Letters to the Editor

NW Staff

Peaceful protest necessary for change

I wanted to respond to the Nov. 20 article on the protest of the passage of Proposition 8. I thought if there was ever a vote on a similar measure here in Michigan I would be on the side of gay marriage, but the protests (not the peaceful demonstration here in Marquette) that have been happening since the passage of Proposition 8 have changed my mind.

I have heard many gay activists say they don’t want to push their views on anyone else but I have watched church after church infiltrated by gay activists, interrupting services and throwing literature on the floor of pulpits. Now I am concerned the gay community will push their views on others.

Some states already allow civil unions, but to call it marriage rather than a civil union, it would then be considered a civil right and every church in America would have to marry gays or else face discrimination law suits or lose their tax-exemption status. I think if marriage was redefined, many gays would demand to be married in churches; churches that don’t want to perform their religious ceremonies because of their beliefs.

I also wonder where the tolerance is from the gay community. It is sad to say I am starting to get used to the gay activists bigotry toward the religious communities, but I haven’t heard the racist slang toward the African American community from the gay activists until now.

I think people should respect our democratic process. Proposition 8 was passed by 52 percent of the voters in California. If the gay community wants marriage rather than civil unions, they should protest peacefully. The gay community just has to bring more people to their cause, however I don’t think invading churches or bigotry toward other minority groups does anything to help their cause. Instead it alienates the very people they need in order to have the right to marry.

Erica Trembath

senior, political science

Utilize Plan First!

I’m writing this letter in response to Claire Abent’s Nov. 13 article regarding the Michigan family planning program Plan First! I first want to say that I appreciate Abent making NMU students aware of this extremely helpful program.

Not only can contraceptives be very expensive for women, but the plan also covers pregnancy tests, emergency contraception and annual gynecological exams which can cost upward of $150 to $200. What I wish Abent would have included in her article is where and how women can sign up for the Plan First! program.

When turning in a Plan First! application, it is necessary to prove citizenship and identity. This can be done with a copy of a passport, or a combination of a copy of a birth certificate (citizenship) and driver license (identity). If you have insurance coverage, a copy of the front and back of the insurance card must also be sent. Applications are available online at https://healthcare4mi.com/michild-web/ or at the Health Promotion Office on campus or at Planned Parenthood Health Center on Third Street.

After applying for Plan First! it may take up to 4 to 6 weeks to hear anything from the state, but do not be discouraged — the program is well worth the wait.

I want to encourage all women eligible for the program to apply and let the state know that family planning is important to Michigan women.

Karlee Ericksen

Marquette, MI

Health promotion classes of value

As head of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER), I appreciated The North Wind’s Nov. 20 editorial regarding our course, HP 200 Physical Well Being. As was pointed out, HP 200 is an NMU graduation requirement. We recommend that students enroll in this course as early as possible in their curriculum.

These classes are taught by regular faculty, adjunct faculty and graduate teaching assistants. This semester we have 10 sections taught by faculty with advanced degrees in exercise science and 11 sections taught by graduate teaching assistants who are all in the graduate exercise science program.

We are well aware that not every student is as excited as we are about the subject matter contained within the course. That’s understandable. We make every effort to have the course content factually current, meaningful and interesting. Student course evaluations, which are done for every course section and which I review, are uniformly positive regarding both the course content and the instructors’ ability to conduct the course.

It would be useful to remember that HP 200 is neither an activity nor a fitness class. It is a lecture course with homework assignments that may involve personal assessments. There are also several related personal health topics that are discussed, such as prevention of alcohol abuse, early disease detection and health promoting behaviors. As such, it is the role of the instructor to help the class, rather than the individual, develop an understanding of how to use the information gathered.

While the editorial concentrated on the HP 200 requirement, I’d like to mention the other one credit graduation requirement, an HP activity course. This semester is quite typical. We are offering a total of 59 sections of 37 different activities. We have enrolled a total of 1,394 students in these classes. Several class offerings, such as archery, dance classes and Tai Chi, are the result of requests from students. We make every effort to find skilled instructors from among the university and surrounding communities.

It is our sincere hope that students will, after taking an HP course, learn new skills, develop positive attitudes and gain the information they need to live a more active life.

Harvey Wallace

HPER Department head