Upcoming Rez Week
Next week is Rez Week. It’s a time Christians on
college campuses set aside to recognize the life, death, and
resurrection of Jesus Christ. Last year people asked, "What's Rez
Week all about?" I wanted to share what I personally, as well as
many other students on this campus, believe about Jesus Christ and
the real meaning behind Easter...
…I believe in the One true and perfect God. I believe He
unconditionally loves every person who has ever existed in history
and will exist in the future…
…I believe that we, as humans, at one time had a close
relationship with God but ruined that relationship by doing wrong
against God, distancing us from our Creator whom we were meant to
…But I believe God is merciful, loving, and compassionate and has
created a way for us to return to that relationship with Him and
is now calling us back to Him…
…I believe He has shown us this way through Jesus Christ, the Son
of God, who gave up the riches of heaven to become fully man while
continuing to be fully God …
…I believe that although Christ was perfect, He suffered and was
crucified to pay the penalty for my sins, but then rose again from
death three days later. His sacrifice reconnected us to God…
…I believe that any person who trusts in the Lord will find a
restored relationship with God, will have forgiveness of sins,
will find an encouraging hope for the future, and will be made
complete through God and His amazing grace to us…
…I believe that all who trust in Jesus Christ can be confident
they will be with Him in heaven, and I believe we can know all of
this through God’s completely holy, completely inspired, and
completely infallible word, the Bible.
I put my hope, my trust, and myself into this faith. I don’t have
all the answers, but I do know this faith has changed my life. It
has made me complete.
Matt Wallace, UIS Sophomore
Hands off! Don’t
touch my Social Security
Commentary By Scott Shelby
In a letter to the editor printed
last week in this newspaper, Michael Tosh of the Society of
Conservative Students advocated the privatization of the Social
Security trust fund. Tosh called the Social Security system “a
complete scam and failure” and described it as “slavery”,
suggesting that a portion of the trust fund should be privatized
(invested in the stock market). I beg to differ.
Rather than dwelling on this
misinformed individual’s generally insulting and patronizing tone
or his feeble attempts at wit, I will show that his thesis is
maliciously unsound. Social Security benefits make up 38percent
of the income of elderly Americans, and about two-thirds of these
seniors receive more than half of their income from the program.
But this program is not limited to
the elderly. About 15 percent of the beneficiaries of Social
Security are disabled workers or their dependents. So the Social
Security Administration provides a safety net for those unable to
work to provide for themselves, the weakest members of a society
based on consumption.
The problem with privatizing Social
Security funds is one of risk management. The current program is
backed by the full faith and credit of the US Government. Those
who would privatize Social Security are encouraging the American
people to hand over the last refuge of the indigent to Wall Street
Those who are fortunate enough to
have a retirement program other than Social Security are often
heavily invested in equities markets or in their employer’s own
stock already. When the stock market declines precipitously,
these individuals’ Social Security benefits are not at risk under
the current system.
Decisions made when stocks are
booming suddenly seem less sound when the bubble bursts. The
Social Security system is designed to provide a safe repository
for a portion of national savings, safe from investment trends and
the ups and downs of the business cycle.
Americans are having fewer
children, on average, than at any other time in our history. As
the population ages, there are fewer and fewer workers paying into
the system, and ever-increasing demands will be made on Social
Security to pay benefits out. We also are living longer, as a
nation, meaning that beneficiaries receive income from Social
Security for far longer periods than ever before.
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan
Greenspan recently (and courageously, in an election year)
advocated raising the eligible age for Social Security benefits to
respond to this increased longevity and the nation’s changing
demographics. This is only a partial solution.
For far too long, the electorate
has looked the other way when Congress and the Executive pillage
the Social Security “trust” fund. This fund has served as the
primary stage for accounting legerdemain when a fiscal crisis
looms, and the cumulative effects of these short-term budget
solutions are mounting. We voters must put a stop to this cynical
President Bush has unapologetically
presented the American people with the largest budget deficit in
history, due largely to his policy of global pre-emptive war.
This skyrocketing deficit, because of the fiscal maneuvering it
required, has almost emptied the Social Security trust fund.
Rather than face the problem head
on, as Greenspan has advised, the Republican political machine
would weaken Social Security further by exposing the program to
unnecessary risk. Mr. Tosh seems willing to sell out his future,
and that of the entire nation, but I urge caution. When Warren
Buffett says that the market is still overvalued, that the bubble
has not yet burst, I listen.
Help improve the
Brookens Library web pages & win a prize
Last summer the library and educational technology staff revised
many of the Brookens Library web pages. You probably noticed the
new URL, colors, layout and other features when you went to look
for “Brookens Bridge” or to find a book or video. Now you have a
chance to help improve the library web pages! Please either go to
http://library.uis.edu/survey or stop the Information Desk to
participate in a usability study of the library web pages. The
first twenty in-person participants will get a free coffee mug
from UIS Brookens Library. All who complete the usability
test will also be entered in a raffle for a $25 gift certificate
to UIS campus bookstore.
Usability testing evaluates the ease of use and effectiveness of
web pages by asking typical users to perform basic tasks. Our
overall goal is to improve the new library web pages. The
usability test will measure the functionality and effectiveness of
the web pages as well as how simple they are to learn. For
instance, one question from the usability test asks “How could you
tell if “American Economic Review” is full text online in any of
the library databases?”
We also want to know how satisfied users are with the new design.
We will collect data until April 9, 2004. After analyzing and
summarizing all the comments we will recommend changes to the
library web designers to enhance the Brookens web site.
Please participate in the Brookens Library Web pages Usability
Testing either online or in person. Contact me, Denise D. Green,
email@example.com for more information or stop by the
Information Desk on level 2 to complete the test in person.
-Denise Green, Brookens Library