Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

This is in response to those students who wrote a letter to the editor about how “U100 classes are mostly pointless” and how the papers assigned to the students were “just busy work” [“Letters to the Editor,” Oct. 17].

I have been an OWL (Orientation Week Leader) for 1996 and 1997 and an OWL co-coordinator for 1997. From my experience with orientation and University 100, you cannot tell me that U100 is pointless at all. New students here at ULV are fortunate to have University 100, a program that is designed to make their transition into college a good one.

U100 is an open forum where freshmen can express their views on topics that deal with their new college life. Some students are shy or not as open as their fellow classmates, so they get to express their feelings on paper through journals. Surprisingly, many students are more open and honest in their journals then they are in class. As a student myself, I understand all the homework that is assigned, but it only takes 10-15 minutes to write a journal for U100 classes.

I hope individuals who think U100 is “mostly pointless” now understand the importance of U100 classes. I think a majority of students will say U100 has helped their transition into college easier. There is a purpose for University 100, otherwise, why would 20 OWLs (including myself) and two co-facilitators invest so much of their time into something they thought was pointless?

Melissa Ann Negrete
Junior

 

Dear Editor,

I am taking the time to write to the Campus Times because the paper has printed a story about one of the problems I was experiencing at the University [“Student alleges bias over major,” Oct. 17] and I want to try to clarify a few things.

I was a bit shocked when Angelica Martinez, a reporter for the newspaper, approached my sister because she wanted an interview from me regarding the situation with my major. That was when I felt the issue of my privacy was no longer an issue, since other people knew about the matter. I also decided to meet with her because I try to help my peers in any way I can and college is a learning environment. Before she was able to be in contact with me, the University had finally resolved the issue dealing with my major. There will be some people who may be unhappy with the article, but I have learned that one can’t please everyone, no matter how hard one tries. I also want to express that I am not angry or upset with anyone in particular at the University for the problem I faced because it was not a daily occurrence at the University, so the directors did not know how to go about resolving it.

I would like to thank everyone, once again, who has helped me out in any way throughout my two years-and some-at ULV. At the top of that list is Dr. Cook, who endured listening and speaking to me on several occasions about the problems I was facing-and sometimes still am. That list also includes Art Stenmo, Patti Noreen, Peggy Redman — who set me in the right direction and advised me to speak with Dr. Gingrich — Dr. Gingrich, my friends, my former and present professors, directors, Lynn Stanton-Riggs, secretaries, librarians, people in maintenance, student workers, the student body, Dr. Labinger, and last but not least, Isabel, my sister. I have tolerated a lot since I have been a student at the University, but I have learned from these experiences.

When I applied to the University, a few directors mentioned to me that the University caters to everyone’s individual needs, so I thought that this also applied to me.

Learning about the difficulties of disabled people wasn’t new to me because I have spent a lot of time in the hospitals with family members and friends with different medical issues. During the process of rehabilitation, I was also taught that I was going to be discriminated against, but I did have certain legal rights that would help me achieve my goals.

I have made mistakes academically and have paid for them – it’s part of the learning experience and life. I also don’t see why some of these mistakes had to effect my career and life goals because of my disability. To some of you, this may sound like I am complaining. Until you experience something similar to what I have lived through, don’t judge me. I don’t know what each one of you would have done if you were in my place. There have been a couple of people who have said that I “won” my case after hearing about the decision, however, I don’t see it like that at all. This was not, and should not have been, a win or lose situation. How did I win having the University grant me a major in Spanish, when I had the right to be able to complete it in the first place? Since the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was passed and there are a number of people with disabilities with high ranking careers, the time has come to have the University continue to make changes and contribute to make the future more prosperous for everyone.

Throughout my life, I have wanted to keep certain matters private, but in one way or another, parts of them have become public. I don’t mind sharing my experiences with others. It is when actual accounts of the stories get entangled with fictitious details as people spread them around that bothers me. People get their own interpretations of the stories and pass them on as truth. Both my sister and I have been confronted by people who have heard stories about the accident we were in. They don’t always have the story straight. Rumors and gossip are a big problem in our society. I was in a car accident and suffered a spinal cord injury. Yes, I was wearing a seat belt and no, I wasn’t driving. Those are answers to the two most common questions I encounter after people learn how I was injured. You can become my friend and ask questions-but I first have to get to know you to answer all of them.

Adriana Salcedo
Junior

Editor’s Note: Due to the sensitive nature and subject matter of the story, the length of the preceding letter was extended from the maximum 250-word length.

 

Dear Editor,

Regarding the article in last week’s Campus Times entitled “Student alleges bias over major” [Oct. 17], I must take issue, not only with the tone of the article, but with the innuendoes contained therein. As a member of the handicapped community myself, I try to avoid the “victim” mentality that seems to overtake many people when they are faced with physical challenges. The fact is that life is not fair, and it is not up to other people, or institutions, to make it fair. The responsibility lies with the person with special needs as much as the institution to be willing to work with those who are in place to help him or her. In dealing with other professors and with the office of Learning Enhancement Services, I have never had less than excellent service from the ULV community. We are all willing to go out of our way to help students with special challenges, but those students need to be willing to work within the choices they are offered. For instance, if I wanted to participate in the Los Angeles marathon, should I expect them to bend their rules because I can’t run? No, of course not. I would enroll in the special programs designed for handicapped people. I would not blame the institution for being unresponsive. I question whether this article fairly presented all the facts. We must all take responsibility for making our own successes and refraining from blaming other people is a good start.

Dr. Janis Dietz
Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Melissa Ann Negrete
Adriana Salcedo

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