Mailbag: April 22

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Letters to the editor

In most cases I do not get excited about the academic subject of English, but I am actually jealous of the first-year writing students of this semester. Bethany Barnes wrote an article about first (year) writing students being visually creative with their specific writing topics in English. I am a first-year student also, and I do not recall getting the opportunity to showcase my writing abilities for visual interpretation. My topics were analyzed and graded on met requirements instead. But in my opinion expressing oneself, whether it be through writing or visual display, is the main point of expression of oneself.

— Chanel Mathis

Pre-physiology freshman

I have been waiting for four years for the football (soccer) 2010 FIFA World Cup to be celebrated in South Africa, which takes the attention of impressively huge masses of audience around the world. During 30 days, Europeans, Middle Eastern people, Latin Americans, Africans and Asians will be enjoying complete festivals in their home countries, more even if their countries are one of the 32 nations disputing for the FIFA trophy.

Now, it is hard to face the truth that many Americans are not planning to watch the World Cup games and to build a celebration around it; nevertheless, should the UA follow this American trend?

As a university in which Hispanics, Asians and people from Africa compose approximately 25 percent of the school population, and including the several students and faculty from Europe, I believe the UA should be more prepared for the celebration of this soccer tournament.

Soccer is becoming more popular everyday in the United States because of the fantastic development that Major League Soccer has had. MLS has imported good talent from other countries trying to create a more attractive and competitive league. Besides, the U.S. national team had great results in the last 2009 FIFA confederations cup. Also, the creation of an indoor soccer court at the new Student Recreation Center Expansion, the fact that soccer is the sport that has the largest numbers of players among all the sports of the UA intramurals games, and seeing many students wearing soccer jerseys every day make me believe that our institution should sponsor some kind of celebration for this event.

Some suggestions would be the broadcasting of the World Cup games on a big screen at the UA Mall, or make it possible to create a good environment watching the matches at Gallagher Theater. This competition is played during the summer and without any doubt, it would bring students, faculty, staff and Tucson commuters together again to experience the World Cup as it is going to be celebrated in other countries around the world.

— Omar F. Gastelum Pina

Mining engineering freshman

On April 15, Honors College students, myself included, received an e-mail from the Dean of The Honors College, Patricia MacCorquodale, Ph.D. The e-mail discussed the approved fee of $500 for all Honors College students. MacCorquodale attempted to defend the fee stating that “”student financial contribution to the Honors experience is widely accepted and supported at other educational institutions.”” Pardon my elementary metaphor, but if other educational institutions highly supported jumping off a cliff, would the UA be soon to follow?  Of course, this is an exaggeration of the issue but this “”everybody is doing it”” mentality is discouraging and not very convincing.

MacCorquodale then expressed how the fee would go toward “”maintaining and enhancing the programs of The Honors College.”” Dr. MacCorquodale expressed a will to create more honors courses. Among these new courses is an entirely new course, Visual Culture. As a student who was duped into taking the Honors College’s last brainchild, “”Honors Quest,”” I can say with great passion and confidence that honors students do not need any more “”inventive”” and “”stimulating”” ideas like that. I appreciate the effort, but it is sorely misguided. An Honors College student needs more honors sections within their majors, not a course with two-hour lectures about memory. I agree that we need honors sections in the INDV, TRAD and NATS classes, but we can’t graduate on general education courses alone.  Furthermore, MacCorquodale pledged $6,000 to the programs recommended by the Honors Student Council and promised not only the maintained existence, but the enhancement of programs and services offered by honors residence halls. This must mean more passport parties, veggie kabobs in the dorms and dorm-sponsored TV series viewing events, which a small handful of honors students actually attend.

I’m confident that most honors students would like to continue being one and even graduate with honors. However, the fee increase, new superfluous courses aimed at younger honors students and the poor reasoning displayed by the Honors College are making it difficult to maintain honors status in good conscience. 

— Mason Storm Byrd

Political science freshman