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LETTER: A defense of CMU students and Student Government Association

(08/28/11 9:20pm)

Very clearly stated and quite widely used, the mission statement of the Central Michigan University Student Government Association is: “Dedicated to inspiring improvement throughout its community by providing and promoting advocacy amongst and for its constituency, in hopes of developing a healthy and diverse learning environment while fostering a positive image of our university.” Put exceedingly simply, SGA is responsible for promoting ‘advocacy of the students,’ at whole, of CMU and to provide to them a ‘healthy learning environment.’ Not only this, but consider the mission statement of CMU, adopted by the board of trustees in December 2010: “At (CMU), we are a community committed to the pursuit of knowledge, wisdom, discovery, and creativity.

Best friends support CMU professors, lecturers with widespread thank you letters

(08/25/11 12:02pm)

Best friends Granger senior Justin Burnham and Washington senior Abbie Diaz are distributing encouraging letters to every Central Michigan University faculty and staff member. The letter begins, “Dear CMU Faculty and Staff, we would like to express our deep and sincere gratitude for your efforts in the last couple of months and acknowledge the struggles you have been facing.” “After the restraining order on Monday and knowing the faculty couldn’t do anything more, we tried to think of what we could do,” Diaz said.

LETTER: Much at stake for students in FA, CMU negotiations

(08/22/11 9:00am)

I appreciate your "students lose" headline because I believe students need to realize just how much of a stake they have in the current negotiations and that the significance of what is occurring goes well beyond the temporary confusion surrounding any missed classes. I believe students clearly lose if CMU cannot recruit and retain the best possible faculty. I believe students clearly lose if CMU shifts its priorities away from undergraduate and graduate teaching and learning to a medical college, a fancy events center, and new buildings. I believe students clearly lose if CMU acquires a national reputation not for educational excellence, but for mismanagement, poor leadership, and the lack of a clear vision. And frankly I believe students clearly lose if they see their teachers and mentors and advisers getting trampled down by an administration that is attempting to exploit anti-union headwinds and Michigan’s financial distress to attack the faculty union and ram an unfair contract down their throats not out of financial necessity, but purely because they feel they can. One of the most powerful lessons students can take from the current situation is the necessity of standing up for what they think is right. In my opinion, the faculty would be unfit to teach here if they didn’t fight for what they so clearly deserve, fight to keep CMU's priorities focused on teaching and learning, fight to attract and retain the best possible faculty, and fight to make the educational experience here at CMU matter to the fullest. With that in mind, I hope students will weigh the possible short-term confusion and distress of canceled classes against the long-term ramifications of faculty attrition, faculty dissatisfaction, and a diminished CMU reputation. And this is why I hope the students will come out and support their faculty — because it is about your education and getting the most for your money.

LETTER: Anti-'Potter' column misrepresents series' merits

(07/20/11 5:15pm)

As a Central Michigan Life alumnus I have worked with many fine reporters, one of which is Maria Amante. But there is one thing she is not: a pop culture analyst. In her most recent CM Life column, “More like Hogwash,” she claims the “Harry Potter” series is “McLiterature.” This simply is not the case. While it is not the most advanced writing — J.K. Rowling is no Ernest Hemingway — it is solid in its own right.

LETTER: New psychological study classifies people in two groups, truth-tellers or habitual liars

(04/28/11 9:45pm)

The brains of some people are built to lie, says a new study. Psychologists at the University of Southern California screened 108 people, classifying them as either habitual liars or truth-tellers. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), they scanned subjects' prefrontal cortexes, the area of the brain that controls moral behavior and strategizing. It turned out liars' brains had 26 percent more of the white matter that manages complex planning, and 14 precent less gray matter, the brain tissue that regulates impulse control.

LETTER: Giving away Michigan's mining resources must end

(04/17/11 10:00pm)

Michigan’s legislature is letting Kennecott Minerals rip off the state and not pay its fair share in taxes on the copper, nickel and precious metals they plan to mine in the Upper Peninsula (Eagle Project). The deposit is worth at least $4.7 billion, and it looks like the company is going to get by with paying the state a paltry percentage of the value of the ore in taxes. If we had a good mining tax law on the books (30-40% of the proceeds from sales), it could turn Michigan’s budget problems around!

LETTER: Gender-neutral housing must be backed for true equality

(04/12/11 10:00pm)

The purpose for this letter is to show how important and essential the policy of gender-neutral housing is for not only transgendered people, but for people with all sexual orientations. Every person that goes to college and lives in the dorms should have the chance to live with people they feel comfortable being around. “Co-ed housing can ease an LGBTQ student’s fear of not being accepted by his or her assigned roommate,” said Joan Carbone, executive director of Residence Life of Rutgers University, in a USA Today article.

LETTER: 'Unrestricted asset' allocation still shows administration's priorities

(03/31/11 10:15pm)

Attempting to succinctly and clearly explain something as complex as a university budget is difficult for trained professionals, let alone us lay people. Throughout the course of the 2010-2011 year CM Life and, especially, Carisa Seltz, have done an admirable job of making a mind-numbing, eye-glazing subject meaningful and understandable.

LETTER: Schools should be at equal per-student funding rate

(03/14/11 1:15am)

I have never understood why Michigan funds K-12 on a per student basis but universities on some other formula. Yet, I have done little research into the matter until the recent budget proposal by Michigan’s recently elected governor, Rick Snyder. The budget has created an immense degree of controversy, especially concerning a topic close to home: university funding. I did some thinking on the matter and wanted to explore the possible funding of Central Michigan University under an “equal funding” scenario - per student funding.

LETTER: Removing paper checks harms privacy, freedom

(02/24/11 9:00pm)

CMU’s plan to eliminate paper checks in favor of direct deposit and debit cards should infuriate everyone that does business with the University. The plan effectively denies employees and students the compensation they are due. By refusing to cut checks, CMU is demanding that payees either open bank accounts — which some cannot afford — or accept a card that has limited uses.

LETTER: Severance payment to El-Sawi ridiculous

(02/17/11 8:45pm)

Really? Nehad El-Sawi is receiving nearly a quarter-million dollars upon her resignation? I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous. No offense to the professor (I'm sure she provided much help for the College of Medicine), but she was here for 10 months and is being paid almost 5 times more than my dad makes in 1 year! More importantly, her "severance package" could pay for approximately 11 years of tuition.

LETTER: Severance pay, construction projects perplexing use of funds

(02/17/11 8:00pm)

I'm outraged by what this school is doing. Nehad El-Sawi resigned on her own free will. There is no need to give her $238,691.76 No normal person would resign or get fired while being paid for it unless the campus is trying to hide something. Most professors that read the story know they would never be given that luxury.