The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

66° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Mailbag: Oct. 15

Police Beat should not identify alleged shoplifter by race

Shoplifting is inexcusable behavior as well as an inexcusable crime, and whoever is involved should face necessary consequences. With this recognition, I am writing to voice my protest and concern over the school newspaper’s identifying the alleged shoplifter as being a Chinese national. The identity of the alleged shoplifter bears no significance in reporting to the university community the crime. 

The specific identification of this student as coming from a particular country or belonging to a particular ethnic group only creates subconscious discrimination against ALL the people from the same group. Shoplifting happens all the time, including on this campus, and the alleged shoplifters can be from any specific group of people. In fact, most likely the shoplifting occurred on this campus and in the U.S. is committed by non-Asian or non-Chinese, but I have never seen a report in which the citizenship or the ethnic group of the alleged shoplifter is identified.

In this particular case, a sensitive editor and the reporting team could have simply stated that “”a student was involved in an alleged shoplifting, and was referred to the appropriate authority for action.”” The purpose of Police Beat is to keep the community aware of what has been going on, but not creating a situation that is not conducive and even detrimental to the study and life of people who happen to belong to the same group.

It is comforting to note that in today’s (Oct. 14, 2009) Mailbag, exactly the same concern was raised regarding the release of the identity of students from a particular student organization. Indeed, this is a sensitive issue, and I am glad that we are not alone. Your editorial office owes an apology to the students and scholars from China who have nothing to do with this inexcusable behavior.

As the reporting team of a widely read newspaper, not only by the UA community, but by other Tucsonans, you should have the guts to admit that the report was indiscreet, and most importantly, make your conscientious efforts to be more sensitive and prudent in the future.

Zhiping Zheng

Associate professor of chemistry

Resident assistant column poorly researched 

The Daily Wildcat column titled “”Resident assistants should, in fact, live in the residence halls,”” was, it is unfortunate to say, the written embodiment of Albert Einstein’s famous quote, “”Information is not knowledge.”” To put it as blatantly as possible to ensure I am understood, I found the report an atrocious piece of literature that seemed quite poorly researched and based on pure speculation on your part.

Much of the piece is derived from your own personal experience and does little to reflect the views of the majority of residents currently residing on campus. The experiences you drew from would not even be considered temporally legitimate in any respected publishing circles as the majority of your points rely heavily and sometimes wholly on incidents that occurred nearly three years ago when you yourself were a freshman.

In fact, even the Resident Assistant Contract 2008-2009 used as a source was outdated and the points derived from this contract did not take its heavy revisions (which occurred over much of the past year) into account. This is made worse in that it shows the inadequate research done to compose this piece, for the fully revised contract for the academic year 2009-2010 is available on the Residence Life Web site under a clear and easily navigated hyperlink.

I am deeply disappointed in this article and, through association, with the Daily Wildcat as a respected university publication, for deigning to publish this, dare-I-say-it, garbage.

Devon Moule

Veterinary science freshman

More to Discover
Activate Search