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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    Another semester of overpriced books

    Another semester kicks off with the chagrined outcry of students forced to pay outrageous prices for textbooks that are devalued faster than Kevin Federline’s album (“”Online sales challenge bookstore””). But last fall the directors of the Arizona Students’ Association decided to take this issue to the forefront of student concerns and set into motion a campaign to reduce bundling, increase buyback prices and reveal the egregious behavior of textbook companies. Unfortunately, as this article blatantly states, the plan seems to have been reneged or at least kept under radar, as I have paid more in my seventh semester for textbooks than in any previous year. Perhaps this year’s ASA staff could successfully complete the program its predecessors left behind and save us from recycling the same chorus of groans in the spring.

    Katie Paulson
    majoring in English and political science senior

    Criticism of Hertzog unfair

    As one of the two ASA directors who resigned their position with Associated Students of the University of Arizona, I feel it is both my personal and professional responsibility to respond to the inappropriate letter from Elaine Ulrich in yesterday’s paper regarding Erin Hertzog’s absence from the August Arizona Board of Regents meeting.

    The fact Hertzog took the time to help her sorority during its busiest time despite her overwhelming schedule is a testament to her loyalty to that in which she is involved. It also illustrates the wide breadth of activism she displays on campus. Allow me, with my firsthand experience, to dispel any misunderstanding concerning Hertzog’s commitment to ASUA.

    During the August board of regents meeting, Hertzog actively participated in ASA’s two-hour-and-45-minute conference call, researched and voted electronically on each issue and thoroughly read the materials given to her covering the board meeting. She did all this simply by taking advantage of the technology that professionals the world over use in their everyday careers. I trust Ulrich sees the effectiveness, and especially the efficiency, in working outside the office when circumstance requires.

    The opinion demonstrated by Ulrich was only a thinly veiled attempt to capitalize upon and further the strained relationship between the Graduate and Professional Student Council and ASUA. For months, Hertzog has handled this difficult situation with utmost poise, and despite numerous personal and unjustified attacks like this one, she has worked to better the working partnership between the two
    organizations.

    My decision to leave my ASA position was an extremely difficult one – most notably because I firmly believe that under Hertzog’s very capable leadership, ASUA will restore its reputation and students will get the services they deserve from their student government.

    I would encourage Ulrich to take a lesson from Hertzog in time management and find a better use of her time. She should save the energy wasted from such unwarranted, petty, and baseless attacks and refocus it to those issues that actually require attention.

    Emily Upstill
    public management and policy senior

    Student apartment fosters violence

    I recently was a resident at Northpointe Student Apartments, where one person was killed and another was seriously injured by gunfire a couple weeks ago. My roommate and I left, like many other residents, after our year lease expired the day following the shootings. We originally chose to leave over concerns for our safety prior to the incident. Sadly, violence is a common and recurring issue at Northpointe. I moved into the complex as a transfer student last August, not aware of what I was getting into. Within my first week staying there, I was welcomed home by what was in effect a police perimeter around the entire complex, then had to wait for cops to wrestle somebody to the ground before I could walk up the stairs to my apartment. Broken car windows, weekly fights, people firing off guns when the power goes out: all part of the experience. Stabbings in past years and an allegation of rape at the adjacent complex last November highlight a continual threat to residents’ safety.

    After the shooting, articles and commentary in local newspapers were quick to place blame on “”rebellious”” college students or corrupt youth, but attention here cannot be turned away from the apartment complex and its parent company, Allan & O’Hare, which foster the dangerous
    environment.

    Northpointe and other student apartments like it promote a party attitude, creating a setting where kids out of the house for the first time are introduced to free-flowing alcohol and access to illegal drugs with no supervision. Extensive amounts of money are spent on promoting this party atmosphere, such as ads featured in last year’s Arizona Daily Wildcat with girls in skimpy Northpointe shirts leaning against a convertible, encouraging students to move in. However, far less money than needed is spent on security, which, despite complaints from many residents (including myself), was cut back earlier this year. Even the complex’s original name, Jefferson Commons, was changed a few years back to cover up its rough past. Granted, Northpointe staff isn’t directly handing out booze and encouraging acts of violence, but one has to question if many of these sad events would have occurred if not for the apartment’s negligence.

    Andrew Austin
    media arts senior

    Turkish government in the wrong

    The Turkish government should drop the charges against UA professor Elif Shafak. They have a desire to take a more active role in international politics by joining the European Union, so they should adopt a more lenient freedom-of-speech law. They should also be pressured to make amends for genocide they perpetrated against the Armenian people. Germany has admitted to the holocaust, America admits to what we did to the Native Americans. Turkey is not special; they should admit what they have done.

    Alex Hoogasian
    political science senior

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