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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    See if these ideas make the grade

    Pass: Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks

    It’s that time of the year again. That’s right: baseball season. There’s nothing quite as American as watching overweight men hit balls, run in circles and spit tobacco. A lot. Even more American? Tucson Electric Park’s “”Thirsty Thursdays,”” where fans are treated to $1 beers to wash down grease-soaked hot dogs and suspiciously plastic-tasting nacho dip. The weather is nice, the batters are up and Tucsonans can enjoy America’s favorite pastime right here in the backyard of the Old Pueblo. For ringing in the spring season with plenty of panache, the start of baseball season (and the revival of Thirsty Thursdays) gets a much-deserved Pass.

    Pass: Downtown, where everything’s waiting for UA

    Good news from the Rio Nuevo front: The City Council announced Wednesday that private developers will be expected to put up $2 for every $1 the UA shells out. Say what you will about the Rio Nuevo project, but the most exciting news centers on the developers, who hope to revitalize downtown with student housing, faculty housing and other commercial developments. Native Tucsonans and UA students alike have long bemoaned the lack of an exciting city core, and it’s not unreasonable to think that an influx of young students and faculty will draw hip businesses and (eventually) more young, urban professionals. For considering the long-term vitality of downtown Tucson, the development plans for Rio Nuevo get a Pass.

    Pass: Border-line brilliant

    It’s more than a little strange that the UA isn’t considered a powerhouse on immigration research, but new developments might change that. Wednesday, the Arizona Daily Wildcat reported that President Robert Shelton is weighing the option of a UA branch in Nogales. Although the school will probably cater mostly to disadvantaged students who are unable to make the move to Tucson, this also serves as an opportunity for the UA to make a name for itself in the ongoing immigration debate. From their perch in Nogales, researchers in Latin American studies, political science and other fields will be afforded an ideal opportunity to make groundbreaking advances as the immigration debate heats up in Washington, D.C. For their efforts to open a branch in Nogales, Shelton and UA administrators get a Pass.

    Incomplete: Higher (cost) education

    It’s not cheap to be an Arizona graduate student these days. Sunday, The Arizona Republic reported that nearly one-half of graduate students owed money on student loans, with the average student carrying a debt of $34,000. Unfortunately, Arizona State University is ahead of the UA in helping its graduate students: The Sun Devils already offer full tuition reimbursement for teaching and research assistants. The UA, on the other hand, only offers 80 percent reimbursement, though it’s set to increase to 100 percent within two years. It’s true that the UA faces enormous budgetary pressures, but it won’t be able to recruit high-quality graduate students if it can’t offer full tuition reimbursement. Until the UA is able to do so, its support for graduate students gets an Incomplete.

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