Journ391: Letters To The Editors and 250 Word Response

My two letters. The first of my letters went to the Boston Globe, in response to this article. The second went to the Daily Collegian in response to this column.

Here is my first letter:

In response to, “Taking Aim at the Student Vote by Sarah Schweitzer, February 6th, 2011. (Boston Globe)

The fact that Republican legislature is trying to restrict the voting-ability of college students in the town they currently live in unless they make a promise to live there is absurd. Just because the student doesn’t live in the town, does not mean they hold no stake in its future. Zorg argues that a student’s vote would cancel the vote of many of the permanent residents, but students have as much stake in the community they live in as do residents.

Nine months out of the year, students live in their college town. If 75 percent of the time a student lives at the school, and only 25 percent of that time is spent at home, voting should be encouraged! Involvement in the community is irrelevant since they themselves reside in a place where legislature will affect them and their interests. Eighteen to 22 year olds make up a large part of many college towns, taking away their inherent right to vote there would seem to be a violation of their freedoms as a U.S. citizen.
I am a student, too and I vote in Amherst even though I live in Carlisle. Taking away the right to vote where I live would be a deafening blow to me and most of the young circuit of voters, possibly staining political interest for life. It is already hard enough to get a person my age to vote and with all the campaigns to raise youth voting awareness out there, it would seem unimportant if this legislature took effect.

The legislature would turn away so many young voters that it would harm the community more than help it. Because in the end, our votes matter, we will be the future voters, policymakers, and lobbyists that drive the political firestorm.

As Sunderland said, “Attacking the right to vote is attacking a symptom, not the problem itself.”

And here is my second letter:

In response to, “How Facebook has Changed the World” in the February 3rd edition of the Collegian.

I am aware that this is an editorial opinion article and simply a subjective look at why Facebook has become so dominant around the world. The problem is, only Facebook is mentioned here. Myspace, Skype, Twitter — those are just some of the social networking sites that helped to change the world. Each site is a poison that dilutes the world and strips it of any traditional ties it had left. We grow up in the age of technology, and so there cannot be any qualms or contentious disagreements about something like the power of social networking. We all know that Facebook is a leading social engine, but the cut and dry reality is that it has become a life for so many people. People use it to connect with long lost friends, old flames and the nerd that they never talked to in eighth grade.

These sites are a heck of a lot more convenient than instant messaging, and even email for some people. Facebook changes the world in a way where people can hide behind a computer and pretend to be someone they’re not. It has also allowed my 85-year-old grandfather to talk to his kids every once in a while.

However, if you’re going write something like this, save us the story about how you lost your girl over it. Facebook would not have saved your relationship. Though it is a prime example of how interconnected we are on the site, it does nothing to curb the perception that is vociferously creating for itself in its way around the water cooler. Facebook has become a revolutionary social connection for people across the globe. How hard is it to call your loved one from Europe? Pretty difficult. But how easy is it to get on a computer and message him or her. A computer, logged in to a social networking site allows for the fastest, most convenient transmission of information between two people these days. There is no denying its benefits, and from the column written here, it doesn’t really speak on its negative effects either. Not many people need to know that Facebook changed teenage fellowship and the juvenile relationships that sprout as a teen because they already know it.

And for my response…

I decided to write in to the Boston Globe on the article about taking aim on the student’s right to vote in the college town they are currently living in because I am a student. This is a domino affect type thing. If it happens somewhere else, it could affect me. And since I truly believe that students should vote anywhere they want to — especially if they live in the town they are going to school in, I thought it was very relevant for me to comment on. Things that involve the student population surely involve me and you can be sure I am going to write in to it. As for why I think they will publish it, well, I read in the links posted in the class blog that if there is some connection to that particular subject, there would be a better chance I had to get it published in the globe. A student taking a side against an issue that clearly involves students. Seems like I have the impact connection that could give me some leverage.

As for my second letter, I decided that the Collegian would be my safety net (with the idea that a smaller paper would get me published, considering I am a UMass student.) I wrote in response to how Facebook has changed the world. I have relation to the school, I know Facebook well, and I am a young adult, where this is something that is completely marketed towards me. Here’s to hoping they publish my letter because I spoke out against something that is a definite focal point of many people these days.

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