HGeneral College column panders to old stereotypes
I must confess to being a little disappointed in Karl Noyes's Feb. 11 analysis, "An Argument for Closing the General College." Noyes is concerned, as are all of us at the University, about the implications of budget cuts on the institution. He proposes the elimination of the General College as a solution to the problem. Does Noyes know that General College's portion of the University's allocation from the state in fiscal year 2002-03 is 0.4 percent of the total? Does he know that, during the same period, the college brought in $10.1 million in tuition, sponsored research, gifts, grants and other sources?
His analysis, besides being poorly written and researched, is littered with errors of fact and panders to old stereotypes that have been long discarded. Such muddying of the waters is unfortunate at a time when a commonality of purpose is called for at the University. To take just two examples: Noyes's contention that in the past General College instructors were "rewarded" for helping student-athletes cheat is slanderous; and his contention that General College "drop-out" rates have been as high as 70 percent in the last decade is false, sensationally so. It is surprising that the Daily editors chose to publish a piece with such little understanding or appreciation of past debates surrounding the mission that the General College upholds.
The people of this state recognize educational excellence. Consider the fact that there will be 5,000 applicants for 875 openings in the General College first-year class next fall semester. (Students must apply directly to and be accepted for admission directly by the college.) Simple mathematics suggests that this would make the college among the most selective at the University, predicated on applicant-to-admission ratio. These applicants are not predominately "nonwhite, athletes or low achievers." I understand that the writer needs to "cut" his journalistic teeth on something. I suggest that he find another bone to gnaw on.
David V. Taylor, Ph.D.
Conceal and carry bill would jeopardize safety
Our state legislators are making more than just budget decisions about our University this session. They are currently debating a bill that if passed will affect our safety in our state and on our campuses. The Conceal and Carry Handgun Bill has been introduced this session, which will make it easier for anyone to obtain a permit to carry a handgun in public.
This change from those who have a personal safety or occupational hazard reason to carry a handgun to anyone who qualifies based on very loose standards would change our way of life. We would have to then wonder if the person next to us at our place of worship, at the coffee shop, on the bus, at the grocery store, a Twins game or in line behind us at the post office is concealing a handgun. In this bill, the only public buildings in the state where handguns are not allowed are schools, day-care facilities and the Capitol. These should not be the only safe zones in our state. If this bill is adopted, all other public buildings and businesses across the state, including the University, will legally have to allow handguns on their property. Currently, the University of Utah's ban against concealed weapons on campus is being challenged by the Utah attorney general on grounds that it violates the permissive handgun policy in that state. If this bill in Minnesota passes and goes into effect, we will be facing those same dilemmas on our campus.
We need to speak out and voice our opinions on this issue; if not, we will have to wonder if the person next to us at the Weisman Art Museum, the Northrop Auditorium, the basketball game or on the commuter bus is carrying a weapon.
Allowing more handguns is not good public policy. Credible research has shown that states with stricter gun laws are safer. Minnesotans need to voice their opinions to their state legislators. Contact Gov. Pawlenty and let him know that the University community does not want conceal and carry to become a reality.
School of Public Health
Nominate an exceptional graduating senior for the upcoming Ski-U-Mah Issue!
UMN students have traveled to Florida colleges to collaborate with students on various projects.
When UMN students plan for a vacation, having trip cancellation travel insurance is a worthwhile commodity to check out.
Minneapolis Used Cars
Give back to the Minnesota community with a boat donation at boat4causes.org.
If you have been involved in a car accident call a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer for a free consultation.