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www.Daily49er.com

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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CSULB skateboarding restrictions should be loosened Skateboarders of the university, unite! For years, skateboarding has been prohibited on campus because of a City of Long Beach municipal code. According to Cal State Long Beach’s website, skateboards are defined as any ur iew type of flat board without a steering mechanism. Even though skateboarding is prohibited, some students have continued to defy the municipal code anyway. In an effort to better serve the transportation needs of students, some on campus, such as University Chief of Police Fernando Solarzano, have worked on a plan that could allow students to skateboard on certain parts of campus. Although the proposal has not yet been reviewed by students, we support a change to the current skateboarding policy on campus. To completely outlaw a form of transportation — especially when parking spots are limited — is not wise or even logical. By allowing skateboarders on certain parts of campus, the university would be able to reduce traffic congestion along many of the paths and roads at CSULB. A campus that allows multiple modes of transportation would bring a sense of harmony to a university currently plagued by a lack of available parking spots. But if the university can change its policy on skateboarding, it should be done carefully. We agree with the university’s proposed plan to establish pedestrian-only zones near popular areas like Brotman Hall.

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In areas near Brotman Hall and the University Bookstore, weaving through traffic on a flat, wheeled board could lead to more problems rather than fewer. Other less-congested areas, however, should allow skateboarders. There’s enough room for them. But if a new skateboarding policy is to succeed, it will have to feature common-sense approaches. If possible, skateboarders should be allowed to take part in the process of choosing locations for pedestrian-only zones.

They’re already skateboarding on campus. They know which areas of CSULB are more or less skateboard-friendly. With University Police and skateboarders working together, the university could enfore a more feasible and logical policy on skateboarding. And perhaps, passing a new policy could help skateboarders to be mindful of the pedestrians around them. Either way, we hope skateboarding will soon be allowed on campus, especially if it leaves a few parking spaces open.

United States must act decisively in Syria before crisis worsens As fighting between government and rebel forces continued in Syria over the weekend, President Barack Obama held a meeting with senior military officials to weigh in on all possible options, including military intervention. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Pentagon would be ready to carry out military operations in Syria if the president decides to intervene. On one hand, Obama has called for the ousting of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. On the other hand, Obama has kept the U.S. out of the Syrian conflict and kept military intervention as a last option in the event of a chemical attack. As the U.S. and other western countries recognize the Syrian rebels as a potential political successor to Assad, pressures to intervene in the conflict have begun to mount on foreign interests. In June, the U.S agreed to send shipments of

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arms to rebel forces. However, the U.S. has since hesitated on delivering the arms because of the possibility that the weapons could be received by pro-Islamist forces. As reports of chemical weapons being used on civilian targets begin to surface, the likelihood of a U.S. intervention continues to grow. Piles of bodies have been seen in disturbing images and videos as opicolas position groups in Damascus, Syria, have claimed more than 1,300 dead as a result of chemical attacks on Aug. 21. As the conflict intensifies, the killing has become more indiscriminate between the rebels and government forces. The fighting has led to more than 100,000 deaths as well as a mass exodus of refugees trying to flee from the conflict.

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Official reports from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) count more than 600,000 Syrian refugees in camps along neighboring countries. As many as 35,000 refugees have poured into the northern Kurdistan region of Iraq over a period of several days. The UNHCR projects that approximately one million of the 2.5 million displaced perodriguez sons from the civil war are children. As the violence in Syria breeds more violence, the chances for ethnic and religious cleansing intensify. With the situation rapidly unfolding in Syria, what seemed like a choice of last resort to intervene now appears to be the only choice in the matter. When the situation had consisted of protests and brutal crackdowns, the option to intervene

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following the Libyan crisis seemed distant and imperialistic. As a humanitarian crisis begins to unfold, though, Obama has a difficult decision to make. Should Obama choose to intervene, the choice will have to sit well with Americans who are tired of sending U.S. soldiers and arms to the Middle East. If Obama does not choose to intervene in Syria, some may see his inaction as the cause for the crisis continuing. Obama’s choice still remains to be seen, but regardless of his decision, one thing is sure: a botched intervention effort would only serve against U.S interests. If the president makes a choice, it will have to be a carefully studied approach. Nicolas Rodriguez is a senior political science major and an assistant opinions editor at the Daily 49er.

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