2/25/11: Letters to the Editor

Deal’s proposal for HOPE falls short
On Tuesday, Governor Deal released his plan to fix the HOPE Scholarship program. The Governor’s proposal would decouple HOPE from tuition, keeping its funding at 2011 levels going into the future. As the University System will undoubtedly continue to raise tuition each year, this proposal will harm students in Georgia and slowly retract the promise of a good education for all who seek it here.
Also, the proposed plan would only give full funding to the best and the brightest in the new Zell Miller program, and if those students attended Tech, they would likely lose their scholarships due to the ridiculous 3.5 GPA requirement. Neither the Governor’s press release nor the AJC article detailing the plan show what happens to those students. Do they begin to receive regular HOPE funds, or are they punished for being intelligent and driven young men and women who happened to choose a more difficult school, when they are dropped out of the program entirely?
The plan contains no mechanisms to increase revenue. At least SGA’s White Paper leaned on casino gambling and the possibility of Sunday alcohol sales to boost HOPE revenue. While the prospect of Casino gambling in Georgia is bit far-fetched, projections show that Sunday alcohol sales would generate significant revenue for the program. There are other ideas out there as well, such as a proposal to levy a dedicated five cent increase in the cigarette tax or the legalization of firework sales in Georgia to collect the revenue that goes out of state to S.C. and Ala.
In addition, the proposal would seek to thin the herd of potential HOPE recipients by requiring that the applicants take rigorous course loads in high school. This is patently unfair to students from rural or poor school districts, since many of these districts do not offer Advanced Placement courses. Also, how would the HOPE administrators differentiate between students who took AP Art History to inflate their GPAs and students who took all rigorous AP classes and let their GPAs fall a little.
Yes, the Governor’s proposal would extend the expiration date on the HOPE Scholarship program, but it would do it on the backs of students who are all deserving. HOPE needs to be saved, but there has to be a better way.
John Koch
Fourth-year AE

Research needed when discussing traditions
If you are going to write a piece about Tech traditions, I suggest you learn that it is not, nor has it ever been, ‘RATS.’ It is RAT, standing for Recruit At Tech. This is a part of Tech history that has been forgotten by many, and, thanks to ignorant articles such as your recent article about the T-Book, is misremembered [sic] by many of those who do remember it.
Matthew Jackson
Fourth-year MGT

Traditions lost on the student body
As a fourth-year Tech student that has been in the Georgia Tech Marching Band every year, I’ve grown accustomed to the rest of the student body being confused about, doing horrendously wrong, or generally just ignoring many of the traditions that the Band upholds. Even the [Ramblin Reck Club], “an organization of students, committed to the education and promotion of Tech spirit, history and tradition,” failed in their attempt at a T-Night last year, with the Band correcting them essentially every 10 seconds (they did better this year, but only because they asked for help). One of the most common mistakes I see is RATS. The correct term is Recruit(s) At Tech, hence RATs. RATS, or recently acquired Tech student, is wrong. I understand that, in a way, nobody else is as crazy as we are—we’re an odd bunch, I admit. But when the Focus Editor does it wrong, that says something to me. Check your traditions before you print it wrong.
Nicholas Lai
Fourth-year MGT

Meaning of RATs incorrect
Please proofread your articles more closely. In Friday’s Op-Ed [sic] piece on the T-book, you referred to the RAT Caps freshmen are given as RATS caps.
This is not the correct acronym as RAT=Recruit at Tech is the way it was in the past and how the Yellow Jacket Marching Band refers to it. I don’t think a 100 year old organization would get that wrong.
Daniel Ross
Fourth-year EAS


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