Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Essay 3

Essay 2

September 17th, 2007
Laura Calderón
EAP2 C Writers Workshop

Fighting Corruption

In the article: “Fighting Corruption is a Global Concern” Zussman (2005) explains why corruption should be fought in the entire world. First he points out that there was an anti-corruption conference in Beijing that helps Canadians fight corruption. Then, he explains that transparency shows corruption around the world and that many countries have been working together to end corruption in public and private sectors. Next, the author shows how corruption requires huge amounts of money not just in bribery, also in money laundering, which could be used to end poverty around the world. Zussan states that many countries are worried about corruption because it makes worse citizen’s quality of life, obstructs economy development and weakens people’s trust in government. After that, he tells us that the conference in Beijing concluded that there are at least four ways to fight corruption: more laws against corruption, citizen’s involvement and interest, hard implementation of the policies and placement of special people in leadership roles. Finally he gives the example of Canada, where these principles conduced to cooperation between public and private sector in the battle against corruption and therefore Canada is one of the best-placed countries in improving laws and policies to fight corruption in and out of government.

It is apparent that the author’s opinion is right in this article. Corruption is a huge problem that affects every country in the world and every country should try to fight it, even if it is expensive and risky. The author’s idea should be supported because corruption diminishes citizen’s quality of life, leads to violence and interferes with economic development.
At first, corruption should be fought because it affects citizen’s quality of life. Corruption takes money away from public investments that increase citizen’s quality of life. For example if the government gives one million dollars for building a new school, the person that chooses which enterprise is going to make the construction, chooses an enterprise that tells the government that the construction costs one million dollars, but in fact the construction just costs $800’000 and $200’000 go to the person that choose this enterprise. That means that the school will not be as good as it was supposed to be. In addition, corruption increases the number of poor people. For example if there is some money set for poor people, politicians, most of them wealthy, take a part of it, and the poor people receive less money. Consequently, corruption makes worse citizen’s life.
Second, we should find solutions for corruption because it increases violence. First, many criminals pay huge amounts of money in order to not be sent to prison or in order to get out from prison. For example, if a criminal is accused of murder and all the evidence shows that he is guilty, he can pay a considerable amount of money to the judge, who will make some arrangements to let him free. This will allow him to keep making crimes. Second, many honest people get killed by corrupt people. For example, in Colombia, some journalists that want to denounce corrupt acts and write in the newspapers or talk on the radio must leave the country because some of them have been killed. Because of these reasons, corruption must be fought.

Finally, corruption interferes with economic development. First, corruption affects competition. For example, if a government just makes contracts with enterprises that give it money, enterprises will focus on giving money to that government, and not on creating new products of better quality at a better price. Moreover, international investments decrease in corrupt countries. For example if an American enterprise is looking for a country for make an investment and has to choose between two countries that offer the same facilities, but one is more corrupt than the other, the enterprise will certainly choose the less corrupt one because it represents less risks. Therefore, it is very important that every country does everything that it can to end corruption.

In conclusion, corruption is very negative for every country and as the author of the article “Fighting Corruption is a Global Concern” claims it is a global concern and we all should fight against it. Corruption is very harmful because it causes poverty, increases violence and diminishes economic development. However, if every single individual makes something against corruption, it will certainly decrease, but if not, it will continue to develop and would be impossible to stop. As a result, everything will be influenced and controlled by money.

Zussman,D. Fighting Corruption is a Global concern. Ottawa Citizen. October 11, 2005.

Essay 1

September 7, 2007
Laura Calderón
Writers Workshop

American universities should be allowed to spend big amounts of money in sports

Today, in America most of the universities spend huge amounts of money on sports, which have become very important; not only official universities’ teams, but also amateur sports for all the students. This fact has many people that not support this expense because they think that it is useless. However, these people do not think about sports’ positive side. In fact, sports are very beneficial for health, help to keep students and staff away from addictions and are a very good way to achieve school’s unity, so is very important that universities spend enough money on them.

