RE: Pre-medical advising

As a pre-medical student at the University of Miami, I have to say that I am appalled by the services that are offered by the pre-medical advising office. For those that are unaware, when a student applies to medical school, the student must request a committee letter of recommendation from the school’s pre-medical office. Our pre-medical office claims that it takes six weeks to write a letter of recommendation. I requested my letter on Aug. 4, 2004.

Six weeks later, I went to the pre-medical office with the envelopes that must be supplied when the letter is done. I was then notified that my letter was not written because my envelopes had not been received. At no time prior to this point was I informed, either verbally or in writing, that I needed to bring in envelopes to have my letter written. I handed in the envelopes and was told that my letter would be written within a week – it was not. My letter was finally written two weeks after it was supposed to be. Many medical schools work on a rolling admissions process and will not evaluate an applicant until all of his or her materials are received, including the committee letter.

Of course, the real problem is that there are 1,500 students listed as pre-med and only one pre-medical advisor (and one assistant) at UM. Not all 1,500 students apply to medical students, but one person cannot adequately advise all those students. So why is there only one advisor, you ask? Pre-medical students are enrolled in several different colleges, including Arts and Sciences and Engineering. No one school is willing to foot the bill for a second advisor, because it is not only their students that will be receiving services.

I suggest that each college pay an amount proportional to the percentage of pre-medical schools enrolled in that college. It is all too clear that another advisor has become very necessary. Students’ futures are on the line.

Jaime Legendre

RE: The presidential debate at the University of Miami

I stand in accordance with the scores of alumni who praise the University of Miami community for its peerless performance in hosting the first presidential debate. An unequivocal sense of pride and promise surrounds our campus in the wake of such an impressive production.

However, recently published comments have prompted me take up arms in defense of my colleague and successor, Luke A. Kosar. Those viewing the Hardball broadcast witnessed both Luke and College Republican President Scott Wacholtz field cunning questions from Chris Matthews – and both similarly gaffed at times. This should come as no surprise, considering both the moniker and nature of the broadcast.

However, the comments that are fallaciously attributed to Luke are fitting and apt of none other than our president, George W. Bush. The president’s fundamental misunderstanding of the issues is more than simply a product of a primitive grasp of the English language. Bush seems to be living in a fantasy world, one experienced in rose-colored tint. This fantasy, and its very real consequences, is no more apparent than when Bush speaks of the Iraq conflict.

If anyone is prostrating, it is President Bush. Fully knowing that a Republican Congress would never renew the ten-year ban on assault weapons, Bush continued what he does best – mislead – by claiming he would support such legislation. However, during his first campaign he emphatically stated that he would support second amendment rights without exception, no matter how distorted his and the NRA interpretation are. Our law enforcement officials are now in more danger than ever. Even the Al-Qaeda recruit manual encourages its minions to purchase assault weapons in the United States, because of how easy they can be attained.

The prostration continues, with Bush and his right-wing congressional subordinates attaching no-bid contract clauses for companies like Halliburton to the $87 billion supplemental budget request. By attaching such clauses last minute, Bush and his cronies commercialized a bill that dealt with the safety of our troops. Both Kerry and Edwards initially supported the bill, but later voted against it, based on principle, when these last-minute clauses were added for the sole purpose of further enriching large corporations.

If anyone is unfamiliar with the issues and has mastered the art of prostration, look no further than President George W. Bush.

Christian G. Wilson

Founder & President Emeritus

University of Miami College Democrats

Class of 2004