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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wildcat columnists weigh in on the issues – big and small – that shape our world

    ‘Protecting’ political minorities

    There’s been a lot of talk lately about how to serve students whose political opinions differ from their professors’. A Pennsylvania lawmaker created an Academic Bill of Rights that “”urges colleges to voluntarily encourage a diversity of political and religious viewpoints through avenues such as tenure decisions, reading lists for courses and campus speakers,”” based on his belief that conservative students were maltreated. The bill has been adopted or discussed in several other states. What should universities do to ensure that students are not victimized based on their political beliefs?

    Not much. Sure, professors should be barred from giving lower grades to students on the basis of political beliefs, but mere disagreement isn’t enough to warrant much of anything.ÿBy the time they’re old enough to vote and enlist in the military, students shouldn’t expect a guarantee of intellectual isolation. The goal of a college education is to form and defend your beliefs, not to have others shelter them for you.ÿSkeptics should think of it this way: Political disagreements will arise long after college. Now is as good a time as any to learn how to deal with it.ÿ

    – Damion LeeNatali is a senior majoring in political science and history.

    Here’s an idea: Why don’t professors themselves try a little something called intellectual honesty and keep their politics out of the classroom in the first place? I realize that it might be difficult for many academics, who know little of the worldviews of those outside their high ivory towers, so part of the responsibility will fall to administrators as well. These officials should take claims of discrimination and grade deflation based on political persuasions seriously by enacting appropriate remedial measures. The irony, however, is that the “”victims”” in this case – the conservative students – are going to have the last laugh. Young conservatives tend to have more cogent and thoughtful political convictions precisely because they are daily challenged to reexamine and sharpen those convictions. Shouldn’t liberal students be given the same opportunity?

    -Jon Riches is a third-year law student.


    A diabetes panacea?

    Research published this week demonstrated that a new pill, Avandia, substantially lowered the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes among users. Is the development of such a treatment an exciting health improvement, or a quick panacea that will take away from more holistic changes?

    A diabetes-preventing medication will spur Westerners on to even greater excesses, assuring them that no matter how much their unhealthy lifestyles destroy their bodies, there will always be a quick fix for their problems. High blood pressure? Take pills.ÿPrediabetic? Take pills. It’s a shame that important research funds are being spent on diseases that are almost entirely preventable. The mere development of this kind of a treatment is a sign of our twisted thinking with relation to personal responsibility and our health. This pill might prevent Type 2 diabetes for prediabetics. So does weight loss and exercise.

    -Lillie Kilburn is a psychology sophomore.

    ÿ

    Let’s not punish diabetics who can’t help their disease just because we’re worried that those whoÿcan will stop taking care of themselves. Sure, some overweight diabetics might see this as an opportunity to forgo exercise in place of synthetic substitutes. But Type 2 diabetes is also genetic, so while some potential diabetics might avoid exercise and rely solely on the pill, those who can’t avoid diabetes with exercise now have a viable option. We wouldn’t protest aÿpill that reducesÿlung cancer riskÿbecause it might encourage more people to smoke, so are we really in any place to punish genetic diabetics to prove we are a nation that cares about exercise?

    -Stan Molever is a senior majoring in philosophy and economics.

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