Your Views: Letters to the Editor

Skiles Walkway detour posed a forseeable campus safety hazard

Upon receiving a crime alert e-mail, I was greatly dismayed to read that two Georgia Tech students were robbed at gunpoint on Monday night while walking in the “Detour” area.

However, I can’t say I was surprised. When the “Detour” was first put into place, I found myself feeling extremely uncomfortable walking in the back alleys of academic buildings just to get to the library.

While I do drive to the library, I must use the “Detour” path to access the E41 parking lot since library parking is no longer available. After walking the “Detour” last Sunday night around 9 pm, I was so spooked that I decided I would not use the library in the evening to avoid the shady walk.

The occurrence of this crime is an outrage. I have never felt so unprotected or unsafe within the Georgia Tech community. As our college is located in the middle of urban Atlanta, I accept that crime does occasionally affect our student population.

However, a crime of this magnitude should never occur directly outside the library, the center of the Georgia Tech campus. More infuriating is the fact that the students would not have been walking in the alley if Georgia Tech had not closed Skiles Walkway.

The construction has inconvenienced us all, but this armed robbery is more than a simple inconvenience. I refuse to place myself at risk. Georgia Tech must either reopen Skiles Walkway or find a safe, open, and brightly-lit pathway for the students to use at all times of day and night. I am disappointed in Georgia Tech for the lack of foresight.

Jessica Falcone

Fourth-year BMED

Tech’s potential remains untapped thanks to student complacency

Last week’s opinion piece entitled, “Tech academics, sports and salaries excel,” exemplifies a disturbing trend of students placated by mediocrity. Former president Clough oversaw tremendous improvements to the university, internally and to our reputation, but we must remember that just 15 years ago, most of our undergrad programs were not top ten.

Though we are now a top engineering school, why are we so quick to pigeonhole ourselves, when MIT and Caltech, arguably the most prominent engineering schools in the world, also have top programs in many other areas? While we (laughably) claim Jimmy Carter as an alumnus to give us two Nobel laureates, Caltech, which is a mere fraction of our size, can legitimately count 31, and public peers like Berkeley and Illinois have 62 and 21 laureates, respectively.

Speaking of public peers, comparing alumni salaries with UGA is a total cop-out. Engineering careers tend to pay above average, so of course the average Tech grad will make more than his UGA counterpart. Saying that we “are being rewarded for entering challenging and valued careers” ignores factors like UGA having a veterinary school and English education program. Surely we aren’t saying that being a veterinarian or high school English teacher isn’t a challenging or valued career.

To be fair, successful sports teams certainly add to the college experience, but using graduation rates as a metric can be misleading. Vince Young didn’t graduate, but that doesn’t mean Texas doesn’t have an excellent law school, business school or engineering school.

Calvin Johnson didn’t graduate, but nobody would then conclude that Tech is a bad school. Moreover, Duke and UNC manage to be perennial Final Four contenders, and Stanford has more NCAA championships than any other university.

We must keep pushing and improving. Only this year did Microsoft recruiters make us a “Tier 1” school; we had been considered inferior to the likes of MIT, Stanford and Harvard. As an institution of higher learning, there is much that can be improved from our non-engineering programs, to the diversity of our student body, to overall student happiness.

What does it say about us when so many alumni literally hate the school? It is the responsibility of the entire Tech community to make sure that future generations leave with fond memories and that “getting out” becomes a thing of the past.

Qiyu Liu

MGT graduate student