeless? If not, he should not claim that homeless people really suck for not being able to stay warm in the winter.

The sad truth is that there will always be people who put others down in order to draw attention to themselves. What is most disappointing is that The Hoot would publish such an article. You issue a disclaimer at the end of Nathans article saying that this column does not represent your opinions. That does not excuse your choice to publish the piece, which (as your Letters Policy makes clear) you were under no obligation to publish. Anyone whose time at Brandeis overlapped with mine will recall the Dusty Baker Justice incident and the turmoil it caused on our campus. In that situation, few people accused the Justice editors of sharing the columnists views, but they were nonetheless held accountable for what they printed.

You say that your mission is to give every community member a voice. This only works if the group under discussion is represented in the community. In the Justice situation, there was a vocal (albeit underrepresented) minority who spoke up on their behalf. On the contrary, homeless people do not have a presence at Brandeis. When this is the case, who will speak up for them?

The Hoot was chartered to offer the Brandeis community in-depth news and relevant commentary. Your choice to publish Nathan Erlichs piece must make us ask if you are being true to your purpose. I would urge the Student Union to carefully consider this question the next time The Hoot comes up for funding.
Daniel Kaufmain '05