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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    Service learning extends value of education

    I thank the opinions board for taking a moment to review the merits of the proposed service learning program in Friday’s “”Pass/Fail.”” I am excited to see increased discussion about Associated Students of the University of Arizona projects. Service learning is a relatively new educational model and considerable confusion still exists over the purpose and function of service learning. I would like to outline the fundamentals of service learning and address some concerns students raised.

    According to former Sen. John Glenn, “”service learning is education in action.”” Picking up trash on a riverbank is service. Studying water samples under a microscope is learning. When science students collect and analyze water samples, document their results and present findings to a local pollution control agency … this is service learning.

    Service learning is a type of experiential education that reinforces classroom curriculum and extends the value of education. Working with community partners, students identify legitimate community needs and apply their academic skills to solve these real-world problems. Service learning prepares students for the workforce by engaging students in selecting, designing, implementing and evaluating a genuine community need while training students to identify practical solutions in a real-world situation. Service learning is based on well-established national standards that have been implemented and revised at institutions across the nation for the past 20 years. Service learning projects must have a clear link to furthering educational goals of a student’s major(s). This method encourages relevancy and sustained interest by all parties involved. Our hope is that upon completion of the project, students will receive credit for service learning activities similar to internship credit, which will be applicable towards their major.

    Engaging you in the design and implementation of this project is critical. We will be hosting student focus groups Sept. 19 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Sept. 20 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., where we will provide free lunch. I invite you to attend one of these focus groups and share your opinion. To take a more active role, please consider volunteering on our staff. We are all excited to be offering this new service to you and look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions.

    Steven Gerner
    ASUA senator political science and biochemistry junior


    Wildcat wrong to fail service learning

    It’s unfortunate that the Arizona Daily Wildcat opinions board decided to fail a project based on misconstrued and unresearched information. The service learning program is still in its infancy. Sen. Steven Gerner and I have been starting to sketch out the groundwork of what will not constitute university credit for volunteering but will instead mirror the programs of peer institutions such as the University of California at Berkeley and Purdue, where students engage in applying theoretical classroom instruction to the real world. In layman’s terms, it would function similar to an internship. It has nothing to do with forced volunteerism.

    For instance, if you were a computer science major, instead of building a program for your instructor, you would have the opportunity to construct one for a not-for-profit group in Tucson that needs assistance. It would involve actual client communication, collaboration and implementation.

    Regardless of the schematic elements and blueprints, this plan is continuously undergoing changes as we delve through research, administration policies and, most importantly, student opinion. I feel that it’s extremely unfair of the Wildcat to dismiss our efforts when we’re still developing the most basic protocol.

    Katie Paulson
    service learning program coordinator, ASUA senior majoring in English


    Greeks deserve credit, not criticism

    As I embark on my fourth year as a proud Arizona Wildcat, I would like to say: I am so sick of every third Daily Wildcat opinion article having something negative to say about Greek Life.

    Now, for clarification purposes, I am not in a sorority, nor has the thought of joining one ever crossed my mind – but just because I am not involved with Greek Life doesn’t give me or anyone else an excuse to partake in such unfounded animosity toward a group of fellow students.

    In his column on Friday, Damion LeeNatali admits right away that much of the “”tension”” between greeks and non-greeks on campus is due to “”long-running stereotypes that have gone relatively unchecked.”” However, instead of working to debunk such prejudice as he claims to know exists by emphasizing the positive contributions he claims to know Greek Life has made, LeeNatali is actually so self-righteous as to further attack these organizations for not doing enough to atone for the negative labels we, the outsiders, have placed on them!

    So what if the average greek “”only”” raised $19 for charity or “”only”” spent 7.5 hours contributing to philanthropy last year? I’ll tell you what – that’s far more time and money than I’ve contributed to the greater good lately – how about you? Call me apathetic if you want (because, let’s face it – I am), but I certainly don’t have to explain myself to the likes of the Wildcat opinions desk – and neither should anyone in a sorority or fraternity.

    It goes without saying that not all greeks are irresponsible drunks. I might also add (with the startling clarity that only comes from life experience) that not all irresponsible drunks are greek! So can we please stop pretending that a little reckless debauchery is some kind of mortal sin that all of Greek Life must somehow do penance for? Tell me, LeeNatali – when have you ever felt the need to justify your last “”hour of power”” to the campus community at large?

    Philanthropy isn’t a part of the Greek Life mission because they have something to “”prove”” – because you know what? They don’t. Sororities and fraternities support charitable causes for the same reasons any good group should: They have the drive, they have the resources and they have fun.

    I suggest that we all stop hating on this lively and vital part of our Wildcat family and start giving our greek do-gooder brethren the props they deserve!

    Jen Whitcomb
    family studies and human development senior


    Zionism’s aim is to protect Israel, Jewish community

    A misunderstanding of Zionism simmered amidst the frenzy of sympathy for Arabs during Thursday’s public forum on “”Israel, Lebanon and a ‘New Middle East?'”” To many observers, Shlomo Aronson’s comments regarding the Holocaust and anti-Judaism were irrelevant. However, for Zionists, the history of the persecution of the Jews is never irrelevant. Zionism is, essentially, support for Israel as a national Jewish community. Yet Zionism is more than an escape from the Holocaust: It is the belief that Jews should govern themselves within their own state so that they can actively defend themselves.

    Zionism is the choice not to accept such nonsolutions as the appeasement of those who declare themselves enemies of Judaism, whether they are National Socialists or rogue terrorists. Responsibility, democracy and the preservation of the Hebrews are the basic tenets of Zionism. Like the famous star on its flag, the State of Israel is the shield that defends and protects the rights of Jews against murderous organizations such as Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and Hezbollah.

    To understand Zionism is to understand what lessons the Jews learned from the Holocaust: the vulnerability of Jews as a small world minority; the ability of governments fascist, communist and democratic to oppress Jews and the dire need for Jews to assert their right to self-defense. When it has come to acting on these lessons during the last 58 years of its existence, Israel has resorted to violence on multiple occasions. But Israel makes no apologies and takes full responsibility for its choices to apply physical force when deemed necessary. Many who see the Holocaust as ancient history balk at the knowledge that Israel, a tiny state representing a people that comprise 0.2 percent of the global population, has such great military power. As Zionists dream of peace, their message is clear: never again.

    Daniel Greenberg
    political science freshman

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