Letters to the editor

Quantity of student voters can also hold quality

After reading the opinion on youth voting by Adeel Mohammadi, published in the Daily Trojan on Oct. 11, I’ve spent some time considering the argument made.

As a California Public Interest Research Group member I had been one of the people mass registering students. Had I been contributing to the decline in intelligent voting? After some thinking, I have concluded that I do not agree with the argument asserted.

The debate of who should vote is as old as voting itself, and this issue is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago.

And naturally, the argument that educated voters are preferable over non-educated voters has a valid point; if everyone who casts a ballot was fully aware of all the ins and outs of the initiative, politician or party they’re voting for, surely the political atmosphere and decisions would be overall better.

It is not a far-reaching assumption that educated people make better decisions. However, the rather heavy criticism of “mass registration” in the Daily Trojan is not entirely fair.

First, organizations that host these mass registrations, such as CalPIRG, also provide information and try to raise awareness on political issues.

As one such example I would point to the “Vote No on Prop23” campaign that CalPIRG has been conducting, which informs students of the proposition, obviously from the opposite perspective.

Secondly, the criticism in Mohammadi’s article was focused on uneducated young voters — however, uneducated voters are not limited to the youth.

Theoretically, we would then be simply increasing the number of voters that merely vote according to party loyalty or similar, but this brings me to my final and most important argument: voting is not just a right but is often considered a civic duty.

Few people who vote know everything there is to know about a candidate or initiative, which is what is required to cast a fully educated vote. Instead, most people know something about most candidates, and that is enough to make democracy work, which, in the end, is what voting is all about.

So although mass registration might not be the optimal way, it is a step in the right direction.

Linda Dahl

Sophomore, political science, international relations and history

Strength in numbers

Lucy Mueller’s Oct. 4 article, “Prop 23 requires in-state opposition,” completely hits the mark on this issue.

USC is one of the most influential universities in the country. We need to use this influence in order to help save our beloved state from the greedy agenda of Valero and Tesoro.

These companies are two of the biggest polluters — not only in the state, but in the country as well. California takes pride in its green energy initiative, and Californians should be proud to be on the forefront of green technology and innovation.

Proposition 23 puts our interests on the backburner and will harm us overall by killing our green job market, stopping outside investment in green technology, polluting our air and harming our health.

USC students have a voice — about 30,000 voices overall — and we need to use them to stop Texas oil from interfering with us on our own turf.

With all the politically involved and environmentally conscious organizations on campus, together we can make some noise.

CALPIRG, the California Public Research Interest Group, has two campaigns trying to have USC’s voice heard.

The New Voters Project is attempting to register students to vote so our demographic makes a dent in the decision-making in our government today.

And the No on Prop 23 Campaign is self-explanatory and attempts to get thousands of California voters to pledge to vote no on Prop 23 and save California from the greedy, oil stained hands of Valero and Tesoro.

We might not have the millions of dollars that these two companies do, but we have strength in numbers, and with that we can beat big oil.

Ryanne Waters

Sophomore, political science

Term “immigrant” can be misleading

In response to the article about illegal immigrants on Oct. 20 by Suji Pyun:

First off, I really appreciate this article because it brings up a lot of concerns about illegal immigration policies, especially in Southern California. Are the numbers of illegal immigrants decreasing because of the laws passed by the government? Are their home countries’ economic situations getting better? Or is Los Angeles just not a desirable destination anymore? If not, why? And is it really a good thing that the numbers are dropping? The article definitely opens up a lot of topics for discussion.

However, although simply writing “immigrants” might be shorter than “illegal immigrants” over and over, please remember that there is a difference between the two. I found myself confused for the first few paragraphs, wondering if Pyun was referring to illegal immigrants or to immigrants in general. And then later in the article, there is mention of “Mexican immigrants” which confused me further, because I then wondered if she had been referring to illegal immigrants from Mexico the entire time.

Please be specific because not all immigrants are illegal and not all illegal immigrants are from Mexico.

Quyen Nguyen-Le

Freshman, screenwriting