To the Daily:

An overlooked small town gets a little attention

I would like to thank the Daily for publishing the article from The New York Times on the small town of Sderot in southern Israel (In some Israeli towns, dodging danger the norm, 01/09/2008). Sderot has been a place overlooked by the international community and the Israeli government.

Having volunteered there for a few days during my trip to Israel during winter break, I experienced the horror of Qassam rockets dropping on civilian towns. Once my group had to stop in the middle of lunch and take refuge in a small kitchen with 30 other people as an alarm warned us of incoming rockets. The plight of the people in Sderot needs to be heard on a larger scale and publishing this article was a large step toward accomplishing this goal.

I am also proud to say that for the past year, University students have been raising money to help Sderot. By the end of this semester, the student organization American Movement for Israel will have raised over $1,500 to build bomb shelters for the civilians of Sderot.

Joshua Goldstein

LSA sophomore

The letter writer is the treasurer of the American Movement for Israel.

Early primary brought focus on Michigan’s issues

Does no one recognize that Michigan’s early primary was actually a good idea? For one, I am glad that the national media focused solely on the problems facing Michigan for at least a few days. I cannot remember a time when so much attention was given to Michigan. To the naysayers claiming that our primary did not matter and was “counterproductive,” – like columnist Gary Graca did on Wednesday (A primary not worth holding, 01/16/2008) – I would like to point out that being snubbed by the Democratic and Republican National Committees and some of the Democratic candidates may actually be a small price to pay for a little spotlight.

Instead of worrying about whether or not Michigan will have its place at the national conventions, we should note that viewers and readers worldwide learned of the dire economic issues in Michigan like unemployment. Similarly, it is absurd to think that holding a primary could harm Michigan’s role as a vital swing state. When each party’s nominees begin campaigning, Michigan will still receive national attention as an important battleground state.

Instead of complaining about the downsides of Tuesday’s primary, we should be proud that America was finally forced to examine the problems plaguing Michigan. These problems have been overlooked for far too long.

John Sloan

LSA senior

Editorial furthered stigma of mental illnesses

While I agree with the basic premise of the editorial (“More to do on depression” 01/17/2008) that counseling services should be available to college students in a timely fashion and without fear of stigmatization, I think some of the things implied in the article were insensitive and frankly uneducated. Part of reducing the stigma of mental illness requires journalists to resist the temptation to sensationalize these health concerns. The editorial’s reference to Virginia Tech was unnecessary considering the scope of the argument.

Violence is not necessarily more prevalent among mentally ill people than it is among other groups. Those who are mentally ill are victims of violence as well. An article truly dedicated to reducing the stigma associated with mental illness would have made reference to these concerns, rather than perpetuating the myth that those who are mentally ill are dangerous and a threat to campus.

Michelle Leach

Rackham

If you want Pryor, go to basketball game Saturday

I just wanted to let everyone know that this weekend is important to Michigan football. A guy named Terrelle Pryor is coming to campus. Pryor is a 6-foot-6-inch quarterback who runs a 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds. If he plays here, he will bring Michigan football to the promise land. It if he attends Ohio State, he will destroy it.

For students who don’t usually attend basketball games, it should be a priority to go to the game Saturday against Iowa at 7 p.m. Pryor will be there. Remember the phrase “we want Pryor” so you can yell it at any moment during the game. The basketball team won’t mind: They will be happy that you are actually there.

Marshall Sunshine

Engineering senior

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