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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mail Bag

    ‘Brash baseball bunch’ shouldn’t have been banned from game

    This letter is in response to the Police Beat article describing the circumstances surrounding “”Brash baseball bunch”” that was “”banished”” from attending any future UA baseball games. (March 10, 2009) This situation is completely ridiculous. It’s good to know that the UAPD is just as incompetent and irrational as they were when I was a student at the UA. Everybody knows that these guys are just a step above “”Paul Blart: Mall Cop,”” and these arrests definitely prove that the officers are still abusing their power by arbitrarily handing out citations.

    Why would you punish students for supporting a portion of the athletics department? They were “”unruly””? Here’s a news flash: it’s a college baseball game! These kids were merely trying to inject some kind of spirit into a bored student-based crowd. Who else is supposed to get the crowd hyped? The “”hot corner””? Horrible name aside, I’ve heard that these guys are the most watered-down, utterly ineffective cheering section in the Pac-10. I’d take trespassing charges over sitting in the “”hot corner”” any day of the week.

    My point is that you are not supposed to sit in your chair and clap delicately at a sporting event. I think that the “”fans”” who complained about these students and got them banished should go to an Ice Cats game. There you will see how true sports fans show pride for their team. I also think that the UAPD should stop conspiring to neuter the UA fan base, and the UA fan base itself should grow a pair. Nobody should be banned for cheering.

    Kyle Booen

    2006 alumnus

    Tyranny of the majority does not justify ban on gay marriage

    This letter is in response to Eduardo Castañeda’s “”Oppressing gays justified because majority favors it.”” Not only does he not effectively argue any real point worth taking to the bank, but he also left me believing his knowledge of basic American civics and history are as shallow as his logic.

    I do, however, think it’s fantastic that Mr. Castañeda has an idea of what majority rule means, but I am concerned that he’s missing one really important facet of majority rule: it’s called tyranny of the majority. Tyranny of the majority happens when members of a society pass laws or rules that apply, not only to themselves, but to every member of that society even when they are opposed by a small or significant minority. In the case of gay marriage bans and numerous other abridged civil liberties in this country, these laws or rules are unjust, unnecessary and contradictory to the all of this country’s founding documents centered around freedom.

    Additionally, how Mr. Castañeda can say “”gay marriage is not an equal rights issue”” is beyond me. As interesting as it is to believe “”every man in this country has the equal right to marry a willing woman,”” that does not change the fact that millions of other Americans (including myself) believe that if in this free and great society, a secular government is to recognize and provide protective and financial benefits of marriage for one group of people, then that same secular government ought to and shall be compelled to recognize and provide the protective and financial benefits of marriage for another group.

    Marriage is a civil right because it’s private and the government recognizes it. When the government is either forced or is self-determined to only recognize one group’s definition and not another’s – then it becomes an equal rights issue. The only way to avoid this stalemate is to have our government recognize marriages wholly between man with man, woman with woman, woman with man or simply for no one at all.

    Mr. Castañeda, just because you and a slim majority of other Americans have an opinion about the marital rights for a substantial, productive, tax-paying group of American citizens – does not make you or the majority right, nor does it justify passing unnecessary oppressive laws that define what kind of a relationship two adult American citizens can have. Make no mistake, Mr. Castañeda, I do blame you, my neighbor and any other of my American neighbors who have, with an irrelevant perspective, voted for legislation that undermines my private decision of whom I choose to marry.

    James Pennington-McQueen

    history and political science senior

    Newspaper’s election coverage in need of reform

    Frustration and concern regarding low voter turnout is prevalent every ASUA election season. Why don’t we care more? As much as I agree with the editors’ opinions regarding reform of the ASUA election code as a potential solution, I find much irony in their criticism that only the ASUA code is biased.

