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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wildcat columnists weigh in on the issues shaping our world.

    Thai coup’s repercussions

    Citing “”rampant corruption,”” the Thai military made worldwide headlines last week when it took power from the country’s prime minister in a bloodless coup. What kind of future does the coup spell for the economy of the region?< />

    A military coup is never a legitimate way to change a government. Thailand’s bloodless coup last week was not only a body blow to the nascent Thai democracy (new elections were slated for November), but also to its budding economy. In 1997, the East Asian financial crisis, which spread throughout the developing world, began with the collapse of the Thai baht. The East Asian countries have recovered commendably since then with the help of some enlightened political stability. The worry now is that other militaries in the region will feel empowered to overthrow their corrupt governments – an eventuality that would spell economic doom for a region on the rise.

    – Matt Stone is an international studies and economics senior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

    Another East Asian financial crisis this isn’t. Thailand has long been a land of coups and challenges to power, and the latest is just another manifestation of what happens when the ruling powers turn corrupt. Protestors had been lambasting Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra for months. He had been proved corrupt, using his power over the airwaves to put out propaganda. Recently he had engaged in nepotism, and when he tried to put cronies atop the military, it may have been the last straw. I was in Thailand this summer; the country is clearly on the path of globalization, and the coup won’t stop it.

    – Ryan Johnson is a senior majoring in economics and international studies. He can be reached atletters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

    Enrollment by the numbers?

    Earlier this month, President Robert Shelton affirmed his commitment to reaching former President Peter Likins’ goal of reaching 25 percent Hispanic enrollment at UA. Is the plan a contrived reach for numbers, or the UA’s key to success?< />

    Let’s think quality over quantity. To simply increase the sheer enrollment numbers of Hispanic students won’t matter much anyway unless they’re ultimately able to graduate. We should be focused on improving the retention and graduation rates of current Hispanic students, then, before we start to worry about meeting percentage goals. Diversity itself is an admirable objective – it’s important that minorities have the abundance of opportunities afforded by a college education. But minorities aren’t particularly well-served by artificial goals that do little to ensure real success, especially if our university is focused on the numbers rather than the results.

    – Damion LeeNatali is a senior majoring in history and political science. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

    I applaud President Shelton’s goal of achieving a 25 percent Hispanic student body. A 2004 figure says Arizona is 28 percent Hispanic, but only 14 percent of our students last year were Latino/a. In order to improve the socioeconomic status of this state’s largest minority group, our university needs to reflect the general population. We will not compromise student quality, because Shelton is not asking for lower standards on admission. The UA should seek to improve services to minority students through increased Latino community outreach and better advising and support once students are here. What worthier a goal is there?

    – Samuel Feldman is a junior majoring in political science and Spanish. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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