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Letters to the Editor: Switch to representation by numbers; International students and online education

Letters to the Editor: Switch to representation by numbers; International students and online education

Switch to representation by numbers

As I watch the news and read the paper, I see activists taking out their anger, with encouragement from the media and politicians, on symbols from our history that they believe are offensive and oppressive.

They would rather erase history than learn from mistakes of the past. So let us get past all these protests and destruction that is facilitating the spread of COVID-19 and completely cleanse our society of anything reminding anyone of slavery.

Statues have been torn down of Father Serra because of the Spanish colonists' treatment of Native Americans. So let’s completely erase this Spanish atrocity from our society and abolish the Catholic Church. We will also need to get rid of all the Spanish names of counties, cities, towns and streets in the state.

To make sure this Spanish plague can't offend anyone else, let us also require everyone with a Spanish name to change it to something unoffensive. The Native Americans are offended by their treatment by the Spanish, but don't forget the tribes also took slaves from other tribes as well as White settlers so those acts of slavery would also be offensive, so all Native American names, symbols and titles would also have to be erased.

Blacks also owned a lot of black slaves in America's history, so anything honoring Martin Luther King Jr. or other prominent Blacks would also have to be erased - after all it is possible that King had a tenth cousin that was a slave owner.

The prophet Muhammad was not only a slave owner, but a slave trader and even today Muslims own slaves in other countries. So all mosques and references to Islam have to go. We all know Whites owned slaves, so all European names, titles, etc. would have to go away. And last but not least, the political party that fought to keep slaves, founded the KKK and enacted the Jim Crow laws that oppressed Blacks for about 100 years must be done away with.

Maybe, so as to not offend anyone, we could do everything by numbers? 

Curtis Warner

Santa Maria

International students and online education

Colleges and universities are facing countless unprecedented challenges during COVID-19. As universities balance financial realities alongside health concerns, they must also uphold their missions: educating global leaders.

On July 6, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement announced that international students whose schools offer online-only education in the fall will have to return to their home countries. Staying in the United States may lead to students’ deportation. This policy is devastating for higher education institutions, students, and the economy.

Higher education thrives by attracting and educating the world’s brightest minds. Students from the U.S. and across the globe play vital roles not only in sharing and exchanging knowledge but in developing and innovating new solutions.

Importantly, the enrollment of international students also subsidizes costs for domestic students. As higher education costs rise and universities face decreasing state funding, tuition revenue from international students is key to keeping costs down. As the global economy remains turbulent and higher education’s finances continue to face uncertainty during COVID-19, failing to serve international students will lead to an even bigger crisis.

This policy is just cruel. Higher education institutions are effectively forced to choose between financial stability and human well-being. Further, the students who attend these institutions will be forced to choose between continuing their education and risking their health.

Not to mention returning to their home countries may lead to unsuitable environments for online education, challenges managing course requirements and relationships across time zones, and being separated from numerous educational and community supports.

As a graduate student who is trying to navigate a cross-country move during COVID-19, I cannot imagine trying to change my lease, store my belongings indefinitely, and organize international travel while identifying what my future educational trajectory looks like.

Banning international students from taking online courses only leads to greater upheaval and instability for all students, administrators, faculty, and universities. I urge our leaders – in education and government – to prioritize education, stability, and well-being. Banning international students from online coursework harms students, higher education institutions, and the future of our global leaders.

Lauren Irwin

Santa Maria


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