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Letters to the Editor: April 3
Published 4/3/2012
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Possible compromise on grades is not enough


According to The Daily Evergreen’s article on midterm grades on March 29, the faculty senate appears to think that misinforming students is the best way to help them. The current resolution under consideration by the senate would at last require midterm grades, but limit them to either a C or an F. A 4.0 student would receive straight C’s, while a C- or lower in a class would show up as an F.

ASWSU Sen. Rafael Pruneda said, “[students] will see it as a major warning in their academic career.”

Not only will this proposed system confuse students and parents by using letter grades for what is really a pass/fail list, but it is also insulting to students because the true grades are deliberately hidden under the mistaken belief that students who actually know their grades will not work as hard. Maybe this is why professors seem content using a mishmash of grade systems. Although Angel has a "grades" section, many professors ignore it and upload a spreadsheet, use their own website, only post grades at their office or do not give out grades unless asked.

Grades should not be a surprise at the end of the semester. Many students now come from high schools that use a centralized and regularly-updated website for grades. I do not think it is too much to ask our professors for an update every eight weeks. More frequent communication of grades will reduce stress on both students and faculty.

Zach Jaquish
senior, computer science

Abortions are safer than pregnancy


I feel compelled to respond to Rusty Olps’ criticisms of my letter to the editor in Friday's edition of The Daily Evergreen, not only to clarify my position but also to further demystify the reality of reproductive health rights in the U.S.

The safety of abortion as a medical procedure does not need scrutiny, as Olps claims. It is, in fact, one of the safest procedures a woman can undergo — even safer than full-term pregnancy. According to the most recent Abortion Surveillance Report from the CDC, only six women in 2007 reported to have died as a result of complications arising from legal induced abortions.

In stark contrast, the CDC’s Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System reports that maternal mortality has doubled in the past thirty years from 7.2 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1987 to 14.5 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2007. These numbers represent real women with families, stories and personalities, and it is indicative of the state of women’s affairs in our country that we seem unable or unwilling to assist those who are already living.

There is healthy debate among even the pro-choice community regarding when, exactly, human life begins. These views are deeply personal and subject to individual experiences, beliefs and values. It is easy to demonize pro-choice activists as soulless monsters with rhetoric that employs violent imagery and ignores the lived experiences of women who seek abortion. It is much harder, and more of an ideological inconvenience for some, to recognize the complexities inherent in these issues and avoid straw man tactics.

I am honestly glad that Gianna Jessen is alive. But I am also glad that abortions are available for women who might otherwise become a mortality statistic as the result of an unwanted, harmful pregnancy.

Nikkole Hughes
junior, natural resource sciences

A 'thank you' to The Daily Evergreen staff


I want to commend The Daily Evergreen columnists, staff members and contributors on the fine reporting, solid opinion pieces and thought-provoking pieces that have been published this semester. I do not agree with the sentiments expressed in all the columns and opinion pieces, but they have been, for the most part, well-reasoned and intelligently written.

The Daily Evergreen is preparing an excellent group of future journalists. Thank you for a semester of interesting reading.

Mary Gilles
business and economics librarian, Terrell Library

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