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Wan's Assumptions False and Misleading

I am writing in response to the column by Elaine Y. Wan '01 regarding freshman shower night ["For A Kinder Freshman Initiation," Sept. 29]. Apparently, she visited Third East, my hall in East Campus, in the midst of our annual showering activity, and she made some incorrect assumptions about the nature of the event.

In her column, she states "about ten freshmen, males and females, were duct-taped together before they entered the shower stalls." The students joined with duct tape were seniors, not freshmen, and they voluntarily put themselves in this position in order to fend off temporarily the underclassmen that were attempting to shower them.

Showering night on Third East is not just for freshmen. Members of all classes can participate in showering others and can be showered themselves. Additionally, and most importantly, showering night is a totally voluntary activity. Before anyone is grabbed and hauled off to the showers, the rules are explained, and anyone who does not want to participate can leave. No one is tricked out of their room or forced to participate. It is not a way to initiate the frosh or traumatize them, but a fun event for everyone on the hall.

Wan should realize that good journalistic practice includes asking questions about what one sees and not simply making an assumption based solely on the evidence her eyes provided her. We would have gladly explained our showering ethics to her had she asked.

Elizabeth G. Demicco '00