Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MAY 15, 2009 7:26 AM

Class, not race, is the problem

When I read “Fight central” (DI, May 14), my first thought was, “Are the Iowa City police ready for prime time?” Here we have a police force that cannot get to the bottom of why juveniles, led by “certain” adults, are “spiraling out of control.”

The first thing I say is, Check your racism at the door before you put on your uniform. Investigate, ask people what happened. If they won’t open up to you, get some professional social workers involved.

Samuel Lockett, 21, a homeless vagrant, seems to be at the root of the public disturbance. In urban inner-city conflicts, it is often these adults who head or egg on juvenile gangs into gang wars. This person needs to be psychologically evaluated, not just jailed for assault. Iowa City is going though class changes that some think have to do with race. It is class, not race, that police are confronting.

Mary Gravitt
Iowa City

Disconnect on campus not just on students

I don’t believe anyone would say binge drinking is a “good” thing. I also don’t believe that anyone would try to argue against the statements Frank Durham made in his guest opinion “Skip the bars, take advantage of intellectual opportunities” (DI, May 12).

Durham was 100 percent correct in saying the problems of the world are my generation’s to inherit and attempt to solve — we accepts this challenge willingly. As a soon-to-be senior, though, it has been my experience that this university and its faculty are not always conducive to providing us with the necessary tools.

Much too often do I see dedicated, ambitious students fall victim to professors and classes dedicated not to the actual learning and understanding of real-world concepts but rather busywork and irrelevant assignments that promote grade-grubbing more than knowledge.

I would never argue that students who skipped all of their classes would thoroughly and explicitly understand intricacies of a specific class, but the merit of their grades should not pertain to their presence in lecture halls. Most likely, if students skip enough classes, their grades will reflect that. But if a tuition-paying students choose to skip classes and subsequently fail out, so be it.

In a conference with the interim director of the journalism school this semester, he admitted the amount of course work expected for a specific journalism class was absurd. It will be interesting to see the dynamics of that class next semester.

Make no mistake; the students at this university wish to learn and better themselves not only to the point of personal success but also to the point of influencing the lives of others in positive ways. We strive for excellence because we realize the enormous pressures and problems that are ever-growing and ever-waiting for us once we enter the “real world.” We want desperately to do what Durham said: save the world. We know there are professors out there who want to help us. Sometimes, though, we just need something, however small or large it may be, to restore our faith.

Nathan Ley
UI student

Lawmakers should get serious about health care

It’s time for the U.S. Senate to get the message that we the people are not just a joke to be laughed off. Why is it that not one senator has the integrity to stand up for a even-handed debate on health-care issues? Why should any of them be elected to public office ever again? The will of the people is being excluded while corporate special interests, like butchers, carve up our pocketbooks and our bodies. Put single-payer health care on the table now.

Michael Mitchell

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