Sexuality requirement an unnecessary burden
To the Daily:
As I read the article about a proposed gender and sexuality requirement (Required sexuality course proposed, 12/09/2004), I found myself wondering why a single group of students would want to require all students to take a gender/sexuality class? These classes already exist — why can’t these people take the classes themselves and leave everyone else alone?
Added requirements only increase difficulties for students. Ask almost any underclassman who recently went through the registration process, and he will tell you how difficult it is. When certain classes are required, you end up with entire classes of students rushing to take them. Slots in these classes become so limited that students have to work their whole schedules around them, eliminating other classes that they would rather take or that are more relevant to their interests. Language, writing, race/ethnicity requirements and others all add to this madness. Adding yet another requirement will only make the situation much worse.
Forcing students to take a class they do not necessarily want to take is not only a waste of time and money, but it hurts students who are actually interested in the topic. You cannot force people to use their minds. I just finished my race and ethnicity requirement, and it was obvious that many students wanted to do as little as possible to get the credit and be done with it. Filling classes with resentful students drags down the educational value of the class and hurts students with a real interest in it. A gender and sexuality requirement will likely have the same results.
I have not yet resolved why a certain group of students wants to force the rest of us in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts to take a gender and sexuality requirement. The 1,000 signatures they gathered seems like an insufficient sample at such a large university.
Group members were noted as saying that because of the outcome of the gay marriage amendment in Michigan, there is increased need for studying these topics. Of course, these people are opposed to the gay marriage ban; personally, so am I. However, they think this proposed requirement would have some sort of counter effect on currently held opinions. I don’t know about anyone else, but I was outraged to hear this. I am paying to study at this school and to get an education in the field of my choosing. I am not paying to be the political tool of some group on campus that wants to fight the gay marriage ban. If you want to increase public awareness on the issue that’s fine, but leave me out of it.
I desperately hope the University does not adopt this plan. It will be an unnecessary burden on staff and students, it will degrade the educational experience for interested students and it is an attempt to use the student body as a political tool. I hope that I am not the only one who feels this way.
The letter writer is a member of Young Americans for Freedom
Letter writer’s attack on Israel unfair
To the Daily:
The letter to the editor (Taking sides in Middle East conflict is a bad move for student government, 12/13/2004), in yesterday’s paper is disgusting, and I can’t believe that it was published for the whole student body to read.
The author says, “Please refrain from providing unwavering support for a racist state whose illegal occupation and defiance of more than 60 U.N. resolutions does not bode well for America’s position in the world. In order for the United States to gain the international respect and cooperation it needs to prosper, we must bravely reject the fascist Zionist agenda.”
How can you let someone call Israel a racist state that has a fascist Zionist agenda? Also, he says, “The aspirations of the Palestinian people to sovereignty and human dignity, in the face of atrocious Israeli oppression and humiliation, are not to be ignored. They are to be embraced.”
Palestinians send suicide bombers into Israel all the time to kill non-combatants. Why isn’t that included in the letter? They don’t want peace. This is ridiculous. I want a letter printed with the opposing point of view.
Divestment should be promoted on its merits, not with anti-Semitism
To the Daily:
While I usually am pleased when I find a pro-Palestinian letter in the Daily, I could not help but feel a little uneasy after seeing Tarek Baydoun’s letter (Taking Sides in the Middle East Conflict is a Bad Move for Student Government, 12/13/2004). While the Dearborn student’s heart may be in the right place, I am afraid that Baydoun may give the campus community an errant view of divestment and the divestment movement. No one within the Palestinian movement on this campus is calling for divestment from Israel on the basis of questionable claims regarding the nature of Israel. Some may have read Baydoun’s statements as some kind of shadowed attack on Judaism or even as blatant anti-Semitism, and it is important to clarify that the divestment movement is not based upon these principals and even has Jewish members within its ranks. Furthermore, scare tactics should not be employed by members of this community in order to push for divestment. Whether or not Israel is a cause of the United States’s problems in the Middle East is not of importance. Using scare tactics is not the most honorable manner in which to promote divestment. Regardless of Israel’s impact on U.S. policy, divestment should be pushed based upon its moral and legitimate principals. Israel’s flagrant violations of international law and ongoing occupation of the Palestinian people should be reason enough for our university to cut ties with companies that give Israel military assistance.
The letter writer is Vice Chair of Students Allied for Freedom and Equality.