Justice Studies Adjunct Professor Inspires Students to Write Letters to the Editor

When Joseph Di Salvo, Adjunct Lecturer, Justice Studies, teaches JS 132 Race, Gender, Inequality and Law, he not only brings in well know community leaders as expert speakers but this semester he inspired his students to have an amplified voice about justice issues for which they felt strongly.

Professor Di Salvo assigned his class of 35 to write a letter to the editor about a current issue in the news relative to class topics of race, gender and/or inequality. He then challenged them to go the extra mile and send their 150-word letter into their local paper to get their comments published.

As an incentive, if their letters were published they would not have to take the midterm. According to Di Salvo, six outstanding students were delighted and inspired that their letters were published in print in the San Jose Mercury News on various days in March.

These students are:

Jessica Andrade-Villanueva
Jasiyot Atwal
Cerina Cervantes
Carlos Ponce Sanchez
Raghav Sharma
Lizeth Valtierra Lule

The subjects of the student’s letters ranged from questioning whether California’s Attorney General is wrong in shielding “bad” cops to the issues of hypermasculinity and its adverse effect on the life of R. Kelly.

Here are three of the student’s published letters:

Jasiyot Atwal
Recent controversy is over Attorney General Xavier Becerra pursuing politics over reform on misconduct officers. What alarms my attention is that the public records list contains 12,000 officers who have gotten away with repulsive, and unlawful crimes committed. These officers are waived of any major discipline or charges.

Instead of prosecuting these officers, Becerra makes threats to the reporters for having the list of the cops who have broken the law. Personally, Attorney General Becerra needs action taken against him for protecting these corrupt officers and should be shunned from all political advancement. Instead of helping the community and being strict on bad cops. But rather, he cares more about his political status advancing more in that field, than setting the law on the officers. I wouldn’t want police officers in my community who commit domestic abuse, sexual assault, money laundering, and other illegal acts.

Carlos Ponce Sanchez
I grew up in San Jose and the discrepancy between schools in the same school district let alone the same county is absolutely astonishing. Because of my involvement in sports, I traveled to many other schools in the county and district. The difference between their equipment, their uniforms, how clean their campus was compared to our school (predominantly minority) was day and night. The teams we face were mostly predominantly white boys, with some colored kids. Even at my young age (in high school), I question why my school faced budget problems to maintain the bare minimum to have sports. While, this schools in the same county or district, have all brand name equipment and financial academical advantages etc. I question how can we ask low-income students to perform equally as good as kids from middle to high income neighborhood, if the financial and community investment is not equal?

Lizeth Valtierra Lule
With various films/documentaries that have been produced regarding the topic of hypermasculinity, people are becoming more aware of it. For years, cartoons, films, and other media focused on making males seem strong, and violent, and they were taught that hypersexualizing women made them men. Even toys have become more masculine and violent in order to teach males that this is the idea of how they should be. Males grow up to believe they cannot cry or show any emotions, leading them to a life of frustration, confusion and hate towards the opposite sex. As a result, men become insecure and believe women should be treated as objects. A prime example of this would be R. Kelly, as he was allegedly sexually involved with various women and underaged girls and forced them to obey him and treat him as their master. Even with solid evidence, victims are seen as liars.

Comments are closed.