Regarding the article "Dorms Designed to Lure Students," Sept. 9: A sizable number of colleges and universities have had spaces available for several years, often in spite of such sophisticated new dormitory designs. Some residence halls have been converted to other uses.Parents may not be doing their college-age children a favor by helping them enjoy an adult lifestyle while in college. Consider the traditional student lifestyle: group living, shared transportation, limited funds for clothes, travel, and entertainment, and a focus on scholarly pursuits. In contrast, many students today drive expensive cars, wear designer clothes, vacation in distant places, enjoy frequent and costly parties, and live in spacious apartments or houses. To attain these things, students often work long hours while still carrying a full academic load. Study time evaporates with grocery shopping, cooking, and other nonacademic diversions. A simpler and humbler lifestyle is essential. Studies have shown that living in a residence hall establishes the type of peer-group identity and academic goal setting that significantly helps toward successful completion of a university degree. Students who limit their lifestyle expectations will have more time to pursue their educational goals. Michael B. Hoctor, San Diego
Family leave unfair Regarding the editorial "Family Leave Revisited," Sept. 26: Why should businesses be required to provide for what is private and personal responsibility? Why do many Americans feel that government or employers should make it easy and convenient for them to have the lifestyle they desire? My experience indicates that substitute workers would not be hired for three or four months, so the fellow workers of those on family leave (who may never take such leave themselves) would have to bear the burden. This hardly seems fair. Emily C. McWilliams, Shreveport, La.