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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    Unity, not competition, needed to debunk Horowitz

    I found the recent op-ed, “”Fighting fire with … nothing,”” to be misguided and destructive. First of all, if the authors were genuinely concerned with the student cause, the real focus should be on the issue at hand, the so-called “”Academic Bill of Rights,”” not attacking the Graduate and Professional Student Council. It seems clear that the author has a personal axe to grind with GPSC or with the current political system that is in place.

    As students, we should be united in voicing our opinion on public policy that affects the university and protecting individuals who have become unfairly singled out, not fighting among ourselves about who’s doing “”the best”” job at advancing the cause. Furthermore, a self-congratulatory statement about making a difference through an op-ed does little to help the issue at hand, but, rather, promotes only more insularity among the student body based on a competitive approach of who can do “”the best.””

    While it may seem that passing a resolution is doing little to respond to the comments made by Horowitz, it should be noted that this resolution is going to appear before the Arizona Board of Regents, President Shelton and the state Legislature. Moreover, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona are in the process of drafting a similar resolution, and Provost George Davis already presented a statement of support at the Faculty Senate on Monday.

    Clearly, the GPSC is not alone in methodology or lacking in action to defend the university from the criticisms propounded by Mr. Horowitz. And it should also be noted that the intention of passing the resolution was to encourage other pillars of academia – especially fellow students at the university, who have firsthand knowledge of the classes and instructors mentioned by Mr. Horowitz – to speak publicly about the views propounded by his article.

    I would hope that in the future, published opinions of the students who choose to expound on this issue are constructive criticisms with the goal of promoting unity and dispelling negative attacks on fellow students. Let’s stand together and encourage those who actively participate in discussions on policy while retaining our dignity and respect for one another, graduates and undergraduates alike.

    Joshua Scott GPSC treasurer

    Administration should punish MLK party hosts

    I was very concerned to read the article “”Black theme party sparks concerned response”” yesterday morning in the Arizona Daily Wildcat. The party that occurred during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday involving several UA students was not only offensive but also ignorant and stereotypical. Even though this party was not meant to be “”offensive”” and was deemed a simple “”misunderstanding,”” it was interpreted that way by myself and many other students.

    Having guests dress up as their favorite black person at first may “”seem”” harmless. But when guests arrive dressed as characters from “”Family Matters,”” painted in blackface, wearing do-rags and fur coats, it becomes an offensive and generalized affair. To go further: When asked how to dress like a “”black”” person the holder of the party responded: “”Dress up like gangsters, pimps, and hos.””

    Is this who black people represent? Do stereotypical characters and negative figures represent an entire race? No, they do not. This party was nothing but a poor representation of what many people believe African-Americans to be like, based on media stereotypes.

    However, based on the theme of this party and the actions of these students, it appears that this is who they deem African-Americans to be- vulgar, ignorant and uneducated. These events need to stop here with the UA. All over the country, parties and activities of this same nature are occurring but with no consequences. Hosts and attendees receive a simple pat on the head and are told not to do it again, but it keeps continuing.

    These events will continue as long as there are no reprimands for students’ actions. Even though this party occurred off-campus, the administration and Office of Student Affairs need to take a stand that these actions will not be tolerated. For the future of this university, some action needs to occur.

    Chandra S. Jennings-Jackson health education senior

    Frat punishment often unwarranted

    Where has personal responsibility and accountability gone? It seems unfair that fraternities are being held responsible for the actions of individual people. (“”Seven fraternities, one sorority on probation for alcohol violations””)

    From what I’ve read, it seems that the fraternities on campus are being punished as a whole for the mistakes of individual people (most of whom are unaffiliated with the organization). On any given night you are bound to find more underage drinking in a dorm than in a fraternity house (fraternity houses are the only places on campus allowed to have alcohol).

    Students caught drinking underage in the dorms receive a minor in possession and are told to move on. Is the dorm, and all the residents of the dorm, put on probation? Is the resident assistant held responsible for the students underage drinking? Is the hall director held accountable for the actions of the student? No!

    Yet when a student is caught drinking underage at a fraternity, the entire fraternity gets punished. The worst part about this is the majority of these people who are caught aren’t even members of the fraternity! (In several cases the people who were caught drinking underage received no punishment and the fraternity in which they were drinking at received 6-9 months of probation.) Not only are the current members of the fraternity being punished but also their alumni.

    Can you believe that some of these probationary measures are affecting people who graduated 50 years ago! I don’t see how this is fair. How can the UA hold a greek organization responsible for the actions of one person but not hold a residence hall or athletic team responsible? The football team doesn’t receive punishments for the actions of one person – why should a fraternity?

    A lot of the fraternities that have been on campus for over 80 years are at risk for being kicked off due to the actions of individual people. The dean of students, Greek Life and the UA need to re-evaluate their stance on underage drinking or they will find themselves ruining years of fraternity history and tradition.

    It’s unfortunate that personal responsibility and accountability no longer exists on this campus. Next time you want to drink underage, just head to a dorm – because when you get caught, no one else will get in trouble.

    Baldasarre Cossa UA alumnus

    Critics of ‘black’ party should lighten up

    According to Webster’s Dictionary, racism is defined as “”a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”” Although the individuals who attended the MLK “”black”” party may have stepped over the “”politically correct”” line, they were in no way committing acts of prejudice or racism.

    Jessica Wertz (“”Racism + Ambiguity = Danger””) may be correct when citing that most of the partygoers were dressed in demeaning stereotypical attire that misrepresents the black community. Then again, would I or some other individual going dressed as Tiger Woods or Barack Obama have lightened the mood about your so-called “”racist”” gathering just because it’s less stereotypical?

    For that matter, we might as well chastise not only Kyle Kuechel, the party’s hose, but also celebrities such as Carlos Mencia or Dave Chappelle who make millions thinking up skits to portray the stereotypes of minorities. This “”intolerable act”” as you put it is in no way detrimental to the ongoing lives of the individuals in the black community at this campus or anywhere else, for that matter.

    As for Elliot Aronson, a very respected man indeed among the psychology crowd, he is credited with refining the theory of cognitive dissonance, in which he denoted that individuals change their attitude in certain scenarios to “”fit in.”” In my opinion, though, citing Aronson’s work is out of context with the matter at hand.

    Kuechel said that there were a number of black fellow partygoers among the crowd. Were they changing their behavior or attitude just so they could fit in? If anyone is disgusted by the theme of this party it should be them. Funny if it were the case that they stayed at the gathering and furthermore were welcomed by those who organized it.

    It is agreeable, though, that students on campus are old enough to acknowledge what behavior they should or should not partake in. Many students do not recycle on campus, and not recycling is something students should not partake in. To quote Carlos Mencia, “”Take a joke, America.””This includes Ms. Wertz and Ms. Brianna Tarleton as well.

    Edward Beck molecular and cellular biology junior

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