Editor’s note: The following is a paid political letter.

MacFarland a great choice for city commission

Manhattan is so fortunate to have a city commission candidate like Monica MacFarland. With her degrees in public administration, she will bring a needed dimension to the role.

Re-electing Usha Reddi as her partner will give a remarkable, capable and smart direction to Manhattan.

Karen McCulloh

1516 Leavenworth St.

Editor’s note: The following is a paid political letter.

Morris-Hardeman would be excellent choice for school board

I endorse Jayme Morris-Hardeman as an excellent candidate for the USD 383 school board. I served with Jayme on the city commission and witnessed her thoughtfulness, perspective and commitment to making decisions in the best long term interests of the community. These are critical capacities for any elected official and Jayme will bring this plus her own professional and personal experience to bear on the issues facing the school district. Her service on the commission, on other committees in the community, and her work in the social services sector will provide inputs to district decisions that is unique and reflect an understanding of the broader implications for our citizens, district personnel, and the city and region.

Please join me in voting for Jayme Morris-Hardeman on November 2.

Bruce Snead

810 Pierre St.

Sexual assault issue should also take into account alcohol

I’ve followed with interest the recent articles in the Mercury regarding sexual abuse at KSU. Although it’s alluded to several times in Ned Seaton’s column “What if Anderson Hall ran the frats?” the one word I have not seen in all of the verbiage on the subject is the word that probably underlies the majority of sexual assaults on college campuses. That word is alcohol.

I have worked with hundreds of people with alcohol abuse problems as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor at Pawnee Mental Health Center years ago and as a long-standing member of Alcoholics Anonymous. My dream is for there to be specific classes on these subjects at every level of education.

It is fairly common knowledge that drinking alcohol decreases inhibitions and the more we drink, the less inhibitions we have to the extent that we do things we would never do if we were sober, i.e., sexual assault. In a recent study by American Addiction Centers, it was found that alcohol was a factor in over 50% of the sexual abuse cases on college campuses. Fifty-percent! Perhaps a part of orientation for freshmen entering K-State is to stress their personal responsibility regarding the reduction of sexual assaults; to always be aware of your surroundings; be careful of who you are with and not to drink to the point of intoxication.

Sororities and fraternities could make such a powerful social statement by discouraging pledges and actives from heavy drinking; emphasizing that drinking to excess is socially unacceptable and can lead to disciplinary action including expulsion from the sorority or fraternity. Sexual assault is taboo; an automatic expulsion from the organization plus an automatic report submitted to the appropriate administrative personnel.

And, as a longer-term solution, we need more education starting at a younger age, more education for health care professionals and more parental involvement providing positive role models for children as they grow up.

Don McCullough

1604 Denholm

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