LSA-SG is working to improve readiness of international GSIs

To the Daily:

This letter is in response to this week’s Statement cover story (Why complaining about your GSI’s accent is a waste of time [and racist], 03/07/2007). I feel these complaints are a widespread problem that affect students not only at the University, but also at other universities across the country.

As a representative on LSA-Student Government, I am currently heading a project to improve GSI consistency across classes to address the problem of students having a difficult time understanding international GSIs. I have been working closely with various LSA deans as well as the English Language Institute to improve the current situation.

The proposals we are working on include: improving the follow-up program in the ELI after GSIs have passed the English Proficiency Test, getting the ELI to ensure GSIs are culturally prepared to teach in American classrooms, instituting an LSA-wide policy for the mid-term and final evaluations for international GSIs and implementing additional Graduate Student Mentors. We have also suggested a “Take your GSIs out to Pizza” program, which would improve interaction between GSIs and students beyond traditional office hours.

I agree with the writer that students need to be more accepting of GSIs from different cultures and look past language barriers to improve the educational experience. As representatives of students in a diverse University community, LSA-SG is working to ensure that all students have the opportunity to get the most diverse education possible. We welcome all suggestions and comments from the general student body.

Nick Tan
LSA freshman

‘U’ must be on students’ side in their dispute with the RIAA

To the Daily:

I was shocked the Daily took the position it did in its Wednesday editorial (Facing the music, 03/07/2007). The editorial board advocated that the University move to a free means of downloading music like that provided at other universities. However, these services are not so free. I think we can all agree right off the bat that the University would incur significant costs in implementing such a service.

Most likely, University Housing in particular would bear the burden, given that students off-campus don’t have the benefit of the campus Internet network. I find it hard to believe that University Housing, an entity well-known for high and questionable pricing (see: meal credits), would simply swallow such costs. Instead, they would most likely be passed on to all students, even those that don’t care to listen to the music provided by this “free” service.

Ruckus Network’s service might be free, but it comes with strings attached. It is Windows-only, which does not suit the needs of Mac and Linux users. The music files are in a protected format, which means that you may not be able to listen to them after college, when you are no longer eligible for the Ruckus free service.

Finally, you might recall the “If this group reaches 100,000, my girlfriend will have a threesome” Facebook group from earlier this year, started by none other than Brody Ruckus (a fictional persona). Why should we trust a group that uses such subversive, underhanded marketing tactics?

The University has no obligation to prop up the recording industry’s failing business model. It could, however, take steps to reduce students’ vulnerability to lawsuits. The University should side with students, not a group of corporations bent on suing customers.

Scott Wolchok
Engineering senior

Lack of apology to ‘comfort women’ must be taken in context

To the Daily:

While I commend the topic, Whitney Dibo’s column on Japanese “comfort women” during World War II lacks historical perspective (A long overdue apology, 03/08/2007). More than two hundred thousand women were forced into this slavery, which is obviously appalling. But an equal number or more were killed in the Nanking Massacre, and the Japanese government has not apologized for that either. Neither has it apologized for “Unit 731,” a secret medical unit that researched biological warfare through human experimentation. Furthermore, when the Soviet Army tore its way across Germany, its soldiers raped more than 2,500,000 women. These women have not received any reparations or apologies.

As a result of the Holocaust 9 million Jews, gentile Poles, gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, gay people and handicapped people were tortured and murdered. The fact that 200,000 women were sold into sexual slavery is tragic, but to call the story of comfort women “one of the saddest, most shameful chapters in modern history” is to disregard many others.

James Kunz
LSA junior

Viewpoint writer should confront his biases and false perceptions

To the Daily:

Without a doubt, the campus group called the F-Word seems to be upsetting the right people. It is upsetting the kind of people who think, “no one supports rape besides rapists,” the kind of people who ignore the context of a patriarchal culture. These are the kinds of people who should feel threatened by feminism.

I hope James Dickson’s offensive viewpoint (Don’t be afraid to challenge feminism, 03/06/2007) is the first step in his coming to terms with his biases and false perceptions. As he said, “college is a time when we learn how to think. ” Regardless, I know his article did more to make me sympathetic to the F-Word and understand the need for an organization like it on campus than anything the organization itself could have done.

Peter Shapiro
LSA senior

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.