Jones case not a 'technicality'

As the faculty participants in the Law Center forum on Jones v. Clinton (April 8), we would like to clarify an important point for your readers.

Judge Wright did not dismiss Ms. Jones' sexual harassment suit because of "legal technicalities." The suit was dismissed because Ms. Jones did not, even assuming the truth of her story, show that she suffered a work-related injury. Ms. Jones had to show a tangible job detriment, as do all plaintiffs in employment discrimination and sexual harassment cases. Far from being a technicality, the reason for the dismissal goes to the heart of any sexual harassment case.

In addition, Professor Ronald Turner was incorrectly identified as "Robert" in the caption of the picture accompanying the article and Professor Gerry Moohr was not identified.

Professors Laura Oren, Gerry Moohr,

Robert Ragazzo and Ronald Turner

Editor's note: Though this letter was submitted in a timely manner, it was not printed earlier because of space constraints. The Daily Cougar apologizes for the errors.

Get aggressive about SA voting

The recent Student Association election had a very poor voter turnout. Only 805 of 33,000 students actually voted. These statistics are no surprise, as no SA election in the past decade has had a turnout over 2,000. Obviously, voter turnout is important in a number ways.

First of all, according to the principles of democracy, students ought to have a say in who gets elected. Second, political participation has always been linked with consent. People who feel they can exercise some power in their government are much more likely to submit to that government's policies. A high voter turnout is a positive indicator of strong school spirit and prevailing attitudes of concern for the campus.

We conducted an informal survey of 20 students to find out why most of them did not vote. We found that although SA advertises in the Cougar, distributes flyers and announces elections at events, most students did not vote because they did not know when, where or why. The overwhelming majority of students we surveyed lacked necessary information but found that the polling places were inconveniently located and did not have the desire or the time to take the effort to vote.

We would like to suggest a few ideas which we believe would strike at these roots of low voter turnout.

First, we would like to increase awareness of elections by capitalizing on a common thread. All students, both commuter and on-campus, are enrolled in classes.

Though many students do not read the Cougar or look at flyers, the vast majority pay attention to their professors. Their grades depend on it. If professors were to include brief information about upcoming SA elections and encourage students to vote in their announcements at the beginning of class, many more potential voters would have the necessary information.

Also, elections should be announced on Channel 6 and in dorm floor meetings. Pamphlets explaining the nature of SA offices should be printed and made available in inquiring students. This would chop at the largest root of the problem.

Second, we believe that more convenient and visible polling places would increase turnout. Polls could be placed near prominent entrances to the dorms. Also, the University of Texas increased its turnout by implementing touch-tone phone voting. A similar feature here would encourage participation by off-campus students.

Finally, we feel that incentives to vote would bolster turnout rates. Perhaps teachers could give bonus points or other incentives to encourage voting.

Cindy Waller, freshman computer science major

Jennifer Lee, freshman hrm major

Nathan Seeley, freshman computer science major

Ami Hollie, freshman interdisciplinary studies major

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