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I was talking to one of my friends’ mom and she asked “What college do you go to?” and I answered “CU-Boulder.” She paused for a couple of seconds and said “Oh, interesting. I heard Boulder is a really interesting place with all the parties and pots going on over there.”

Before that conversation I had always thought that it is awesome that CU is the number one party school of the nation and I am so lucky studying at CU. But after that conversation I asked myself what happens when I graduate? What if the guy who interviews me for the job I love says the same thing my friend’s mom said? What if he thinks instead of studying I was smoking pot all the time? What if I don’t get the job because of the stupid 4:20?

I don’t believe the right way to get rid of 4:20 is to bring an army to campus and threaten the students but I think we, as a school and as a community, need to understand that having 4:20 on campus and being known by that harms our degrees and possibly our futures, and 4:20 is not worth any of those.

Vahid M. Mazdeh


If I were Chen Guangcheng

As Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng arrived safe and sound in the U.S. on May 19, every side or group can put a stop mark to his story for the time being. Although I am quite sympathetic to all the hardships he, his relatives and his clients have suffered, and I do agree that forced abortion and sterilization should be stopped, I would advise Chen’s villagers to observe family planning laws rather than violating them.

I would also work to convince villagers that girls are equal to boys. Speaking from my own experience as a Chinese citizen who has lived in U.S. for less than five months, it seems to me the vast majority of people have a good sense of law and order. When President Obama spoke at CU campus, people lined up to get tickets and enter the venue. No one jumped the line and there was no one there maintaining order because everyone observed the order. There are squirrels and deer in the backyard and no one hunts or kills them because people know it is against the law to kill such animals without a license.

When pedestrians and I cross the street, drivers stop to let us pass, because drivers are observing the traffic rules. In a word, people here know the importance of law and observe it.

Therefore China’s family planning laws should be observed before they are changed. During Mao’s time, China’s population doubled because Mao did not practice family planning. To curb the rapid increase of population, China passed relevant family planning laws after Mao’s death. The laws first limited each married couple to two children and later, to one child.

Thanks to the family planning program, at present, China has a population of more than 1.3 billion people, much larger than any other country in the world. Without the family planning program, China’s present population would be likely to be doubled or tripled, which would place a great burden on China’s natural resources. In 2009, China’s family planning laws were relaxed and now some married couples can have two children if they meet certain requirements.

So I would advise people to observe the relevant family planning laws rather than breaking them and facing forced abortion or sterilization.

Dong Chengru

Visiting scholar at CU’s Linguistics Department and associate professor from Soochow University in China