Preventing a college birth control crisis

To the Daily:

Ask any woman on campus if her birth control is too expensive and the response would likely be a clear “Yes.” Unfortunately, the price is rising. In January 2006, President Bush signed into law the Deficit Reduction Act, which – unintentionally, according to most reports – dramatically raised the price of some forms of birth control for university health centers. It has been a year, and still nothing has been done to fix this problem. In response, some university health centers, including our University Health Service, overstocked their shelves with the last remaining low-cost birth control before the law went into effect. But their reserves won’t last forever.

For the women who will have to pay up to ten times more for their monthly birth control, this is a problem that needs to be resolved immediately. Most people support the idea of lower birth control prices, yet very little is being done to ensure that low prices can continue.

Congress has already devised a solution to this problem as well, with no additional cost to the government. This provision would allow university health centers to continue distributing birth control at a lower cost. A seemingly simple fix, members of Congress have now attached this provision to multiple bills with little success.

Once Congress returns from winter recess on Jan. 15, it is vital that this change be pushed through. If this problem is not resolved quickly, women on college campuses will feel the effects of the hefty price hike in birth control. The only way to prevent this is to take action immediately. Let your local representatives know that their support on this issue is imperative. Encourage them to attach this no-cost fix to any Congressional legislation that the President will sign.

If we don’t act now, millions of women across the country will have to decide if they can afford to continue to protect themselves. This is not a decision any woman should have to make.

Jenna Casey
School of Social Work

Michigan owes West Virginia for coaches

To the Daily:

I just wanted to pose a question to the University of Michigan Athletic Department, boosters and University powers: At what point is the University going to subsidize the West Virginia University Athletic Department for its role in training your coaches? It could be called the University of Michigan at Morgantown, and the University of Michigan could routinely just take whomever from among West Virginia’s ranks it wanted.

On the bright side, the new Michigan head football coach Rich Rodriguez has proven that he can’t coach a team into a national title. Look at the opportune position West Virginia was in this year and Rodriguez could not even get the team ready to beat Pittsburgh University.

Good luck. And even better luck in four years finding a new coach after Rodriguez has his fourth consecutive losing season and Michigan realizes what a mistake it made.

Instead of complaining, maybe I should have just said “thank you” and left it at that.

Lewis Hardway
West Virginia University alum

Dispose your plastic bottled water habit

To the Daily:

On a campus where on any given day a large percentage of students are carrying disposable water bottles, we as a community need to be better informed about the growing problems that they create. While it may be part of the morning routine to wake up, get ready for class, grab a bottle of water and walk out the door, this habit needs to change. Being a lifelong athlete, I fully understand the importance of staying hydrated. I’m not discouraging water consumption. Rather, I’m trying to educate and inspire change.

Instead of wasting resources producing flimsy plastic bottles, everyone could reuse a Nalgene or a Camelback bottle. We live in a state that is blessed with clean drinking water, yet we still stuff landfills full of plastic water bottles and fail to acknowledge their damaging effects.

Most students don’t know that America produces 38 million water bottles a year from 1.5 million barrels of oil. They probably also don’t know that most small bottles are produced with polyethylene terephthalate, a chemical that produces more than 100 times more toxic emissions than an equivalent amount of glass, according to the Berkeley Ecology Center. The chemical can also leach into the water.

As informed students, we could make a huge difference. If half of the students on campus drink and throw away one bottle a day each semester, that means roughly 20,000 students throw away a bottle seven days a week for 14 weeks a semester. That’s 1,960,000 bottles that we could save per semester.

I encourage students to do something about this problem and spread the word. On campus, we can change the way we live and the way that others live as well.

Shari MacDonald
LSA sophomore

A new reputation for Michigan football?

To the Daily:

Whenever a college football fan hears “University of Michigan” the first word that comes to mind is “class”. So, why did the University of Michigan hire Rich Rodriguez?

Dan Unger
Moatsville, W. Va.

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