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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Letters to the Editor

If what UMass student Keegan O’Brien stated in the September 15th Mass Media article (“Student, Recruiters Clash in Heated Incident”) is true, “…a short, heavy-set cop came behind me, swore at me, and threatened to have me arrested for starting a scene”, this is very unsettling behavior on the part of the campus police officer on this campus. Campus Police behavior of this sort must be addressed appropriately and swiftly by the Administration.

The reported behavior is a violation of the kind of community building spirit that the current administrative leadership of Chancellor Keith Motley has exhibited on this campus. The reported campus police officer’s behavior goes contrary to a student-centered campus, which encourages students to not only explore ideas, but to put those ideas safely – without intimidation – into respectful, disagreeable civic actions. In a democratic society, expressing one’s disagreement with ideas or public policies is called free speech and not “creating a scene.”

I urge Chancellor Motley to set up an independent committee comprised of students, faculty, staff and administrators to investigate this matter. By doing so, there will be a transparent process with no room for misunderstanding what happened between the campus police officer and Keegan O’Brien – and how it was handled. Otherwise, the community building spirit on this campus as well as the encouragement of intellectual discourse and praxis will be tainted and spoiled by allowing bad behavior – perceived or real – to go unchecked.

Respectfully,Tony Van Der MeerLecturer, Africana Studies Department

Dear Editor,

I live in Methuen. It takes up to two hours to drive. The cost of gas is almost $10 round trip and $6 to park. If I were to take the train from Lawrence, I would have to either get a ride to the train or pay $3.00 to park, pay $10 round trip for the train and $3.40 or $4.00 for the t. Where is the savings to take public transportation?

If I take my car the cost is $16 per day times 5 days is $80 per week, times 4 weeks is $320 per month.

If I take public transportation, it costs $17 per day times 5 days is $85 per week, times 4 weeks is $340 per month.

All of the services offered through the school are inaccessible to students below the national average income of $34,000, let alone if they make below $20,000. Massachusetts is the 3rd highest cost of living state in the country. If many people cannot afford to live in this state, then how are we expected to pay these costs to access an education at a university?

Even if students pay $100 per month for a parking pass for unlimited use to park, for many of us, we cannot even afford to buy food, pay for gas, pay our bills, etc. For students who are in a particular income bracket, especially single students, or single parents, we should automatically have our parking fees waived. I was unable to go to school many times to access services at school because I could not afford the cost.

The trains start going every hour on the hour after 8 am, there are some days that stop going all the way back to Lawrence after 1 or 2 pm. On those days, you would have to wait until 5 pm.

Only grammar school Boston students receive disciunts for the train or the T. Why can’t college students receive a discount, especially those that go to public schools?

If a student makes a certain income while going to school, we should automatically have our parking waived fees waived and also be able to get a discount to access public transportation.

What happened to the Economic Distribution Act?

Why aren’t we given the same opportunity to access a Bachelor’s degree at a public university?

Thanks for posting my letter,Denise L. Perrault