As a recent alum of UCSB, I still love to read the online version of the Daily Nexus. Admittedly, much of it stems from the fact that I miss what I had during my years at UCSB. However, this morning I was startled and engaged by one of the letters to the editor – yeah, the one from the holier-than-thou father (“Fatherly Words About Our Cesspool,” Daily Nexus, Feb. 12), how’d you guess?

When I first started at UCSB, my father heard the same rumors about the “party hard and don’t get caught” atmosphere at UCSB. He would joke with me, saying that I went to a “beach resort” nine months a year. Four years, two degrees, and honors distinction in one major later, my father could not be more proud of me, mostly because I was able to safely manage my social and academic life at UCSB.

And as I sit in my law school class and look around at the five or more UCSB graduates in my 1L class, I realize that I am here because of my experience at UCSB. Although I may sound like a nerd, don’t let the honors fool you – as many people at UCSB know, the student population is intelligent and resourceful. If you learn one thing at UCSB, it’s how to balance your priorities so you’re prepared for the real world after graduation.

Granted, not every experience in college is a healthy one, and people make plenty of mistakes. But don’t automatically blame that on a university that is committed to allowing people to mature into adults by making mistakes and learning how to bounce back from them. The debauchery that you decry, Mr. Baron, is not so prevalent that a person cannot escape it. And the lack of care that you speak of, Mr. Baron, is not espoused by everyone at UCSB.

If you ever read a Daily Nexus during Fall Quarter 2003, or in the past Spring Quarters, then you would have seen the active steps that student groups such as Students Stopping Rape, Students Teaching Alcohol and Other Drug Responsibility, Student Health Service outreach groups and many others have taken to put responsibility into the hands of the students, to teach others how to take control of their lives and help others, and to give students a resource for their multiple needs. I should know – I volunteered with two of them.

And don’t, Mr. Baron, turn to the greek system and condemn them for their hedonistic ways. As a whole, the system promotes healthy choices and familylike bonds that aid many people in guiding their way through college life. Not all parts of the system shirk away from learning about alcohol, drug or domestic abuse. Trust me, after giving multiple seminars on self-defense and domestic violence to the greek organizations, I know that they are not shrugging off their responsibilities to themselves.

No, sir, you cannot blame the administration for allowing your daughter the right to live her life. And, no, sir, you should not blame the entire greek system for espousing what you have contrived to be immoral practices. And no, sir, you cannot blame the students for trying to corrupt your daughter.

But you know who you can blame, sir? Your daughter. A person only finds trouble and indulges in it when he or she wants to, and only that person can control his or her actions. So, Mr. Baron, instead of writing angry letters to a group of people who are disgusted that you would ever blame us for the innocent deaths of four people at the hands of a murderer, talk to your daughter, get her help. As far as we’re concerned, you do not know what you are talking about.

Lexe Davidson graduated from UCSB in 2003 and lives in Orange County, Calif.