I'm a junior in high school, and the College Board adding an "adversity score" to the SAT made me think ("SAT adds 'adversity score," May 17). I by no means struggle with anything that could be considered a "hardship" or "disadvantage," but I wonder: Having something like an adversity score might open the door for issues like colleges accepting students out of sympathy or only accepting them to make a school more diverse. This doesn't seem to be the best way to provide opportunities for those who lack them.
I believe that hardships don't define a person, but what does is how they strive to overcome them or excel despite them. Sure, a rating like this could provide more opportunities for those who may not be as well-off as others, but major decisions like getting into college should be based on the work done to jump through the hoop, not the hoop itself. Respect is given to those who are able to conquer their demons and struggles, not those who simply have them. These are the people who deserve to go to college: the conquerors. For those who still battle their demons, they need more than just recognition of their problems.
Individuals struggle in different ways, and a score based on the whole community won't deal with their individual problems. One test can't fix the problems of the many; you would need endless versions of the same test catered to each individual for it to truly be fair.
Katie Jameson, Cloquet, Minn.
CALHOUN/BDE MAKA SKA
Contrition feels good, helps no one
Contrition! Aren't we feeling great now that we've shown it. Calhoun was vile and below our standards and using a Dakota name solves that, plus the subjugation of Native Americans!
But, really, does it solve anything? Renaming a lake accomplishes nothing for them but does show people's virtues.
What we need is to address the issues that plague our native people. The needs are great and the time is now. Let's start with jobs and addiction treatment. Hollow gestures are for politicians of all kinds.
Here's my suggestion: sell the naming rights. That's modern, and the money could be put to good work for the people we claim to care about.
Glen J. Larson, Minneapolis
MINNESOTA RIVER POLLUTION
Even if farm runoff isn't main culprit, cleaning river has merit
A commentary by Lake Crystal farmer Greg Mikkelson ("Counterpoint: Further perspectives on a 'run-down' river," May 21) highlights that when 40% of a lakeshore is developed, the lake starts deteriorating. Yet, before that, he defends the almost total development of Minnesota land applicable to farming and questionably extrapolates that when Minnesota farmers take land out of production (for conservation?), an unintended consequence is that South American producers destroy more rain forests to compensate. That they do is tragic but hardly a direct result of our state's conservation efforts.
He is surely right in arguing that we (as a society) need to control the water runoff from roads, paved and impervious surfaces, home and building roofs, etc., even more than the moderate runoff from farm drain tiles and ditches. And I believe he is right in arguing that stream-bank erosion is a greater cause of river sediment than farm fields, when I read in the Star Tribune about failed trout stream reclamation in Southeastern Minnesota ("Banks aren't too strong to fail," May 19) and when I see examples of stream-bank erosion along North Shore streams. But to maintain that field buffer strips are only a temporary stop-gap for dissolved phosphorus ignores the question of what would happen to said nutrients without them.
The Minnesota — "sky-tinted" — River may never run as a clear cold stream, and likely couldn't. But the vision of Minnesota Govs. Arne Carlson (who served from 1991-1999) and Mark Dayton of cleansing it from fertilizer and feedlot runoff still merits ardent effort.
Gregory Garmer, Duluth, Minn.
Settlements don't solve issues with the Mpls. police system
It is predictable that members of the black community would be outraged over the disparity between the settlement the city of Minneapolis has agreed to with the family of Justine Ruszczyk Damond and the prolonged and as-yet-unresolved negotiations with the family of Jamar Clark ("Clark talks stall over $20M demand," May 22). I can't blame them. The cases are similar yet different in many respects, but it is hard to ignore the contrasting races of the officers and the victims, just as it is hard to ignore the national pattern of black Americans being shot and killed by law enforcement at a disproportionate rate.
I think, however, that those protesting this disparity are mistaken in their belief that a settlement in the Clark case that equals or approaches that of the Ruszczyk case will change the performance of the Minneapolis Police Department going forward. The MPD has proven highly resistant to change, and these settlements do not come out of their officer's pockets.
If the MPD was composed primarily of Minneapolis residents (as was the rule when I grew up here), then our officers would at least have to share of the cost of these settlements with my neighbors and me. But only a small percentage of our officers live in our city (which I have long suspected is a part of the problem).
I believe that a much more effective way to address the problematic and historical performance of the MPD would be for the appropriate authorities to pursue a criminal investigation into the pattern of obstruction of justice by the department. I suspect there was obstruction of justice in the Clark case, but we know there was obstruction of justice in the Ruszczyk case — it was documented in the Noor trial.
I believe that criminal charges, against not just the random officer who kills or assaults a citizen, but against every officer who participates in obstruction of justice in these all-too-frequent cases, would be a more effective strategy for changing performance.
John K. Trepp, Minneapolis
Time for St. Thomas to move on
I graduated from the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business in 2016 and from Beloit College in 2006. Both of these schools have something in common: They are small schools that value teacher-to-student ratios, a commitment to excellent leadership and a drive to produce the best students and student athletes they can.
That said, St. Thomas outgrew the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference a number of years ago ("Tommies sacked from play in MIAC," front page, May 23) — and frankly, who wants to compete against schools you dwarf in size? St. Thomas has been one and a half to two times the size of its competitors for years, if not decades. Beloit College was never the largest school in the Midwest Conference, but always competed. Their student athletes took pride in their ability to compete against larger schools with different academic standards for enrollment.
St. Thomas should take the high road and embrace the change. Why be the biggest fighter in the ring, if you can prove you are the most dedicated and skilled?
There are plenty of other conferences out there that would embrace another foe. I wish St. Thomas had embraced change years ago, and it is a shame that it had to come to this. Have some pride in your accomplishments, but test your clout on a bigger stage, and enjoy the passion and struggle that goes along with it.
Erik Selden, Eden Prairie
• • •
To all those who wanted to boot St. Thomas from the MIAC based on its large enrollment, I ask this: If Augsburg decides to raise its enrollment to match, then goes 0-10 in football, will you boot it out too?
John Geisen, Eagan