Editor, Daily Nexus,
These ideas come in response to the issue of the graduate student health insurance hike under discussion at present, being voted on by the Graduate Students Association representatives. The body in question is necessary as a concrete entity that confronts various questions of importance to students and the university. One could even imagine it functioning in a certain legislative capacity. Yet, a legislature is most useful in setting down rules in matters that do not affect all equally. The correct approach, especially in our small community, is a plebiscite – a vote unmediated by the personal and political interests that invariably cloud a representative body.
There is also a deeper issue at hand. By obliging us students to take health insurance, the university is playing surrogate parent, implying that we lack the sense and responsibility to take care of our own lives. I think UCSB needs to be praised for having a health care facility on the premises and offering us the necessary insurance. But as adults, we need not be told how to provide for ourselves; we can figure it out for ourselves or live with our mistakes. Coercive health insurance is an insult to our intelligence and dignity and allows for just one way of exercising our liberty: not to make use of either the facilities or the insurance provided despite paying for it.