I am writing in response to the opinion piece by Mara Thacker entitled, “Sophomores get the Shaft.” While the writer is entitled to her opinion, I feel that the tone of her piece was deeply offensive to myself and perhaps also the majority of the campus community. Furthermore, many of the “facts” that she sets forth about the Dillard Complex are simply untrue. I believe that your publication has a duty to rectify this situation.
Ms. Thacker begins her attack by arguing that Dillard looks like a mental institution and that such a structure is appropriate because all William and Mary students are “depressed, type-A personality, sadists.” While the aesthetic qualities of the architecture are debatable, Ms. Thacker’s broad categorization of her fellow students is unfounded and her use of the terms “loony bin” and “nut house” represents nothing more than inflammatory language intended to draw attention away from the fact that her argument is irrational and has no logical basis.
Secondly, Ms. Thacker expresses the opinion that she should not have to live at Dillard because she has friends, and thus, could not possibly be expected to live with the antisocial individuals whom she believes populate Dillard. Having spent my sophomore year at Dillard, I must contest her claim. In my experience, nothing could be further from the truth. Residents at Dillard are remarkably similar to residents who live in traditional on-campus housing and at no time would I have categorized my fellow hallmates as “antisocial.” My hallmates and I managed to maintain on-campus friendships while living at Dillard and were able to use the bus system (now much improved) to attend class and campus events with no problem. Life at Dillard without a car is not the most convenient situation, as I can personally attest, but neither is it the end of the world.
Also, Ms. Thacker should note that the windows at Dillard are not barred, as she states in her piece. Yes, the basement windows have grates, but many on campus buildings also have safety grates on basement and first floor rooms. Perhaps Ms. Thacker would do well to visit Dillard and have a look around, talk to some residents, and get her facts straight.
Ms. Thacker is entitled to be angry about the housing process and express her opinion on its fairness. In the future, however, she should consider directing her anger at the appropriate administrative offices, rather than making unfounded, offensive and inflammatory remarks about the residents of Dillard and her fellow William and Mary students as a whole.
Class of 2004