Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Letters to the editor 2-18-02

We all know someone who has gotten behind the wheel after they’ve had a drink or two. After all, nothing bad has ever happened to anyone we know.

Well, let me introduce myself. My name is Kathryn Mahne. Friends call me Kat. Last Thursday, I hopped on the Badger Bus to surprise John Campbell, my high school sweetheart of four years on Valentine’s Day. At the end of the night, Johnny drove me home just like he had a million times before. Last Thursday, however, while stopped at a red light, a drunk driver plowed into the back end of our car and sent us skidding fifty feet into the middle of one of the busiest intersections in Milwaukee.

Screeching tires, a terrified look, “Hold On!”, “Are you okay? Are you okay?”–that is all I can remember. The firemen said that from the sight of our car, they expected to pry us out. Remarkably, we were able to walk away from the accident. The other driver fled.

You don’t know many people affected by drunk drivers because most don’t live to tell about it. Without a seatbelt, a boyfriend (who covered my head), and an angel looking out for us that night, you probably wouldn’t know me either.

We’re all aware that “friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” I’m alive today to tell you that friends don’t let strangers drive drunk either–they may just kill your friends.

Kathryn Mahne

UW Sophomore

An affordable education, it seems, is not a very high priority of the Wisconsin government.

With proposed state budget cuts, the already daunting cost of a university education promises to increase even more in the next few years. Many students already struggling to pay for their education will be forced to rely on financial aid to help offset the difference.

However, when the state legislature increases tuition costs, it has no obligation to proportionally increase the financial aid available to deserving students. With every $100 tuition increase, we already lose 2.2 percent of low-income students.

For a university already struggling to attract a diverse population, making tuition scarcely affordable to the average working-class family of Wisconsin hardly seems the answer. The average student in the UW System already graduated $15,314 in debt in 2000. It helps neither the state of Wisconsin, nor its economy, nor its residents to make education a luxury only available to those families already privileged, rather than an opportunity for all deserving students. If tuition increases, financial aid must increase.

The Legislative Affairs Committee of ASM is committed to resolving this situation, and supports two bills (SB-79 and AB-194) currently in the Wisconsin legislature that would link financial aid increases to tuition increases. On Monday, February 18 at 2:00 p.m., Representative Spencer Black of the Wisconsin Assembly and UW students will be addressing this topic in a press release. It will take place in the Inn Wisconsin East room of the Red Gym, and it is open to all.

Theresa Crossfield

UW-Madison junior


Governor McCallum’s trips down budget process lane continue, accompanied by his embarrassing stumbles, jerky apologies and soon to come painful face plant.

His most recent public affairs press releases boasted a cascade of support for his budget proposal. In his haste to raise this budget proposal banner, he forgot to ask many on his list of supporters whether they really agreed with the budget.

It turns out that many that were on the list of those showing “unequivocal support” for the budget don’t agree with him or his budget. They include the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, the Wisconsin Coalition for Advocacy, State Senator Judy Robson and Waukesha County Executive Director Dan Finley.

This is either a blatantly dishonest attempt to further his agenda or an honest mistake of biblical proportions. Other “supporters” have remained quiet regarding their concerns about the budget to avoid upsetting the next possible governor (Heaven forbid).

Do we really want to support a person in the upcoming election that offers us a choice between being a liar and an idiot? I know I don’t.

Thor Backus

UW-Madison senior

The article “Studies Show Marijuana May Be Addictive” (Feb 15), is almost too much to bear.

Instead of monkeying around, the author should do a little more research. She writes, “self-administration of drugs by animals is perceived to be a trademark of addictive substances.” That is the reason I am against animals doing drugs–they exhibit no self-control!

Patterns of behavior are “addictive” and cessation of certain behaviors may produce the same ill effects described from stopping one’s consumption of cannabis. Our government’s addiction to the Prohibition policies against some drugs is far more harmful than an individual’s cannabis use. That government addiction cost best-selling author Peter McWilliams his life.

As an educational institute UW owes its students better than prohibitionist propaganda.

Allan Erickson

Eugene, OR

A recent article that criticized the governor’s Budget Reform Act appalled me. The article claimed that the budget would result in job losses. This is simply not true. In fact, the governor’s plan saves jobs and will ultimately lead to more jobs for the state and our university’s graduates.

This protection of jobs is why the Wisconsin Jobs Coalition, the Wisconsin manufacturers and Commerce, the Wisconsin Builders Association, the Wisconsin Realtors Association and close to 50 other groups support the budget plan. Those who do not like Gov. McCallum’s plan are the people who like to spend taxpayer money without accountability.

Despite what other opinion writers have printed in the campus newspapers, the governor’s plan does not allow for increases in property taxes or rent. The fact that the governor does not and will not raise taxes is the most important part of the plan.

The plan includes a cap on property taxes. This means if the local government wants to spend more than the cap allows they will have to ask the community in a referendum.

The Democrats are quick to oppose the budget, yet not one democrat in the state can come up with a better alternative. Gov. McCallum has maintained a commitment to K-12 education, higher education, prescription drugs, medical assistance for the poor and care for the disabled. We should recognize the economic development the governor will lead and appreciate that he is striving for a positive future for the state.

Luke Bacher

UW-Madison sophomore

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