Letters to the Editor: 4-25-14

In response to last week’s edition of Our View: “Low voter turnouts not all students’ fault.”

I did not vote because I wasn’t even aware that a school election was happening.

I never ran across anyone’s campaign, I never saw a single poster, Facebook post or heard a word about anything at all.

I also don’t know a single person that ran for office by face or by name. There may have been a week of active campaigning, but I don’t think that’s enough.

If people want the students to get involved in campus politics and bring in voters, then they need to spend more than a week talking to the people they already know.

Presidential candidates for our country spend years campaigning to bring in voters.

Shouldn’t we organize rallies or debates? Something that brings the students into the issues so they know exactly what is happening?

I don’t even know what the Student Government Association does and I’ve been a student here for five years.

Also, with the seemingly negative things that have been happening on Capitol Hill in recent years, politics has a negative connotation for many people.

People often see politicians as overly greedy, self-serving jerks that have no concern for anyone except themselves.

I’m afraid that many students may see people involved in campus politics as the same greedy and self-serving people.

Thirdly, this is college. Most of my friends and I are too involved in our majors, our homework and social interaction, not to mention work, many of us have one, if not two, minimum wage jobs. While college is supposed to prepare us for the world, most people want to live the life they will end up leaving behind once they graduate.

This is the best time of our lives as far as most people are concerned. We have much more important things to do than to get involved in something so serious.

I, of course, don’t speak for all students, and maybe not even the majority, but if last week’s Greek article had anything to say about college life priorities, we clearly have other interests.

 

Letter from Joel Brooks, Senior from Bloomfield, Ky.

 

College is a place where students are expected to be asked questions, lots of them, on many topics. But one wonders if there are some questions too intrusive and personal to ask.

University of Kentucky Health Services found the answer earlier this month when it abruptly halted a questionnaire after portions were published in College Reform, a national college newspaper. Under the pretext of “helping better serve the LGBT community,” UK Health Services solicited responses to assertions including: “The idea of gay marriage seems ridiculous to me,” “Homosexuality is a mental illness” and “Homosexuality is a sin.”

It’s not clear how such questioning would help improve Health Services to the LBGT community, but it is likely that dredging deeply held personal beliefs on religion and sexuality in a politically sensitive age creates a chilling climate for social conservatives. Doctor: “So I see you have strained ligaments in your elbow. Is that from picketing gays with the Westboro Baptist folks?”

Is it necessary for UK Health Services to know the political and religious views of a student before bandaging a wound?

One UK student who wished to remain anonymous told Campus Reform “I don’t know who is reading this. I didn’t want to be labeled as a bigot because of my personal religious beliefs.”

The growing hostility toward religious conservatives on campus is deeply troubling. In 2011, UK settled a religious discrimination lawsuit against Martin Gaskell who was denied a job to lead the astronomical observatory because he was a “potential evangelical.” In 2012, the University of Louisville was poised to axe Chick-fil-A after CEO Dan Cathy’s opinion on same-sex marriage hit.

The latest flap comes from Stanford University, where a student group was denied funding for its conference, called “Communicating Values: Marriage, family and the media.” Jeffrey Cohen, the vice president of the LGBT student group called GradQ, called the conference “an echo chamber of hate.”

Since when has the university become a monolith of thought where intellectual discussion of important issues is considered a threat?

 

Letter from Richard Nelson, Executive Director Commonwealth Policy Center