To the Editor:
“Sex, STDs and college students: know your risk” by Kristie Green was an informative article about STD risk, safer sex, and student attitudes. However, in mentioning the April 19 Safe & Sexy Safer Sex Dance sponsored by The Women’s Resource Center, Green wrote: “The event planners are designing a `consent tent’ where interested duos can enjoy the comforts of a make-out space while learning about communication in sexual relationships.” This description could be misconstrued to mean we are providing a space for public sex. This certainly is not the case.
The purpose of this event is to create a space for students not only to have fun, but also to learn how to communicate about sexuality, relationships, and boundaries. This event, created and designed by students with input from a variety of staff members, grew from their concern that many students are unclear about what consent is, when or why it is necessary, or how it is achieved. Advocates from Sexual Assault Response Services will educate students about consent and will utilize the “consent tent” to provide an opportunity for students to discuss and experience consent. In order to maintain a safe and respectful atmosphere, the advocates will facilitate a dialogue between individuals before they may enter the consent tent, where they will have less than one minute to engage in a consensual activity (such as talking, hand holding, hugging, or kissing). The emphasis of this exercise will be on fostering open communication that we hope will last well beyond this event.
Additionally, educators from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England will be present with information about safer sex, sexuality, and healthy relationships. The dance will be held in the Brooks Student Center, Gorham from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. on April 19. For more information, feel free to call the Women’s Resource Center at 780-4996.
Women’s Resource Center
To The Editor:
On this fine wet Thursday morning, I just finished a conversation, in the rain, near the water tower at Bailey Hall, talking to a USM Police officer about cars in the lot with NO parking sticker at all. He said they would be ticketed, but I queried, “Why not tow them?” Parking tickets do not open up parking spaces, and while he agreed with me he said they have been told they cannot tow vehicles. I also asked him why I have never seen a ticket on a vehicle parked in the lots near the Sports Complex and he said people are there only on the weekends and this is okay.
The police are doing a fine job of doing their part, but it is not enough! They must have the authority to tow vehicles to stop the perpetual flow of violators! I don’t care if there is 100 percent compliance with the payment of assessed fines, parking tickets do not alleviate the situation. Now, the students are being assessed an increase in the price of the campus parking sticker. Will this increase spaces? NO! This is a seven-day-a-week campus to those of us using the facilities available to us and that we are laden with fees to maintain. The field house is utilized throughout the year for numerous events and offers free parking that is misconstrued as being available all week. Basketball games, baseball games and other events allow parking to the public at no cost. The free parking is lost revenue now being assessed those who purchase parking stickers. I believe a couple of easy changes that could be implemented are: Fee parking during events not during class time and a system not allowing non-stickered vehicles into the lots. Please look into sources of revenue other than the students.
Ron Gervais Jr.
To the Editor:
I’m writing in response to your April 9, 2001 article, “Senate election draws fewer voters.” The article questioned whether the current Senate and recent candidates (both of which I am a member of) did enough to inform and prepare the student body for the election of the 30th Student Senate. While I found the article informative and factual, I feel that your coverage was somewhat incomplete.
Should the student body really be reliant on the politicians involved to present themselves honestly and in an unbiased fashion? Should the candidates really be expected to encourage higher turnout, when the current turnout virtually guarantees their appointment? I’m not saying that we don’t want informed voters or a high turnout; we do. I am saying that it is naive for the student body to rely solely on our initiative.
Who should the student body turn to for unbiased information about the student political situation? The Free Press of course! Yet nowhere in your article is your lack of coverage of the election process mentioned. The Free Press never once attempted to contact me during my campaign. I never saw any information on any of the candidates that would have helped the students choose between us printed in your paper.
The Free Press has been quick to defend its rights and has been successful in doing so, thanks to the support of the student body. I hope that you will remember that along with those rights comes certain responsibilities, the most important of which is to keep your readers informed about issues that are important to them. If nothing else, your article was clear on that point: the students want to be more informed about their Senate.
Matthew J. Amoroso
29th & 30th USM Student Senate
The Free Press placed questionnaires with the Senate nomination forms (in Portland Student Life). We gave candidates two weeks to return the forms which asked whether or not the candidate would like to be profiled in The Free Press before the election. Only one candidate did so, and it was not Senator Amoroso.
To the Editor:
In response to the letter “Too many fees” by Sharon Randall, in the April 9 issue. Sharon, I agree. As an older, nontraditional, student with my own doctor and insurance, I do not see the need for us to pay $40 for the Health Center fee when we are positive we shall not use it. I would also like to see others remark on this. Maybe the University can make this an option for those over 30?