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Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 20, 2010 7:30 AM

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Where’s the enforcement?

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is meant to be the state’s biggest proponent of good health. While it excels in many areas, its image as a haven of health is tarnished every day along Melrose Avenue. And by whom? Its own employees.

Every day I walk along Melrose and am angered to see UIHC employees (most in scrubs) smoking outside the entrance to the Family Medicine Clinic. These employees should be ashamed to promote good health inside the walls of UIHC but be public billboards of self-harm outside. The employees smoke directly in front of a “No Smoking” sign and show little remorse for their actions. This greatly damages the hospital’s image for patients and visitors.

Similarly, the UI should be ashamed of its enforcement of the campuswide smoke-free policy. The administration promotes the university as a bastion of good health, but does little to enforce its own policy. I propose the university begin to enact pay decreases on those employees found smoking in their work uniforms. Further, if an employee is found to smell of smoke while seeing patients, he or she should be suspended from work for the day without pay.

UIHC should not only have the image of a place that can provide health, it also must be a reliable and true place of healing. UIHC employees who smoke during work stimulate cynicism and retard preventative-health efforts. I urge UIHC employees to quit smoking; if that is not an option, please smoke out of sight.

Tyler Rasmussen
second-year medical student, UI Carver College of Medicine

The reasons for party schools

I am writing in regards to Jon Shelness’s April 19 letter titled “Bogus arguments from alcohol experts.”

I do not dispute his assertion that students not “bothering to get involved in such an uneven political contest” with university officials is certainly a reason for antisocial behavior.

However, can Shelness show that a significant portion of the alcohol-related problems in the Iowa City area are because of UI students adapting to “such an uneven political contest,” or at least have a method to gauge the extent of its existence? Shelness attributes the party- school phenomenon to this, something I seriously doubt.

John Ma
Ph.D. candidate, genetics

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