Winter Break is the real problem, not exam schedule

To the Daily:

The editorial in yesterday’s Daily talked about how professors who give final exams on the last day of class are being unfair because they don’t give students enough time to study (Reexamining finals, 12/10/2007). However, I prefer to have an exam or two the last day of class, just to spread out my exam schedule and get it over with.

I think the more important question is, why does the University make us come back from Winter Break on a Thursday? What a pain. It would make winter break a lot more enjoyable if we could enjoy that last weekend and start on a Monday. I’m sure most students would prefer an extra two days in April if they could have a four-day extension of Winter Break.

Sarah Hayosh

LSA senior

Drug policy conference shows failures of drug war

To the Daily:

Last week, New Orleans witnessed one of the largest conferences in history on drug policy: The 2007 International Drug Policy Reform Conference organized by the Drug Policy Alliance, Students for Sensible Drug Policy and dozens of other organizations. Building on the momentum from recent drug policy reform victories, approximately 1,000 drug policy experts, health care and drug treatment professionals, elected officials and family and friends of drug war prisoners gathered to promote alternatives to the failed war on drugs.

Members of the University chapter of SSDP attended the conference on full scholarships from their national organization and the DPA to accept SSDP’s award for Outstanding Chapter. SSDP led an exploration of issues affecting youth and students, including their Campus Change campaign, an effort to repeal the part of the Higher Education Act that denies financial aid to students with a drug conviction and end the harm of random student drug testing.

These panels emphasized student mobilization as a means for counteracting harmful policies and promoting reasonable ones. The conference brought together a diverse crowd. Former law enforcement officials spoke with the people they used to put in jail, the current director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime presented next to the director of the International Harm Reduction Development Program, and even the Ohio State and Michigan chapters of SSDP learned how to strategize and mobilize for reform in conjunction. The conference showed that even bitter enemies could come together for progress.

Chris Chiles

LSA sophomore

-The letter writer is the executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

Jungle law prevails in the Fishbowl during finals

To the Daily:

During finals season, we become like animals in the Fishbowl. While scouting out a computer, a couple of laps around enough to guarantee a Mac or PC, but then December rolls around, and suddenly Fishbowl etiquette disappears like the sun cowering behind the Michigan clouds.

During the joyous season of finals in the Fishbowl, friends become enemies. Rather than linger for conversation, we deem our friends competition. A girl from sophomore English class waves my way. I give her a quick hello and move on, scouting a Mac. She represents five minutes waiting time, and now the lines are blurring between Macs and PCs because beggars cannot be choosers.

For the first time ever, checking at the Fishbowl is irresponsible. And let’s be honest, do you really need to watch an episode of “Entourage” in the Fishbowl? I know plenty of coffee shops that have wireless Internet. All of a sudden, there’s a rustle of papers like wind whistling through the bare branches of winter pines, and a guy gets up. He logs off. I go in for the kill. I dodge the large coats and the designer bags ahead of me. Just as I thrust my bag toward the spot, another person swoops in to take my computer. I sigh more loudly than normal.

It takes several more laps for me to secure a PC, and finally I can begin my work. First, I will check Facebook.

Laurie Segall

LSA senior

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