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Letters to the Editor

Sam Becker wants you

I am writing to thank the great many staff and faculty members who participated in last week's kickoff of the university's Campus Campaign. All of us staff, faculty members, and retirees who are volunteers on this campaign greatly appreciate your enthusiastic participation. The spirit that afternoon was wonderful. If we can make that spirit contagious throughout the campus, we should have no trouble achieving our goal of getting 100 percent of the faculty, staff members, and retirees from the university to give something to the campaign. As we said at the kickoff, every contribution is important, no matter what size.
For those of you who were not at the kickoff or who did not have the chance to read your invitation, the Campus Campaign is the staff and faculty portion of the largest fund-raising campaign in the UI's history. It is the largest not only in terms of the monetary goals but also in terms of the great range of projects to benefit students, staff, and faculty that the money will support. If you would like to learn more about the Campus Campaign, as I hope you do, we will be holding information sessions over the next few months at various spots on campus. Watch your bulletin boards and notices from your department for details of times and places, or check the UI Foundation's campaign Web site at GoodBetterBestIowa.org.
I hope and trust that the spirit that permeated the kickoff celebration last week will grow and spread throughout the campus, infecting every employee of our university, thus ensuring the success of this campaign.
Sam Becker,
UI professor emeritus

A murderous bullet

The Daily Iowan owes it to Lana, Sa'ed, Ra'ed, and Rami Abu-Hijleh and Jayne Finch (five UI alumni) to at least report on the story of their mother's (mother-in-law in Jayne's case) murder by the Israeli army on Oct. 11 in Nablus, Palestine.
Shaden Abu-Hijleh was sitting with her son Sa'ed and her husband, Jamal, on their porch embroidering when an Israeli military Jeep (enforcing a military curfew for the 112th day) suddenly stopped in front of their house and opened fire without any provocation, murdering Shaden with a single hateful wicked bullet to the heart and wounding Sa'ed and his father.
Shaden was a teacher, a peace and social activist who loved all people. Above all she was a human being. She was not the first Palestinian murdered in this brutal way, and I'm afraid, she will not be the last (definitely not since Oct. 11). Earlier in April this year, another UI alumnus, Tom Koutsoukos, was detained and psychologically tortured by the Israeli army as he was trying to get food and medicine to the Palestinians under siege in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
It seems that the Israeli occupation is hitting closer and closer to home here in peaceful Iowa City. I wonder, what would it take for us to call for the end of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories and to stand up for peace and justice? Do we have to wait until we see Israeli tanks rumbling down Washington Street?
Osama Saba
Coralville resident

Bemoanin' my loanin'

As someone who will have student loans to repay after leaving the UI, I was shocked to find that I will have limited flexibility in refinancing my student loans. Under the current law, some students and graduates with student loans do not have the same ability to refinance their loans as others do. Many of us are prohibited from dealing with lenders who offer better loan rates and repayment schedules. We are required to work only with the original lender. This is analogous to requiring homeowners to refinance their mortgages, but only through their original lender, which basically defeats the purpose of refinancing.
This provision of the Higher Education Act must be changed to allow consumers to have the best options available in repaying our student loans. I urge Iowa's congressional delegation to support Iowa's students and eliminate this anti-student provision of the Higher Education Act.
Sherene M. Judeh
UI student
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