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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Column: Drunks make all students look racist

    Highly educated people can still be extremely ignorant.

    On the edge of the UA campus, the Islamic Center of Tucson has been standing for over 25 years. Since the fall of last year, three apartment buildings have gone up, surrounding the center on three sides. And, of course, this has caused problems for the Islamic Center.

    These problems culminated in several serious events in November when large amounts of trash, including glass bottles and food waste, were hurled off of balconies and onto the center’s property. Not only is this rude and destructive, it is extremely dangerous to any person that might be walking through the parking lot. Glass should never be falling from the sky and especially not onto the dome of a mosque located 20 feet from campus.

    Cardinal Group Management, a Denver-based company, is the owner of the Next and Level apartments. The management group sent out letters to their residents with balconies facing the Islamic Center, detailing the consequences, including eviction and fines, if the newly-installed surveillance cameras caught anyone in their apartment throwing trash into the night sky.

    This is a good thing. But we also need more involvement from UA administration.

    Kendal Washington White, the dean of students, said that nothing has been done because the Tucson Police Department “is still working on the investigation,” but the Dean of Students Office “hopes to receive names” of the students involved. She also explained that consequences could vary from a warning to expulsion, but she argued that the actions of the Level and Next residents do not reflect on the UA because “our students are all individuals.”

    Wrong. Even if all UA students are individuals, this reflects on all of us in the most negative light. It makes us look like a bunch of drunken hooligans that don’t know how to use trash cans and enjoy defacing property.

    Muhammad Al-Khudair, a member of the Islamic Center and a UA employee, said that many in the center’s congregation feel targeted because nothing is being thrown at the other adjacent properties: Mama’s Hawaiian BBQ, the parking garage or Jack in the Box. Al-Khudair believes that students can be “influenced by the media into thinking everyone is the same.” In the end, both Al-Khudair and I agree that this situation is fueled by a “lack of understanding and ignorance.”

    So here’s a bunch of university students proving their ignorance of the consequences of glass projectiles — and either they all live on the same side of the building, or they’re also ignorant about who the Islamic Center serves and what being a Muslim means. It doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch to assume the latter.

    If my hypothesis is correct, then I have a few questions for these students. Should they throw bottles immediately upon meeting me because my race means I could be a white supremacist? Or should I have trash strewn across my lawn because my sex means I might be a feminist?

    If we’re going to make assumptions about the ICT and treat it accordingly, should we treat everyone from Africa like they have Ebola or AIDS, all Mormons as though they practice polygamy, everyone who speaks with a Southern drawl as a hillbilly, everyone with a Russian passport as a member of the Mafia, all blondes as dumb and anyone wearing blue like a Crip?

    Figure it out, people.

    But the most important question is: Why isn’t anyone throwing crap off their balcony at the Jack in the Box? God knows obesity is a real terror threat in the U.S.


    Trey Ross is a journalism sophomore. Follow her on Twitter.

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