Universities should be allowed to spend a lot of money on sports because they are fundamental for students’ and staffs’ health. At first, practicing sports prevents obesity, which is a big problem in America due to bad nourishment habits and inactivity. In the article “Statistics Related to Overweight and Obesity” the author states that “two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are overweight, and almost one-third are obese”. (2007, para.1). That means that in each university at least half of the students need to lose weight. So, for example, if a student suffers from obesity, but is in a university that offers him the opportunity to play sports, to use a sport center and to have access to professional staff, he will be interested, get involved and lose weight. In addition, losing weight will not only be very good for his health, but will make him feel better about himself. Second, many studies show that practicing sports prevent many diseases like breast and colon cancer, diabetes and heart disease. For example teacher that practice sports regularly will have less chance to suffer heart attack. Consequently, sports are very important for human health and universities should contribute to its practice.

Universities should invest in sports because they help students to avoid addictions. First, students that practice sports smoke less than students that do not practice any sport. The fact of being occupied in other activities keeps them far of tobacco. For example if a student smoker joins the cross country team and gets very involved on it, after a certain time, he will realize that cigarettes do not allow him to run as well as he would like to and will have a good reason to stop smoking. After that, sport keeps students away from drugs and alcohol, which are very harmful. The fact of having and liking a sport, makes students spend their free time on it, so they do not have too much free time for using these substances. For example if a student plays basketball and meets other students that play basketball, too, they can enjoy their free time training and having together instead of being with other people that drink and use drugs for fun. Cigarettes, drugs and alcohol are very much used by students these days and universities, as education institutes, have the responsibility to do all that they can in order to keep their students away from those addictions. Without a doubt, promoting sports is a good solution to this problem.

Finally, universities should spend big amounts of money in sports, because they contribute to reinforce the school’s unity. Sports create a nice environment to meet people and make friends. For example, many freshmen go to the universities and do not know anybody to be with, which can make them feel depressed. If they join a sport’s club or team, they will have the chance to meet new people and start new friendships. Second, sports official teams make students feel part of the university and feel proud of it. For example, when there is a football game everybody gets exited, wear university T-Shirts, watch the match and support their team. Thus sports contribute to create an atmosphere of union and friendship, for these reasons, spending money on them will definitely be beneficial for students and for the whole universities, too.

Opponents to universities’ big expenses on sports claim that instead of spending money in sports, universities should make more investments in technology and academic staff. According to them, students should focus only on their studies and not ion other activities that may make them lose time. However, students should be able to practice other activities and have a social life outside of classes. In the article “Physical Activity” claims sport reduces anxiety, stress and depression. (n.d., para.7) So, if students are relaxed and happy, they will be able to concentrate in class and will have better grades. For example if a student ends classes at three o’clock in the afternoon and plays soccer until four, he will have a time to relax and think about other things, but will still have the time to do homework. In addition investments in sports will make students healthier, which means that they will not need to go to the hospital so often, and as a consequence medical costs will reduce on a long term for the state. Consequently, universities’ sports expenses are not so big as they seem and permit students to focus on their studies, but give them the opportunity of have fun in a healthy way.

In conclusion, American universities should be allowed to spend big amounts of money on sports because it is beneficial for students physical and mental health, keeps them away from addictions such as drugs, alcohol and cigarettes and contributes to school’s unity. For these reasons opponents to those expenses should start thinking about the numerous benefits that sport can bring to American students and universities’ communities. If universities do not make important investments on sports, students will be unhealthy, stressed and probably unhappy, which will be reflected on their grades. For these reasons academic work should be accompanied by sports in order to have excellent, healthy and happy students.

Physical activity. (n.d.). World Health Organization. Retrieved September 7, 2007, from: http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/facts/pa.en.

Statistics related to overweight and obesity (May 2007). Weight Control Information Network. Retrieved September 7, 2007, from http://www.win.niddk.nih.gov/statistics/index.htm.