Letter to the Editor
I would like to thank author and reporter Michelle Griffith and the students she interviewed for sharing their feelings in last week’s Minnesota Daily article, “‘I am not alone’: UMN students’ silent grief." I think the article pointed out a position on the spectrum of student mental health that we don’t think about very often — grief.
On Thursday, March 14, 2019, at about 1:30 p.m., my brother was walking through Nicholson Hall on his way to his class on the history of religion. He was taking advantage of the University’s auditing program for people over 65 years of age. He loved history of all types and was doing research for a book that focused on the history of the world’s religions.
As most people are aware, the Task Force on Building Names and Institutional History recently recommended to the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents that four university buildings be stripped of their names, because the four men commemorated by the buildings didn’t live up to the standards the University community has a right to expect. Several regents caused a stir when they questioned the quality of the report on the basis of which they have been asked to arrive at their decision.
If the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents has concerns regarding the objectivity and content of the report by the Task Force on Building Names and Institutional History, it is the Board’s responsibility to collect more information and deliberate on the best path forward.
American professors, even famous ones, pick up their office phone themselves. That was one fascinating lesson I learned when I called the U.S. as a graduate student in Germany, long before the advent of email. Apparently, they didn’t use secretaries to fend off students like their colleagues in the Old World. Even more surprising, the Americans talked to you like a fellow human being, no matter how low you ranked on the academic food chain.
We hope the recent Minnesota Daily story about eating disorders raises awareness of these life-threatening mental health conditions. But we’d like to share information left out of the reporting.
I encourage others to look closely at the plastic they use in their life. The best advice I can give to someone who is trying to be environmentally friendly is to do a plastic audit. This shows you how much waste you dispose of throughout the course of your day. Then, you should try to find sustainable alternatives when it's time to replace those items.
Starting Monday, students can vote on this important referendum: “Should tenured faculty be held to the same standard as non-tenured faculty and staff when accused of sexual misconduct involving a student?" As President of the Council of Graduate Students, which sponsored this referendum, please allow me to explain why we urge you to vote "yes."
After one of the longest reviews of its kind in the history of American higher education, the 125-page report submitted by the Task Force on Building Names and Institutional History is being dismissed by several members of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents as making “broad-brush accusations." As someone who has advocated for college students for over five years, including in our University Student Senate, this reaction is not surprising.
Overcrowding on the campus bus system has been a problem for years with students missing buses, being crammed onto one or recently pushing each other over to get on. While I agree it is a supply and demand issue, regulating demand by forcing students to pay bus fare is not the solution for a number of reasons.