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Letters to the editor: CU must fight assault epidemic; students are accountable for loans; BVSD pay doesn’t meet standard; we should feel safe disagreeing


Carol W. Napier: Sexual Assault: When will CU device plan to fight epidemic?

Five days before classes were to begin, CU Boulder students received notification of a sexual assault in a dormitory.  Alcohol-drenched frat parties, a potential breeding ground for sexual assaults, are about to begin. According to the American Association of Universities, 25% of female students will be sexually assaulted. This is a serious and widespread issue impacting the physical, mental and emotional health of the students. In short, it is an epidemic. Epidemics require a well-coordinated approach with education, buy-in and accountability at all levels, with funding to match. COVID proved that CU can address epidemics. But will CU ever acknowledge the likelihood that more than 4,000 of its students will be sexually assaulted? And will it ever devise, fund and implement a comprehensive plan to address this public health threat? (By comparison, around 4,000 college-aged students died of COVID nationwide).

In the open forum held on the Boulder campus last semester, in a question asked by my daughter about fraternities and sexual assault, President Saliman stated he took sexual assault seriously. Yet, months later, there still is no comprehensive, well-funded plan to prevent the thousands of devastating sexual assaults that are likely to occur. Is this failure the result of having yet another male president? Is it because he, like all the other presidents save one, will never know what it is like to live with the knowledge that you have a one in four chance of being sexually assaulted as part of the CU community? What a devastating result of long-standing sexism.

Carol W. Napier, Arvada

Dennis Rodgers: Loans: Students must be accountable for their decisions

Our President has just committed to eliminating something like $300,000,000,000 or more from student loan debt over the next ten years. Aside from the fact that Congress controls the federal budget, not the president, and that working U.S. taxpayers will pay for this, I wonder if I will get a refund for my college education.

Many, many people worked their way through higher education. Many, many people decided that they could get an adequate education to fit their needs through in-state colleges and universities without seeking a bachelor’s degree out-of-state at brand-name universities and at a much higher cost. It seems to me, who worked during semester breaks and lived in poverty during my higher education, that there have been many uninformed or misinformed students making bad decisions to borrow tens of thousands of dollars without a comprehensive plan of how they will repay the debt with the projected income from their chosen profession. This seems to be an education and career guidance problem. It is also a consumer education issue.

Others making bad decisions on borrowing money should not be my problem. One of the reasons that higher education has become so outrageously expensive is because of the easy money of guaranteed government student loans. Only the universities and loan institutions benefit. And the American taxpayer will be stuck with the tab during this inflationary period fueled by reckless government spending. In my opinion, this is clearly a politically motivated move by the controlling party to “buy” votes from younger voters. And an unintended consequence for Biden and his party will be the resentment from all the many Americans who paid their own way, repaid their student loans and hold themselves, not the government (the taxpayers), responsible for their own decisions.

Dennis Rodgers, Longmont

Shawn Ciaramitaro: BVSD: Classified Worker pay doesn’t meet standards

BVSD is facing a chronic Classified Worker shortage because their policies are not in line with the reality of what it means to be a Classified Employee living in Boulder County. Their pay does not come remotely close to meeting the district’s own standards much less the realities of living in Boulder County. As a result, no one wants to be a Classified Worker for BVSD. And many of those who do cannot afford to live in Boulder County. This disconnect is disturbing to me because Boulder County is a highly educated community. As educated people, we would hope that the district understands the difference between short-term and long-term gains. BVSD is gambling on short-term cost savings by underpaying its Classified Workers — to the explicit detriment of the students we serve. Children require competent support to thrive long term.

Shawn Ciaramitaro, Boulder

Lori Hvizda Ward: Civility: We should feel safe to disagree

On Wednesday I spent my day substitute teaching in one of our elementary schools. I spent my evening at Loveland’s town hall addressing the city’s homeless encampment proposal. Working with several hundred energetic and inquisitive 5- to 11-year-olds left me fairly exhausted. Listening to an angry adult audience jeering, yelling and cursing at their neighbors and city employees left me actually nauseated. The children were, by far, better behaved. We ought to be able to voice our opinions and fears in a public meeting without being ridiculed, interrupted or shouted down. We should feel safe to disagree with each other in public. We can have strong emotions without threatening others. I am worried for us, and what we have become.

Lori Hvizda Ward, Loveland