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Low self-esteem leads
to bad behavior

To the Bulletin:

Week after week, we hear about the riotous behavior of University of Massachusetts students. I spend much of my career teaching, lecturing and running workshops that addressed the problems we are facing here.

I remember one keynote address and workshop in particular. It was at the Betty Ford Center. The rave reviews I got were largely for the key idea I presented that resonated with the counselors and addiction workers present.

My argument was: If students liked themselves, they wouldn’t hurt themselves. Or anyone else, either. Not with alcohol, drugs or mindless, irresponsible behavior.

I went on to talk about the six conditions necessary for self esteem. That’s a challenge for everyone teaching at the university. What’s your contribution to enhancing the self esteem of your students? Or do you simply say, “That’s not my job. I have real subject matter to teach.”

In the meantime, students who don’t like themselves will continue to hurt themselves and others. And also students who don’t like themselves will stand around and be silent, uninvolved witnesses.

Sidney B. Simon


Sidney B. Simon is professor emeritus, psychological education at the University of Massachusetts.

Tougher penalties might deter disruptive students

To the Bulletin:

According to the University of Massachusetts Dean of Students Enku Gelaye, “Code alone has never changed behavior on any college campus in America. No system has ever figured out how to deter behavior.” And then we read that of the students referred to Dean Gelaye, “476 received sanctions from the university. Eighteen were suspended.” Read those numbers again, 476 vs. 18. How about suspending, say, 400? That might send a message that gets through. It certainly would make for a more peaceful Amherst and an atmosphere more congenial to the serious students.

Blair F. Bigelow


Legislators urge yes
vote on Question 4

To the Bulletin:

In certain communities in Hampshire County a fourth ballot question will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot regarding proposed changes to the Hampshire Council of Governments’ charter. We are writing to urge a yes vote on Question 4.

Since 1998, the Hampshire Council of Governments has been working with the communities of Hampshire County and beyond to solve shared challenges and taxpayer dollars through regional cooperation and innovation. The council continues to grow and change to bring the highest quality programs and services to the municipalities, businesses and people of western Massachusetts.

The council is governed by a charter that was approved by the voters in all of the towns and cities of the county in 1998. The council is seeking to make minor modifications to the charter and these changes are subject to approval by the people of the member communities.

The proposed changes to the original charter are designed to help streamline the council’s operating procedures. These changes would clarify procedures for joining the council, change the term of a councilor from two to three years, set the number of councilors for each town at no more than two, ensure that councilors’ votes would be proportionate to the town populations, and eliminate outdated transition clauses.

The council believes these changes will help streamline the council’s operations, making it a more efficient and effective agency to continue to design innovative solutions that save money and solve shared challenges through regional cooperation. Again, we urge you to vote yes on Question 4.

Sen. Stan Rosenberg

Rep. Ellen Story

Sen. Gale Candaras

and five other members of the area’s Statehouse delegation

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