‘The Threat of Violence Is Present When Guns Are Present’

To the Editor:

“When Guns Come to Campus, Security and Culture Can Get Complicated” (The Chronicle, October 16) presents an ongoing issue in public institutions of higher education. The presence of weapons on college campuses is worrisome. With so many incidents having occurred, it is not safe for students, staff, or faculty to carry weapons, even if they are concealed. The campus atmosphere should be one that encourages learning and the free exchange of ideas, without intimidation or limits on…

Unusual Aid Programs for International Students Can Be Models

To the Editor:

With the constant growth of international students, it is exciting and encouraging to see new developments in student financial aid and success; not only for the benefit of international STEM students, but for international students in all areas of higher education. “Unusual Loan Program Lets International Students Borrow Later, Repay Quickly” (The Chronicle, October 3) only scratches the surface of possibilities for “innovative approaches” to aid international students during…

Ebola and the ‘Otherizing’ of West African Students

To the Editor:

“As Ebola Fears Touch Campuses, Officials Respond With an ‘Excess of Caution’” (The Chronicle, October 17) discusses a myriad of issues related to the Ebola epidemic on college campuses—from college safety to social and academic responsibility. In response to the high fatality rate of the Ebola virus, it is understandable that institutions like Yale and Kent State Universities imposed their own quarantines of students and staff who may have came in contact with infected persons….

‘We Are Being Used as Cash Cows’

To the Editor:

The Huffington Post reports that the Congressional Budget Office believes that the government made $50-billion off student loans in 2013. Considering this information, it seems that the USA is solving a serious debt problem at the cost of the future generation. Few acknowledge the debt crisis that faces the country’s students. The cost of education is necessary to prepare students for successful careers, but tuition does not cover what the modern-day student pays to live. Accord…

‘Perhaps the Time to Intervene is in Middle School’

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to “Seeking Help at a Campus Counseling Center? Take a Number” (The Chronicle, October 10). It describes a student at the University of Florida who was turned away from the campus counseling center (or rather, waitlisted) when she needed to talk to someone about her anxiety.

Her experience is not unique. Counseling centers nationwide do not have the staff nor the space to accommodate the needs of our increasingly overtaxed students. As the article point…

New Yorkers? Nasty? ‘Geddoudahere!’

To the Editor:

As a fourth-generation native New Yorker I wish to take issue with Brian Leiter for justifying his nasty and aggressive behavior towards other academic philosophers with the statement “I’m a New Yorker” (“The Man Who Ranks Philosophy Departments Now Rankles Them, Too,” The Chronicle, September 26). Hold on a minute there, buddy boy!

There is no question that the general style around here can be brusque and sometimes combative, and we’ve done our reputation in this regard no fav…

On ‘Dear White People,’ Comments Are Closed

To the Editor:

After one day and only 15 posts, the comments thread of Dear White People: A New Movie About Race on Campus Is, Sadly, Spot-On” (The Chronicle, October 16) was closed. The article purports to review a film that is “spot on” about “race on campus,” and yet the discussion it presumably wants to promote hardly got off the ground before the notice “Comments on this thread are now closed” appeared. So much for promoting a discussion, I guess. Or will we have to wait for the sequel: De…

Time Limits in Graduate Programs Raise Tough Questions

To the Editor:

After reading “The Ph.D. Student’s Ticking Clock” (The Chronicle, October 6), I have a new understanding about graduate students in America. Before reading this article, I would not have assumed that a Ph.D. student could face a financial challenge, because as an international student, I was always told that America has the best graduate education in the world and the most abundant financial support for their Ph.D. students. They spend at least five years pursuing truth and new di…

Yik Yak: ‘Dangerous to Campuses Nationwide’

To the Editor:

“What You Need to Know About Yik Yak, an App Causing Trouble on Campuses” (The Chronicle, September 26) discusses the smartphone application Yik Yak’s controversial influence on higher education today. Personally, I believe this app to be dangerous to campuses nationwide, particularly involving incidents such as sexual assault and abuse.

It seems as if this “tool for observational campus comedy” has taken a turn for the worst and most educators are neither responding with laug…

‘At Capella University, Faculty Are Central to Our FlexPath Model’

To the Editor:

In an environment of innovation, there is understandable confusion and misunderstanding about new models. I want to address Steve Ward’s commentary “Higher-Ed Reform or Drinking Game? You Decide” (The Chronicle, October 20) and provide context around competency-based programs.

I disagree with the implication that competency-based education, particularly our FlexPath program, is a “low-faculty model.” At Capella University, faculty are central to our FlexPath model.

Adult students…