Welcome back! It is a new semester. Last semester’s new freshmen are now well on their way to being seasoned Temple students, seniors are contemplating life after Temple, and everyone in between is living out their own unique Temple experience.
I am now a weekly columnist. That means that I will have to come up with twice as many topics, but that should not be a problem. Between the aftermath of 9/11 and the revenge-war against terrorism to progress and retrogress in achieving and maintaining human rights, around Temple and beyond, it should be an exciting semester.
If you happen to be tired of my commentary, you can rejoice in the fact that this is my last semester. Yes, I am part of the May 2002 graduating class, and right now I am brimming with enthusiasm for this new semester.
After being out of print for the month of winter break, I have a few things that I feel need to be said in brief.
The anniversary of Roe v. Wade just passed on Jan. 22. The 1973 Supreme Court decision made it legal for doctors to perform the established and sometimes necessary procedure of aborting a pregnancy.
While many people object to abortion based on their religious or moral beliefs, abortion is a medical procedure best performed by qualified doctors. If Roe v. Wade is overturned by a new panel of Supreme Court judges, women would be forced to seek dangerous black market abortions and suffer the social stigmas of the pre-Roe v. Wade era. Rather than enforcing personal beliefs by banning abortions and performing a disservice to the people of this country, we should allow women to continue to decide for themselves, individually, if abortion is an acceptable option.
There is, of course, a lot more to be said about abortion, but I have a few other items to address this week.
Recent debates around Philadelphia’s public schools have been on gay-straight alliance clubs and the practice of handing out condoms to high school students. Young adults in high school should not be having sex, but some of them do. It is better to promote safety by handing out condoms than it is to simply allow recklessness.
Gay-straight alliances are an important part of diversity training for youths. These clubs help ease the traumas of growing up gay in a straight world, and help all students appreciate human diversity.
Finally, the e-book, or electronic book, revolution that was promised a year ago has not come about yet, but e-books are still an emerging technology and may be a viable option for Temple students. Anyone who has a Palm Pilot or a personal computer may want to check the online bookstores for digital versions of their textbooks. While copying is not always allowed, e-books do offer the ability to search a text quickly and have built-in dictionaries.
Whether you buy your books in electronic form or printed on paper, here’s to a great semester.