Letters to the editor

YBusse should be applauded

My daughter is a sophomore at the University and she shared Nick Busse’s Tuesday opinion piece, “Antiwar movement lacks unity, coherence” with me. I applaud Busse for his comments about the antiwar protests on campus.

Joining a protest is like joining the Republican or Democratic party. Group dynamics and group-think snuff out individual expression, and then the crazed fringe elements ruin the whole party.

In a world of 60-second sound bites by million-dollar-per-year TV analysts, I would rather see people who share Busse’s honest approach in searching for truth than watching some analyst explain an event while pursuing a liberal or conservative agenda, pursuing ratings or watering down the “truth” in order to avoid stepping on toes.

Corby Pelto

Make emergency contraception available to rape victims

Thank you for your Tuesday article, “Cub Foods pharmacy offers after-hours contraception,” detailing Cub Foods’ decision to make emergency contraception available after hours. The Minnesota National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League feels that anything that gives women the ability to prevent unintended pregnancies represents an advance in public health.

As such, readers should be aware of an initiative at the Legislature that would further expand access to emergency contraception. House file 322 and Senate file 270 would require that hospital emergency rooms offer to victims of sexual assault information and access to emergency contraception.

More than 300,000 women are raped in the United States each year, with 32,000 women becoming pregnant as a result. Approximately 50 percent of these pregnancies end in abortion. Emergency contraception is not only a safe and effective method to prevent unwanted pregnancy, but it can also empower women who have been raped with a sense of control and provide an important way to help them cope with the trauma of sexual assault.

Anyone interested in helping to make sure access to emergency contraception becomes the standard of care for hospitals that treat survivors of sexual assault can help by signing the online petition at www.ecminnesota.org.

Timothy Stanley
executive director
Minnesota NARAL
(affiliate of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League)

UPD needs reality check

The attitude of University police officers has been bothering me since I started at the University. They take up a traffic lane on Harvard Street parking their cars, even though they have a ramp they can park in on the other side of the block.

They often park on the sidewalk on the side of Weaver-Densford Hall so they can go into Espresso Expose without having to park. You can bet if anyone parked there to get a cup of coffee, he or she would end up with a parking ticket.

More than once I’ve seen an officer turn his lights on just to go through a red light, and then turn them off. I live in a dorm, and our community adviser tried to contact University police to have some people come talk about drinking, partying, etc. They never responded to her. Then they go out of their way to harass students about partying.

What finally prompted me to write was what I witnessed this afternoon. An officer was traveling at a very high speed down Washington Avenue and took a left onto Harvard Street. I don’t know what he did at that corner, but at the next intersection, he turned right onto Delaware Street toward the medical center and completely lost the rear end of the car. He saved it and immediately slowed down afterward. By dumb luck, no one was hurt.

What could provoke an officer to risk the safety of so many people at an intersection that is full of pedestrians? If the officers are trained for that sort of performance driving, they should know that a crowded intersection is not the place to do this. The University Police Department needs a reality check if it is to be taken seriously by the community.

David Dellanave
electrical engineering

The perspective of hunger

I really tire of reading about political positions that each person presents as “the truth.” We can talk and argue political positions over and over, but a blatant disregard for human life persists.

The point of view that we lack and one that many have never known is “what it feels like to be hungry,” and I mean hungry not knowing the next time you will eat. In this country we have so many safety nets that most will never know that feeling.

But knowing that feeling can enlighten a perspective. If you know what it is like to be hungry you might understand disdain for images of U.S. and European excess. If you know what it is like to be hungry you might know perspectives of people who struggle with politically imposed economic isolation.

Imagine how you might feel if access to medical care and food were to be denied. You would be outraged and demand to see someone’s superior. Everyone in this world wants the comfort of a full belly and the feeling of a safe sleep.

Why do we expect it from everyone else but cannot give the same in return? In reality, we should be outraged with any government, including our own, that takes action to deny these basic needs. How would you respond to a threat of attack if you were isolated, sick and hungry?

Michael Martinez
research associate
department of biochemistry