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Readers comments: 11-5-21

Claremont Colleges COVID-19 prevention
Dear editor:
Are the Claremont Colleges doing enough to prevent the spread of COVID?
After returning from fall break this October, I got to hear where all my classmates traveled to. Some just took a train to L.A., and some took an airplane to the East Coast. Nearly everyone went somewhere outside of the 5C’s bubble, and nearly everyone exposed themselves to some sort of crowd through public transportation or an event. The Claremont Colleges knew this, and they had no return to campus plan when the time came. Thousands of students who had just came back from traveling went to class, the dining hall, the gym, and work without any precautions.
We are so fortunate to have the resources that we do at the 5Cs, and when fall break came around, the administration did not use them at all. It quite honestly seems like they did not even think of it. For example, we could have finished the week with online classes so that everyone had time to get tested for COVID. Having one online class for the semester would not ruin the college experience. It would enhance safety. However, they did nothing.
Thanksgiving break is approaching, and I know the majority of students will be driving or flying home to spend it with their families. Will our return to campus be handled in the same manner? Will there be any plan on how to handle thousands of students returning to campus?
I doubt it. From all the emails and correspondence I have had with administration, it seems that our colleges are much more concerned about legalities than the safety of students, our community, and Claremont as a whole. I understand that we are all experiencing COVID fatigue and that everybody wants things to go back to “normal.” Regardless, we have to ask ourselves if it is worth it. Even just one case can put our many people at risk, and putting basic precautions in place is necessary to avoid that.
Going forward, I hope that the 5Cs can do better for the safety of all of us.
Maggie Taraska
Claremont

Veterans need community support
Dear editor:
Now more than ever, veterans need the support of their communities. From the close-knit groups of families and friends who can be there for them during difficult times, to the broader collection of elected officials and leaders who are policy creators and decision makers on veterans issues.
With the recent situation in Afghanistan, many veterans have been forced to relive and confront difficult feelings. Coupled with stress from the ongoing pandemic, this can cause an unfortunate impact on veterans across the country.
This Veterans Day we encourage everyone to do what they can to assist the veterans in their families and their communities. Reach out to your loved ones or make new connections with those in your neighborhood. And if you can, we ask that you urge your elected officials to help veterans through supporting pro-veteran policies and laws.
Dawn “Dusty” Napier
State Commander
Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of California

Social media companies need to be held responsible
Dear editor:
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony to Congress early last month needs to materialize into action. While media coverage of the hearings and Facebook’s damaging effects have waned, Facebook should not be able to walk away from this unharmed.
In 2019, Facebook was fined $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission for deceiving users about their abilities to control privacy settings. If at the end of these current hearings, Facebook is charged with a similar fine, it would be a mere tap on the wrist. For a company that can pay $5 billion out of its pocket, such a fine would be like nothing.
What really needs to happen is actual regulation of social media companies. We live in a time where content is pushed toward us through unknown algorithms. Congress needs to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 to hold social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok liable for the content that their algorithms promote.
Lauren Kim
Claremont

An open letter to Claremont High School
Dear editor:
My name is Fume Blanc. I am a largish black-spotted white Maine Coon cat. I have a brother named Pinot Noir; he is black with white markings. And I also have a sister who is a Golden Irish canine hybrid, 12-years-old, named Doolyn.
At 8 p.m. on Friday we were scared out of our wits when Claremont High School decided to start the third world war right in our back yard. Scrambling in at least 12 different directions, we tore almost everything off of our family room coffee table and couch, leaving mom and dad wondering what on earth was happening. Bombs went off only feet from our windows while anti-aircraft flack blossomed in the altitudes.
If the high school would like to be good neighbors to us who live within blocks, they might consider warning us in advance of their pyrotechnic displays. Better yet, they might consider not doing these things at all out of respect for their fur-family neighbors. I myself did not come out of hiding until 2:32 a.m. the next morning.
Fume Blanc
Claremont