This letter is in response to the article titled "Coffman's second floor", published on November 4, 2010 in the UofM Daily. It is true that cultural groups are unifying communities where students are able to meet and congregate with those of similar backgrounds. The Coffman second floor is home to close to 30 culturally diverse organizations that have repeatedly reserved space yearly.

The problem is that there are nearly 700 student groups affiliated to the University of Minnesota that are not getting an equal chance at the Coffman space. Many do not have places or areas on campus that they can assemble. Configuring a student resource center on second floor would surely take away from the student community as well. An option that should be proposed is a fair system to distribute the student rooms in Coffman.
As of now, every year most of all the same groups are able to reserve the same space they had the previous year. Not every 700 student groups are actually interested in a room at Coffman, but those that do should get a reasonable chance. The university could establish a rotating system that enables groups to only reserve a room for every other semester. Another option is that organizations with significantly low traffic should be rotated out more, or share the room with other student groups in order to utilize the room effectively.

Student groups are extremely important because they provide a comfortable learning environment. The resource center would definitely take away from the student community, but leaving the Coffman second floor as is would also be detrimental. Allowing other student groups an equal chance at the space will help expand the student society to even more diversity and cultures.

Does Every Vote Count?

Every election year television programs are filled with ridiculous campaign ads that are more hurtful than helpful for the candidate endorsing them. We have commercials telling us that a vote for one candidate is a vote for approving drinking and driving, click here for link to advertisement. We have another candidate telling us "I am not a witch", and what's that help us? With obscure impressions of candidates and wild accusations, what exactly are citizens supposed to vote for?

Personally, I feel that election candidates need to reassess the image they are giving themselves by attempting to belittle their opponents. It makes me wonder who is in charge of the PR department of their campaign. Not all publicity is good publicity. These outlandish commercials are not sending the right messages or images. The public is interested in the more important things such as how candidates are going to help the community. People want to know what these candidates are going to do for us, not what foolish or crazy things their opponents have done.

As a college student, I keep getting told "you need to vote, every vote counts and you can make a difference". Which brings me to the main question, does every vote really count? Most of us, not only college students, really do not know who we are voting for. Yes, there are those who are actually interested in politics and government and want their voices heard in the polls, but what about the rest? Should people even vote if their choices are based on who is better looking, who has a better family background, or who is or is not a witch? Maybe people would be more inclined to pick up a pencil and mark a ballot if they knew what they were voting for.

Who Am I?

Michelia Pham is enrolled in the School of Journalism at the University of MN as a strategic communications major and management minor student. She is an active member of her community and enjoys helping others. For two years she has worked adamantly at a non-profit organization that helps immigrants and refugees. It has given her the opportunity to build relationships with many people of different races, color and backgrounds. Her other passion includes learning and teaching others about her culture and heritage. She plays a key role in several Vietnamese and Asian student associations and spends time volunteering with organizational events and coordinating group activities. Currently, Michelia is still at the University of Minnesota, expecting to graduate in 2011. She remains active in her community, helping and volunteering around campus.

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