Tuition increases are unjustified
Year after year, despite student protest, tuition at the University increases above the rate of inflation. As a result, students continue to be priced out of education. University President Mark Yudof and the Board of Regents claim that students are getting a "bigger basket of goods." These goods include environments conducive to learning and facilities in accordance with federal regulations. These are not part of a bigger basket of goods; they are a fundamental part of education.
The administration's argument hides the real issue, which is that tuition increases depend on students' complacency. When we do not let our voices be heard, the administration will speak for us. That is unacceptable. Please tell Mark Yudof how you feel about tuition increases, because an accessible education is worth speaking up for.
Nikki Kubista,Minnesota Student Association, president,senior, women's studies
In defense of multiculturalthinking
There are a few things that I would like to criticize about Monday's opinion piece, "Anti-Western sentiment hip, but blind." First, the author seemed to equate "Western thought" with American thought. His main arguments seem to relate to Americans who denounce general American values and policies, not who denounce "Western thought."
The main point of the article seemed to be that people denounce certain aspects of our culture only because they seem wrong or because it seems cool to denounce those things. This very argument can be used to denounce people who are fervent patriots just as easily as it can be used to denounce people who are critical of this nation.
Also, the attitude of the author seemed to be that while it's fine to be critical of our country, we shouldn't make a big deal about it (i.e., we are usually right, but nobody's perfect, so what). He cited examples such as puppet dictators and Columbus, which give the impression that most of our mistakes happened a while ago and we're better now. What about bombing a Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical company based on "strong evidence that the company has strong ties with terrorist activity?" That seems rather righteous to me.
Multiculturalism makes us more aware of our own culture as well as others so that we can make changes that we think are good. Do I really need to argue about the drawbacks of cultural isolation?
Josh Curlee,graduate student, civil engineering
KQRS can't hide behind First Amendment
"KQRS Morning Show" has been the focus of much media attention recently because of some racist views directed against Hmong-Americans by Tom Barnard. One of Barnard's sidekicks on the show, Mike Gelfand, has tried to deflect criticism by (falsely) claiming that First Amendment rights are being jeopardized if we criticize the show.
One distasteful issue is the embarrassing segment "Talk with Tak." In it, Tony Lee, another member of Tom Barnard's crew, fakes having the speech impediments of a first-generation Hmong-American as he attempts to humiliate unaware interviewees. What is most disturbing, besides the fact that these radio "interviews" have been a regular segment on Tom Barnard's show for years, is that two of the three persons at the center of the recent storm of protest -- Mike Gelfand and Tony Lee -- are Jewish. To have Lee regularly spew hate speech by caricaturing and parodying Hmongs on a very popular morning show and then to have Gelfand ineptly attempt to defend hate speech as free speech makes one wonder if they need to take a refresher course in the events leading up to the Holocaust.
A public apology from KQRS to the Twin Cities is perhaps too overdue to be meaningful, but we do need to flash the spotlight of criticism on popular radio stations when they advertise and defend hateful ideas. As the old saw has it, the last refuge of a scoundrel is in patriotism. That may be too harsh. But using the First Amendment to portray themselves as martyrs to free speech is simply fallacious, self-righteous and self-serving.
Vaughn Klingenberg,MBA student
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