Letters to the editor

Don’t put Kent State students in danger

Dear Editor:

There is no excuse for what took place yesterday. When the roads are so bad that it takes me 45 minutes to get to Kent from Ravenna, going 20 mph is fast and my low traction light is on the entire time, those are roads that no one has any business being on. I went to bed last night hoping the predicted snow storm was an exaggeration or that by some luck it would miss us. I enjoy my classes this semester; I didn’t want them to be canceled. I do, however, expect that when it’s unsafe to be out and about, the people that are responsible for making the decision to cancel classes will make the right one.

One of my favorite professors this semester lives in Lorain. A good friend of mine is a driver for the Kent State bus system. Kudos to professor Mazzei for braving the blizzard to teach us about the government of Japan. Bravo to Steph for getting out there and doing what needed to be done. These individuals and many others like them deserve more respect than they received today. What about students with disabilities who, even if they make it to campus, can’t make it into the buildings? I appreciate the grounds workers – most of them are students like myself just doing the best they can, but when they can’t keep up with the weather and students in wheelchairs are marked absent in classes, the fault here belongs to Kent State.

Minimum full-time in-state tuition is more than $4,000 a semester. I don’t mind paying it because I enjoy my classes and value my education. I won’t, however, keep quiet when the students, faculty and staff are put in danger as they go about simply trying to fulfill their responsibilities. The faculty, staff and students (especially the students) are what makes the university system possible. We deserve better. Canceling classes at noon was necessary, but it wasn’t sufficient. Most of us were already out there in the bad weather. I refuse to believe that the person that makes the choice to cancel classes is incapable of looking out their window to see the condition of the roads or of visiting weather.com to discover that it’s supposed to get worse as the day goes on. I expect more.

At the end of the day, I really like Kent State. I’m graduating in May. I plan to continue my education in graduate school, and, wherever I end up, I’ll be a proud alumni of Kent State. But as a person who is proud of their school, it is important to me that this wrongdoing is pointed out and fixed for the future.

Meggan Walls

Senior sociology major

Response a sad defense of atheism

Dear Editor:

I’d like to take this time to respond to A. Young’s response to Vanessa Opoku’s Feb. 1 column. I must admit I am as atheist as the next guy, so while reading Opoku’s column, I could not go a sentence without scoffing or rolling my eye (Especially the “God created science” line. That cracked me up). But when I read Young’s response, I was exposed to a whole new tide of ignorance.

It seemed like Young read an entirely different column than the one I did, if he or she had even bothered to read past the title at all. Not only did he or she apparently miss the subtle, poignant points in the article, such as being grateful for your fortunes in life and caring about your fellow man more than material goods, but that the article was probably aimed at those already likely to believe in Jesus Christ. Furthermore, Young throws around words like “intolerance” as if Opoku is openly disrespectful to other religions. Is it disrespectful and insulting just because she did include them? I say no. Christianity is what Opoku knows, and she should not be obligated to garner the religious opinions of others in the name of equality in her column. That’s not overstepping the line of Freedom of Speech; it’s a clear example of it. Because it is said that the First Amendment doesn’t protect popular speech, it protects unpopular speech. And in a place as diverse as a college campus, Opoku’s opinions may be as unpopular as it gets.

As far as the Stater placing in an open dialogue that discusses different religious viewpoints, I think that would be a good idea for those interested, but like Young says, you rarely, if ever, read an article preaching Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc. If people of these religions are purposely being ignored, then that is a shame, and something should done. But if they just aren’t writing about them, then what is the Stater supposed to do about it? Ignore Opoku’s column because her views are her own and aren’t exactly fair and balanced?

I say anyone wishing to praise their religion or lack thereof should feel more than free to do so in the Stater. What they should not do is complain about one girl’s humble opinions while simultaneously using their Freedom of Speech to try to restrict others of theirs. I never wanted to give the Evangelical types the benefit of the doubt, but actions like these only give credence to their claims that they are being robbed of their religion in American society. Perhaps some people should learn the true meaning of tolerance instead of just perpetuating this cycle of unproductive bigotry. I read this response hoping for an educated and informed rebuttal to the absurdity that I find religion to be, but instead was disappointed and disgusted by a bombardment of further ignorance and intolerance.

Steve Waltl

Fine arts major