Letters to the Editor

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 21, 2011 7:20 AM

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UI Republicans’ message unrepresentative

It is unfortunate that events planned by the UI College Republicans has cast such an unfavorable light on conservatives throughout Iowa City. Their attempt to draw attention and humor consists of efforts to encourage conservatives to come out of the closet, host an animal-rights barbecue, and mock public employees. I appreciate the group’s goal of presenting a different perspective in this liberal town, but the approach is futile because it only serves to lower the conversation into partisan division rather than draw in students who actually want to make a change.

Being in the closet is a depressing and lonely time for gay people. The coming-out process, first to yourself and then to friends and family, can be a tremendously frightening experience. Sadly, many fail to make it beyond this — the suicide rate of gay adolescents is four times that of their straight peers. But those who are out know it is a liberating feeling to be able to accept yourself for who you are and be honest with the world around you. It is irrational to compare this process to identifying one’s political party affiliation — which is a choice.

As it stands, the College Republicans have established themselves as a renegade joke more interested in ostracizing those with opposing views rather than elevating the political dialogue and offering solutions to our problems. Let’s hope that this group eventually comes to appreciate the many productive and viable ideas that conservatives often offer, including simplification of our tax code, elimination of earmarks, and reducing government waste.

Ryan Teahen
UI dentistry student

Iowa City’s misguided protectionism

Iowa City has provided me with new experiences which have arguably shaped me into a responsible young adult.

Throughout my time here, I have realized that adults in this community are sheltering the students to the point where they are suffocating them, preventing them from experiencing anything new.

Students can take out significant school loans, fight for our country, and vote, but they are barred from being in a bar after 10 p.m. If caught in the bar, these students are slapped with hefty fines and tarnished records, simply for trying to manage and experience their life in new ways.

These experiences are vital, whether they end up as hard life lessons or just as an amazing Friday night. If you constantly try to protect the youth from incidents that haven’t happened yet, how are they supposed to be independent?

Scott Heldt
UI junior

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