I was flabbergasted at Courtland Milloy's Oct. 30 Metro column regarding the visit by President Bush and first lady Laura Bush to Howard University on Oct. 27, which led to the closure of the school cafeteria and a subsequent student protest.

Milloy blamed President Bush for an incident that was actually Howard's fault: It's the university's responsibility, not outside speakers', to publicize such events on campus. According to Milloy, Howard President H. Patrick Swygert sent out an e-mail in July and again the day before the president was to arrive. But an e-mail reminder the day before is not enough advance time; I think fliers posted around school in advance would have been more effective.

The president of the United States should be respected, open lunchroom or not. The Blackburn Center sounds like the appropriate place for President Bush's appearance at a youth summit. That act should have been appreciated rather than degraded.

-- Gerri T. Michalska

Washington

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While I applaud Courtland Milloy's efforts to call attention to President Bush's visit to Howard, I object to his misguided characterization of the university.

Milloy's emphasis on Soul Food Thursday and the need for President Bush to simply "be seen sharing a wing and some collard greens" with students is offensive and racist. To suggest that the students of Howard are unconcerned with the substantive implications of President Bush's visit speaks to Milloy's misunderstanding that Howard University is first and foremost an institution of higher learning.

Milloy's association of Howard University with the rapper Ludacris in relation to our annual homecoming festivities is deplorable and feeds into any number of fallacious stereotypes. While we take great pride in our homecoming events, there are other events that take place on our campus each year that are far more meaningful.

While I have no doubt that Milloy's column was well-intentioned, I am offended by his remarks and I urge him to take greater care when writing about my school.

-- Jamal H. Anderson

Washington