RE: The election at the University of Miami

During my three and a half years at the University of Miami, there have been many occasions when I have been proud of our students. However, Election Day they demonstrated resilience, physical endurance, passionate commitment to our democracy, and good humor.
The lack of preparation, anticipation and flexibility by the Miami-Dade Elections Department was outrageous, and unacceptable, and possibly illegal.
I have demanded that the Supervisor herself meet with our student leaders as soon as possible to assure the entire community of her preparation for the next elections in the spring.

Donna E. Shalala

RE: “Immigration and lessons from the Klondike,” 11/2

By advocating that we codify “our identity” and “who we are” in his last column, Nicholas G. Moses made the only truly un-American suggestion I can imagine and committed a post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy in his rationale. I reply that freedom of belief is what makes America “a coherent nation.”
Moses’ correlation of “distressingly high abortion and suicide rates” and “decades of trenchant secularization” in Quebec without making any causal connection between the two un-quantified facts exhibits patently fallacious reasoning.
America may be a historically Western Christian nation in demography, but regardless of opinion, it is a liberal democracy that honors freedom of belief. The government can make and enforce laws, force me to pay my taxes and ban gay marriage if it wants, but it can never rightfully tell me that I have to approve of its policies and the beliefs behind those policies, try to involuntarily “assimilate” me or any “Spanish-speaking Mexicans,” or dictate what I believe and what my values are.
The first amendment is clear: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Jefferson made it clear in 1802 that the purpose of the amendment was to build “a wall of separation between church and State.” America is no theocratic or communist state that dictates values and beliefs and tells people “who they are” and it never will be as long as I am an American citizen.

William Hubel
RE: Politics and professors

Understanding the heightened political atmosphere of the U.S. on Wednesday morning, I’m aware that many people felt high-strung and emotional, because the presidency was still up in the air as of 11:15 a.m. It’s understandable that there would be comments made in the classroom about politics, but one of my classes started with the professor clearly stating his political views against President George W. Bush.
I feel that he crossed a line, stating that the “American public are idiots” in reelecting Bush. When I spoke up, saying that I was glad this was not a political science class, the professor raised his voice, saying he had freedom of speech. I calmly withdrew from the classroom.
I understand that it’s not my place to tell a teacher how to run his or her classroom, but regardless of political standpoints, I strongly feel that politics have no place in a classroom. Students are paying professors for education of the class topic. Being given the job of a professor, one should know that there will be varying morals and values of all class attendees. No one person is more right than another when it comes to these issues, and this includes the professor. I have lost all respect for my professor’s position as a teacher.
If you have experienced something similar to this, please make a complaint to that professor’s academic dean.

Lori Todd