Religion on campus is the least of our concerns
To the Daily:
In his Sept. 13 column (Spreading only part of the word), Chris Zbrozek criticized Christians for not paying attention to the Bible. He then mused that “the sole important factor in determining salvation, in most brands of evangelical Christianity, is personal redemption, not good works.” Oddly enough, accepting Jesus Christ as a personal savior is the first and foremost step to the religion.
Zbrozek then implied that, had the evangelist not been spewing “fire and brimstone,” he (and other students) may have actually paid attention to him. I’m slightly skeptical that more than a 10th of the student population would pay serious attention to someone spreading “The Word,” unless to mock.
And while Zbrozek criticizes the fact that the evangelist could have been speaking about Katrina relief, let me criticize the fact that Zbrozek could have written about any of the following: Halliburton subsidiaries getting contracts for New Orleans reconstruction, Iran and Russia cooperating over nuclear power or Tony Blair considering scrapping Holocaust Memorial Day.
Even if it’s blood that Zbrozek is after, maybe he could talk about how Vice President Dick Cheney called Katrina relief “very impressive” (insurgency, “last throes!”) or that Kathleen “We were unprepared!” Blanco put into effect several years ago the “State of Louisiana Emergency Operations Plan,” a document written specifically for an event like Hurricane Katrina.
Zbrozek chose to use the same “clever” rhetoric that most people on this campus figured out in 11th grade: Most Christians don’t live as Christ did (especially those whose families can afford University tuition). Rather than take advantage of his “editorial freedom,” he wrote more than 800 words on a subject so trite one could hardly call it an issue. Chris, you have the press and people reading your words. Make them worthwhile.
Birth control ban sets a scary precedent
To the Daily:
I was appalled to learn about the University of Wisconsin’s proposed birth control ban (Losing control: Birth control ban threatens women’s health, 09/13/05). Thank you for bringing the issue to our attention. How dare politicians infringe on women’s rights in Wisconsin or anywhere else for that matter?
As the article illustrates, purchasing contraceptives at an independent pharmacy is both inconvenient and more expensive. Is the goal of the bill to increase the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions? Students at the University will continue to have sex no doubt, but perhaps the bill will cause even more emotional, physical, educational and financial consequences for a new generation of young mothers and fathers.
The lack of emergency contraceptives at the University of Wisconsin, especially for women who have been raped or sexually assaulted, is particularly disturbing. Today’s world is a scary and dangerous place to be. To deny women the right to protect themselves after a horrific sexual attack is despicable public policy. Ask yourself who is to be feared more, the attackers or the new liberty-crushing policies? As the bumper sticker says, “Keep your laws off my body.”
School of Public Health
Editor’s Note: The original editorial was factually inaccurate. Please read today’s correction on page 2.
New LSA language proposal misses the boat
To the Daily:
While the Student Government of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts may have good intentions in its decision to support a proposal that would allow students to take one year of two separate languages to fulfill their foreign language requirement, I feel this will not help LSA students and only dilute what seems to be a very good requirement.
I think the main problem in looking at the requirement is that people tend to think of it as a four-semester requirement, instead of (at least what I think) its true intention as a fourth semester proficiency requirement.
High school students with a few semesters of proficiency should have little trouble satisfying an extra semester or two of college level language courses.
One of the representatives quoted in the Daily article (LSA language requirement may be altered, 09/14/05) about this topic said she felt compelled to continue studying a language she also studied in high school for her final semester of the requirement. Is that so drastic a request?
If you are truly interested in another language, then surely you realize two semesters will only give you very basic skills and will not make you a very effective speaker. Personally, I would rather get my money’s worth and become fluent in one language instead of knowing a few odds and ends of two. How useful is that?
It seems to me that if the rest of the world has taken the time out of their busy lives to learn English and often other languages as well, the least we American students can do is pick up another language ourselves. The University is a very diverse school representing a great number of countries, ethnicities and points of view.
To have only a year of a foreign language seems to be cheating international students who learned our language to go to our school and threatens our credibility as an international university. I found it unique (and admittedly, sometimes tedious) to have a language requirement as extensive as the University’s, but I can say without a shred of doubt that my years spent learning a foreign language have bettered my understanding of the world and improved my study ethic as a whole. If fluency is a goal, more than two semesters are going to be necessary for any foreign language. As a result, I support and urge fellow students and faculty members to preserve the fourth semester proficiency requirement that is currently intact.