Published January 22, 2003
Roe v. Wade anniversary should spark discussion
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To the Daily:
On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that the "right of privacy ... is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy."
As we think upon the cultural ramifications of that historical moment, we believe that a clear resolution to this issue could unfold if ideologues on both sides would cease their rhetoric-work and let the ongoing work of grass roots activists speak for itself.
This resolution involves an ethics of prevention and care. Prevention is the most effective way of reducing abortions. Supporting responsible sexual relations through information about abstinence and safer sex practices is key.
When prevention fails, the ethic of care follows. This fall, a speaker from Feminists for Life noted that most women do not freely "choose" abortion, but are coerced into their decision by lack of financial resources, family or social pressure, and/or lack of access to adequate health care among others.
Pro-choice groups have emphasized this shameful situation for some time, but the point is that more efforts should be directed towards improving resources for pregnant women, be they financial, medical or emotional. Pro-life groups work very hard to provide resources and emotional support for pregnant women and to enable adoption. Planned Parenthood, a pro-choice organization, devotes an overwhelming portion of its resources towards pre-natal care for low-income families. More of this work remains to be done.
Most people agree that abortion should be legal in cases of sexual abuse and health risks posed to the mother. Most agree that abstinence and contraception education are key to reducing unplanned pregnancies. And most people agree that substantial social resources should provide support for pregnant women and infants.
So as you think about this debate, remember that rhetoric is an empty and divisive pursuit. Only informed action in the pursuit of prevention and care will ever bring this volatile chapter of U.S. history to a close.
Students for Choice
Daily editorial lacked evidence against Bush plan
To the Daily:
The Daily says Bush's 10 percent plan has had only minimal success where implemented (White washed, 01/21/03). This is simply liberal rhetoric; I could easily find you a matching article that states the success is equal to that of the University's current policies.
The Daily's big piece of evidence is that minority enrollment at the University of Florida at Gainesville declined since the implement of the "talented 20" program. According to the Daily, minority enrollment at Texas state schools has been stagnant. Is there any evidence to support your claim, or should we just take everything the editorial board of a college newspaper as fact?
The Daily's first critique of the 10 percent plan is that it only considers numbers, not people. Please, please point me to the section of the University's now infamous point system that actually considers the person, not superficial qualities such as the color of one's skin.
The next item the Daily mentions is that the 10 percent plan relies on urban segregation to be effective. I think the Daily missed the point. The plan was created to account for geographical segregation, not to rely on it.
If we redistributed the approximately 85 percent black population of Detroit evenly over the rest of the state of Michigan, the plan would still work. The argument that minorities were not given the same opportunities at the level of secondary education would be thrown out because urban segregation has been removed, so granting admission to the top 10 percent of every high school should include equal proportions of every race. Bush's plan does not pivot upon segregation, it simply accepts that it is an unfortunate part of the society in which we live.
How anyone can justify blindly granting an edge to some in the admissions process based solely on the color of their skin goes against everything that equality means. I seem to remember someone saying, "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Maybe I only remember that because we share the same birthday, but I thought there was another reason, like the fact that his followers cry for equality while demanding special consideration for their unfortunate skin color.
My brother suggested an admissions program that makes sense, which means it will never be implemented anywhere. Do this: Page one of the application has name/address/phone number/RACE/etc., while pages two and beyond contain grades, SAT scores and extracurricular activities. The reviewer only gets to see pages two and beyond after putting the application in either the "accepted" or "deferred/denied" pile, where it is reunited with page one via the social security number. No race considerations. Only factors that make up a person are considered. Equality. Get it?
Reader warns 'U' students to beware of spring break scams
To the Daily:
As I perused the classified section of Monday's Daily I saw an ad for something familiar yet horrifying. I was carefully looking at the ads for the upcoming Spring Break and the companies that try to sell this "holiday" to students.
If you find yourself checking out these ads for a great late-February getaway with your friends, be wary as to what these companies claim to offer. And if you find yourself with a booked room at the Sandpiper Beacon in Panama Beach, Fla., you may be better off spreading some sand across the carpet in your dorm and turning the heat up to 90 degrees.
This "beach resort" boasts in their ad that their establishment is "The Fun Place," but the most fun you will have during your break at the Sandpiper Beacon is probably the nap on the flight down to Florida. I went with three friends and booked a trip there, not knowing the first thing about Panama Beach, only using the assumption that if this place has such a large ad in the Daily then, by God, it must be the biggest party resort ever!
While driving from the airport to the resort, the first thing we noticed was that we were moving farther away from where any students or younger people were located. In Panama Beach, there is "the strip" where all the resorts, bars, clubs and hotels are located. We found ourselves about three miles down "the strip" from anybody close to our age.
The beach was barren except for me and my friends, an older geriatric couple sleeping upright in chairs propped in the sand, and a group of 80-year-old men sitting in a hot tub near the beach. It was so quiet you could actually hear me crying. We passed the time playing shuffleboard with the eighty-year-old men and drinking 30-packs in our "cabana" that held two beds, a mini-fridge, a small bathroom, and about three feet of turning space for our bodies to fit inside.
Oh, and "Home of the world's largest and longest keg party? What? What? I repeat: I played shuffleboard with 80-year-old men - I saw no kegs, no party. The only piece of ass for miles had a pair of Depends strapped to it. We finally got out of our little room at the Sandpiper, lost our deposit and moved into the Marriott down the road where there were craploads of young people, beach parties, and a shuttle that transported us to a series of bars each night.
I feel that it was irresponsible for the Daily to put this advertisement in the paper. Students deserve a sunny break around the end of February, not a disastrous experience like mine at the Sandpiper Beacon.
We should understand that as students, we are sometimes vulnerable to getting ripped off. When it comes to credit cards - and especially when it comes to spring break offers - we must be wary of companies with big ads. Research where the place is in conjunction with other student-heavy traffic areas. Ask people who have already been to that vacation spot what the best place to stay is. If you don't, you may find yourself playing Bingo with my grandmother while your friends are getting laid and drinking their brains out five miles down the beach.