Letters to the Editor

MLL situation imporving

In September, students were handed a letter stating that the Spanish and French majors were being cut from Pittsburg State’s curriculum.
Since then, students have been able to have a Q&A session with Karl Kunkel, dean of arts and sciences. Now that students are properly informed of the situation, how shall it be addressed?
This letter is to let the student body know that Student Government Association (SGA) has taken action to help in the development of the Department of Modern Languages and Literature (MLL).
SGA has formed an outside committee of five MLL students to be the voices of campus, who will work with Kunkel’s administrative task force that he convened to plot the department’s future.
The first step for the MLL student committee was to request permission to have student representatives present on the task force.
Kunkel sent a prompt reply to arrange a meeting with Taylor Gravett, SGA president, and me to discuss that request.
Kunkel told me that he is very supportive of student involvement, but encourages the committee to consider other ways to have student input.
If a student representative was to be part of the task force, he said, then they would be expected to commit to the work and curriculum research required from other administrative and staff members.
Other options are being explored to sponsor student representation. I believe this is in the best interest of both parties.
The future of the MLL Department is not looking as bleak as it was the day the student letter was sent out.
Now that both faculty and students are working together toward a solution, there is hope for a better and more efficient MLL Department for Pittsburg State University.
I ask our fellow students to continue to follow information on the situation as it develops, and support the work being done with the task force.

Sen. Lynzee Flores is the chair of SGA’s MLL committee and a sophomore in Spanish and political science.

Moral questions of abortion

Pittsburg State has a large percentage of students who are pro-life, and support the right to life for all human beings.
In a survey I helped conduct, 144 people said “No” and 59 people said “Yes,” in response to the question, “Should abortion be legal?”
I had a couple of people question my own stance, since I’m a man. I have always seen this issue as a moral issue, not a sexual one.
Our society protects children no matter what once they are born. We find a way to give them a good home if their parents aren’t a good fit.
We don’t let parents kill infants because the child is inconvenient, and we don’t kill elderly because they might suffer.
During pregnancy the baby simply needs to be fed and given a safe environment inside the womb, to be able to grow and develop all on his or her own.
Those basic requirements really don’t change much outside the womb until the child becomes an adult. The child simply needs to have the chance to grow up.
At conception, that child is a unique human being with his or her own set of DNA; he or she is not a part of the mother.
I believe that a child’s right to life extends all the way to conception. I don’t believe that the right to life is granted at an arbitrary point during pregnancy.
Our society has been able to dehumanize unborn children in order to justify terminating them.
Size, stage in development, or number of human characteristics are not what make us human beings, and the right to life should apply at all stages of development.

J. Fred Fox is a senior in accounting.

Right-wing ‘Crazy Train’

In listening to Ozzy Osborne’s “Crazy Train,” I’ve come to realize that aside from yelling strings of unintelligible “words” at his family on syndicated television shows, Ozzy has a talent for writing songs that have a remarkable retention of relevancy, even decades after their release.
“Crazy Train” is a social commentary on how we as a society live by rules created by people with outdated thinking; that we are set up to accept their hatred as our own.
I suppose it could have just been the ramblings of a drug-addled mind, but I’ll give Ozzy the benefit of the doubt.
How does this message affect us as college students? Well, if you hadn’t noticed by now, we don’t live in some progressive utopia. In fact, it’s fair to say that in Kansas, the inmates are running the asylum.
Since George W. Bush’s presidency, the Republican Party has evolved from a thorn in the Democratic Party’s side, to a force seemingly dedicated to bringing on the apocalypse.
Forty right wing extremists shut down the government, just because the idea of poor people living longer scares the crap out of them.
Their insanity isn’t limited to just those 40 people: The Kansas State Assembly has become, essentially, a Tea Party equivalent of an Al Qaeda training camp.
The constant refusal of the Tea Party to support commonsense legislation, in favor of a worldview that lists America as “God’s country” and Jesus as the first Republican, is holding back the nation.
They wish to deny basic freedom to marry, to reject equal treatment in employment regardless of sexual orientation and to block a fairer system of healthcare, all on the basis of religious extremism.
These positions are proof positive that today’s Republicans are “going off the rails.” We should stop their drive to take us all with them.

Christopher Mick Munday is Secular Student Alliance club president and a senior in justice studies.

Kansas reps’ leading charge to nowhere | Immigration reform gummed up yet again in Washington

Staff Editorial

When President Barack Obama won re-election just over a year ago by a convincing margin, he did so with the overwhelming support of a rapidly growing bloc of Latino voters.
Demoralized in the election’s wake, the Republican Party commissioned an extensive study of what went wrong on their side.
They found an obvious truth: Latinos are forming into a Democratic voting bloc, motivated by how Republicans tend to balk at any real solution for the nation’s millions of undocumented residents.
“We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform,” the party’s “Growth and Opportunity Project Report” reads. “If we do not, our party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only.”
In more direct terms, that means the report’s authors think they’re going to lose elections, and continue to lose them for the foreseeable future, if something doesn’t change.
Kansas’ representatives in the U.S. Congress, all Republicans, are part of a broader bloc of conservatives nationwide that insist on ignoring or flat-out rejecting that advice.
Reps. Lynn Jenkins, Tim Huelskamp, Kevin Yoder and Mike Pompeo, in tandem with Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, have consistently disregarded the need for this reform.
Jenkins’ district includes Southeast Kansas.
Earlier this week, Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced that his party shall suspend all sponsorship of efforts to resolve the immigration issue this year.
Boehner has himself been on-again, off-again about reform, constantly conflicted between his sense of political pragmatism and the hardcore conservatives of his caucus that regard any reform effort as “amnesty.”
We ask Jenkins, who is vice chair of the U.S. House Republican caucus, to use this opportunity to take the lead, show a little political courage, and accomplish something the nation desperately needs.
While the welfare of Southeast Kansas’ Latino residents and their families is a very important concern, what’s at stake affects all of us.
Experts everywhere agree that the immigration status quo carries harmful effects in the realms of national security, crime, education and healthcare, just to name a few.
In June, the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive reform package that probably is far from perfect both in what it seeks to do and what it will actually accomplish.
Yet Moran and Roberts, who is up for re-election in the coming year, contributed no significant part to that effort, and voted against it.
Our representatives in the House all reject it, and it remains stalled in Congress with an uncertain future.
For both political and practical reasons, Republicans can’t be expected to simply bend over and accept the Senate bill as is, as Obama, for one, would surely be glad for them to do.
Yet inaction is no answer either, and that message needs to be sent loud and clear to our elected leaders, especially those who will seek Kansans’ renewed confidence in midterm elections next year.

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