Letters to the Editor


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Fund the Center for Human Rights

The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights is an institution that has continually produced and fostered top scholars and rights practitioners worldwide. This center is the reason many University of Iowa alumni have become dedicated scholars and practitioners in an array of areas in human rights, from professors to legal practitioners to aid workers and beyond.

As an undergraduate student, I had the privilege to work with Professor Ken Cmiel and Chivy Sok in helping shape the effort that was started by three dedicated individuals, Professor Burns Weston, Professor Rex Honey, and Dorothy Paul. The center has been committed to producing invaluable programs, courses, materials, and scholarships for human-rights students, as well as working and providing a plethora of assistance to those affected by human rights violations. The center provided the platform for my subsequent master’s in law and current Ph.D. work in human-rights law at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway, Ireland.

The importance of the interplay of human rights to politics, law, anthropology, medicine, and science (to list but a few) should not be understated.

It is both disappointing and imprudent of the university that not only have officials decided to eliminate and liquidate the programs and work of the Rights Center, but that they fail to demonstrate the foresight and wisdom to expand the work of the center.

Alexis Bushnell
Ph.D. Fellow, Irish Centre for Human Rights

Need a new mascot

I think I have some pretty great ideas for a new mascot. Herky is old hat, and as the haberdasher says, “old hats breed lice.”

First idea: An iPad. What an easy costume. Put a man in a big box and have an art student paint the Apple logo on one side and some popular apps (applications) on the other. If finding a box with those particular dimensions strikes you as a problem, stick a kid in a tinier box and call the mascot the iPad mini.

Second idea: The color blue. All of it. Whenever we score a touchdown and our people get excited, maybe we could say, “Hey (so-and-so), we just gave you the blues.” I don't know about anybody else, but I think that would be pretty catchy.

Third idea: Amos Dean. Amos Dean was the first president of the University of Iowa. Could there be a more fitting mascot? If we found an actor, he could take the stage before sporting events and deliver speeches on abolition and slavery and things that were topical in the 1850s. If we made our mascot Amos Dean, I guarantee ours would be the only school with a mascot who wears a cravat.

So those are my ideas for new mascots. Right now, I am leaning back on my white Ethan Office Chair, sighing with self-satisfaction. I hope you all will be as impressed with me as I am with myself.

Brian Healy
UI student

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