Monday morning quarterbacking

The Wildcat comments on the weekend’s news

Student aid – now for students!

Congress passed a bill Friday to overhaul and restructure the federal student loan programs that dole out aid to millions of college students each year. Responding to popular outrage over “”predatory”” private lenders on college campuses, and scandal over the cozy relationship between lenders and university administrators, the legislation will increase grant aid by a whopping $20 billion over the next five years, cut the interest rate on need-based student loans in half and eliminate cushy federal subsidies for private loan companies. Plus, it includes provisions to forgive the loans of public servants like firefighters, nurses and librarians, and to offer extra assistance to students who commit to teach in public schools after graduation. In short, the new law is good news for starving students, cash-strapped universities, and, well … basically everyone but the student loan industry, which has relied for years on lavish handouts from the federal government. Private loan companies shouldn’t be the ones getting government grants; needy college students should. Kudos to Congress for cutting aid to lenders and giving it back to students.

Don’t vote? Don’t complain

You may not know it, but primary elections for the city of Tucson are tomorrow. Although only two city wards are contested and all of the candidates are Democrats, some UA students will be affected by the election results. Few students live in East Side Ward 2, but Ward 1 includes the region directly west of Interstate 10, home to “”A”” Mountain, Starr Pass and several popular student housing developments. If you’ve got an interest in the future of your neighborhood and the city of Tucson, consider taking a minute and heading to the polls, which will be open for registered city voters from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow.

A true ‘patriot act’

Last week, in a victory for American’s besieged civil liberties, a federal judge struck down several provisions of the controversial USA Patriot Act. The ruling puts an end to the FBI’s use of “”national security letters”” – an investigative tool that allowed federal agents to order telecom companies and Internet providers to turn over customer records without court approval, and prohibited companies from notifying their customers that personal data were requested by the government. A Justice Department report earlier this year found that scores of the letters sent by snoops had violated official rules on using the sneaky tools, and that record keepers in charge of keeping track of the letters had no idea how many had been sent, and underestimated the number of letters issued by thousands. One official said that the new rules would make things “”so burdensome that the underlying tools are just not worth the trouble.”” Good – we think violating civil liberties in the name of national security deserves to be a difficult endeavor.

Miniskirt marshals

A university student headed to Tucson from San Diego last week was ushered off her Southwest Airlines flight for wearing an outfit considered “”too provocative to fly.”” Flight attendants eventually allowed Kyla Ebbert to travel after she offered to adjust her sweater and pull down her skirt, but she says she spent the rest of the flight embarrassed by her fashion faux pas. As skimpy as her attire may have been, however, it was no worse than anything seen on campus every day, and it was even considered suitable for national television – she appeared this Friday on the “”Today”” show. Airlines already have terrible reputations for customer service, and there’s no need for them to play the part of fashion police in our nation’s skies. But keep in mind that next time you want to wear that sexy miniskirt on a plane, in addition to dealing with airport security, delayed flights and long layovers, you may want to consider checking the dress code.

OPINIONS BOARD
Editorials are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Allison Hornick, Justyn Dillingham, Sarah Keeler, Jerry Simmons, Connor Mendenhall and Allison Dumka.