    I think a large part of the problem is lack of action by the Daily Wildcat in covering the campaigns, and here the irony of Wednesday’s editorial becomes particularly acute. The Wildcat criticized ASUA for election bias, but how does the Wildcat stand up to the same scrutiny? The only substantial coverage of candidates and their issues appeared this past Wednesday in the form of interviews with the Presidential candidates – which, I would like to note, was on the second (and final) day of the elections. What appeared on the first? The Wildcat’s endorsements of their preferred candidates.

    My question is, if you feel in the moral position to criticize campaign strategies, why were your endorsements printed before actual interviews -ÿbefore the candidates could honestly present their platforms to a majority of the student body? Why was there no coverage before the second day of voting regarding the issues candidates wanted to address? Why are your endorsements strategically given press time, on the first day of elections, before interviews with candidates?

    Similarly, this ballot included the referendum regarding funding and establishing a sustainable AZPIRG chapter here. You compared AZPIRG to ASA as justification for why you didn’t endorse the referendum. On Wednesday, a chair on the ASA board of directors clarifying your initial assumption was printed, but again, too late for many voters to make up their own minds as they had already voted. Why?

    Why not at least post your endorsements the day before elections, allowing the opportunity for dissenting opinions before the election begins? Why not post informational columns the week prior, where the people and issues up for a vote can have one shot at the audience you have daily? Why does only the Wildcat’s staff get a voice at a particularly crucial time?

    Any student, indeed most of America, knows that democracy only works properly with an informed constituency, and the UA is no different. I believe a large part of our election apathy stems from lack of information as to what the candidates would even attempt to do in office. As no other venue on campus enjoys the vast audience the Wildcat does, I would like to think that the Daily Wildcat would feel a responsibility to your readers to make sure that, on something so important, they get both sides of the story. At least give us the opportunity to decide for ourselves.

    Erin Sperling

    political science senior

    ASUA prexy’s criticism of newspaper at odds with free speech

    Tommy Bruce’s rant regarding the Wildcat’s story about the ASUA’s inability to hold a fair and free election is naturally quite telling of his opinion of the office he holds (“”ASUA prexy slams Wildcat,”” March 12, 2009). His insistence that a story critical of ASUA shouldn’t have been printed without his prior notification contradicts the rights of a free press. Anyone vaguely familiar with our First Amendment should agree.

    Sadly, this is par for the course in an elections process that has been the furthest thing from open and equal. The PIRG referendum had its deadline for signatures inexplicably extended by Commissioner Kenny Ho back in February. Write-in presidential candidate Chris Nagata had his name listed on the ballot. The PIRG group’s ASUA office was allowed to script its own referendum, negating the essential property of ballot neutrality. This election has been fraught with errors and inconsistencies from the beginning, and we’re unlikely to receive an answer or even acknowledgment from “”our”” student government about these errors anytime soon.

    Indeed, Mr. Ho stated he stood by the charade at the March 11 results show. The most mind-boggling of errors was altering the ballot. Responding to a complaint from Nagata’s then-rival Shane Cathers’ campaign, Mr. Ho removed Nagata’s printed name from the ballot while polling was still taking place. This is tampering with the ballot, a central strategy of third-world dictators that legitimize their rule under the guise of “”democracy.”” Nagata is ASUA’s own Administrative Chief of Staff. It might have been an honest mistake, but it is only fair and healthy for the free media to raise the possibility that it calls the legitimacy of the election into question.

    President Bruce, the fact of the matter is the Elections Commission that you and your colleagues appointed have made decisions over the course of the last month that indicate they do not understand the basics of a fair and democratic election. You hint that there were errors and misleading statements in the article but fail to elaborate.

    In the absence of specific examples of falsehood on behalf of the Daily Wildcat, I can only assume you’re lashing out at the media, a rather typical move for a public figure seeing his underlings lambasted for incompetence. The campus media has a right to print stories about student government bungles (and potential abuses of power) when they have such far-reaching consequences, and that right doesn’t stop at your desk.

    Jimi Alexander

    political science freshman

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