Undergraduate ombudsman necessary to address student concerns

It would be a good idea for the University Senate to have an undergraduate ombudsman, as it would help students let out what is bothering them about their courses or professors. Students are discouraged from talking to professors, especially if their grades are on the line. Even if students complain or bring their concerns to the department chair or dean, often nothing will get resolved.

I remember as an undergraduate there was a professor with two sections failing. When a group of students brought up the situation to the dean of the department, nothing was done. The professor did not care about the situation, believing that his teaching was fine.

Students were frustrated and stressed about their grades, but at the end of the semester the only thing the professor did was implement a curve that resulted in the majority of the class passing with a “C” grade.

It would have been nice if there was someone around to talk to about these kinds of situations and resolve the problem earlier, rather than find out at the end of the semester that most of the class would receive a “C.” It is said students have a voice at the university, but it does not seem as if the higher-ups respond to what is being said.

Linda LeeGraduate studentInformation assurance

Diamondback article neglects to mention speaker’s background

I thank The Diamondback’s Hafiz Rashid for his Oct. 27 “Israeli soldiers urge peace” article and shocking exposé of the Combatants for Peace event that took place on the campus last week, though I realize this may have been inadvertent.

While the reporter has former Israeli Air Force Reserves captain Yonaton Shapira regaling the audience with his guilty conscience, it was not apparent from the article that ex-Palestinian militant Sulaiman Khatib expressed any such regret for the activities for which he was arrested by the Israeli authorities.

It should be noted that the group of which he was a member, al-Fatah, was responsible for many scores of civilian deaths, including those of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered during the 1972 Munich Olympics. Khatib was arrested not for mere “political” activities, as the reporter suggested, but for throwing rocks and firebombs and stabbing an Israeli soldier.

Further, the article states that “Khatib and Shapira both were united in their criticism of Israeli policy.” Absent, however, was any indication of criticism toward the current Palestinian leadership, which is committed in word and deed to the violent destruction of Israel and to the wanton murder of Jews. While it remains unclear who is more guilty of this sin of omission, it says a great deal about the individual who committed it.

Finally, when Khatib says he hopes to see a “secular state for both [the Israelis and the Palestinians]” but is willing to make do with a two-state solution in the interim, he is essentially calling for Israel’s ultimate destruction.

Not only would such a move be untenable and disastrous for both peoples – as it was in Lebanon and Yugoslavia – it is morally unthinkable and utterly repugnant, the thinly veiled echo of ominous calls that emanate from the darkest regions of the world.

The people of Israel would prefer to live – not rest – in peace. Sadly, it remains unclear whether Khatib and those he represents wish them a similar fate.

Avi MayerSeniorGovernment and politics and Jewish studies

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