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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    Cellar should keep regular hours

    The official hours of the Cellar Restaurant are from 11 a.m. to midnight every day. However, on Sunday night I found the Cellar closed with a sign stating that the Cellar was closing at 10:30 p.m. due to staffing problems. I thought the Student Union Memorial Center restaurants (including the Cellar) raised their prices in order to afford a full staff to keep the student population happily fed. I don’t mind paying more for reliable service, but it’s not really something we can rely upon if they can change their hours at will. I remember when the Cellar first opened, it was open every night until 4 a.m. So in the course of about four years, the Cellar has reduced hours, increased prices and now will not even operate all the time when it is supposed to. Hopefully these staffing situations are handled, because ultimately the hungry students will be those who lose.

    Aaron T. Fathe pre-computer science senior

    Columnist’s stance on Honors College anti-intellectual

    It’s hardly a secret that people with great mental abilities often inspire fear and jealousy in those who do not possess such abilities. Anyone who remembers John Kerry trying to shake the “”New England Intellectual”” image in the 2004 presidential campaign (or anyone who has played on a high school football team) would have to concede that a significant percentage of the population is not entirely comfortable with smart people. Samuel Feldman’s Tuesday column “”No point to Honors College”” reeks of this anti-intellectual attitude. While it is fair to call the cost-efficiency of the Honors College into question, Feldman seems more angered by the supposed elitism “”that all top-level students feel,”” according to his column. Well, Feldman, allow me to apologize for being an elitist by using my time at college for academic pursuits. Next semester I’ll get “”Cs”” in all my classes so as not to offend your sensibilities.

    I find it astonishing that a columnist for a university newspaper would attack academic achievement. I guess it proves Feldman’s point: The UA isn’t for smart people. Perhaps the university could start instituting maximum allowable grade point averages and SAT scores for prospective students to keep the elitists out. The Honors College could be turned into a trade school, and introductory English classes could be replaced with a freshman seminar on how to avoid looking superior through mediocrity. As for me, I think I’ll take Feldman’s advice and go to a higher-ranked school like UCLA – as long as Feldman provides the extra $15,000 a year I’ll need to attend.

    Doug Wykstra
    sophomore majoring in English and economics

    Football team needs improvement

    With as many positives that came from the game Saturday against the so-called “”No. 3 team in the nation,”” Arizona needs some vast improvement on the offensive side of the ball. Am I the only who has noticed that this year’s offense is on pace to be worse than Arizona’s offense in Mike Stoops’ first year as head coach? This year, the team is averaging 12.5 points per game along with 241.5 yards per game with 87.2 of those yards coming from their rushing attack. With numbers like this, the only bowl game we will be watching this year is our eighth straight trip to the “”Toilet Bowl.””

    With Washington coming to town this weekend, I just don’t want to see us embarrass ourselves on our home turf once again, to this year’s 3-1 Huskies who have proven themselves to be a much better team than their last year’s 2-9 finish.

    Eric Townsend
    undeclared freshman

    Drilling in ANWR won’t bring U.S. closer to energy independence

    Energy Independence from ANWR? It’s not even the tip of the iceberg. The argument David Francis puts forth (in his Monday column) is flawed in several aspects. The first problem we encounter is his assertion that since alternatives are “”years away from any kind of feasibility in mass markets,”” that we should turn to domestic supplies. The U.S. is ill-equipped to undertake such a venture. To build the necessary infrastructure and refining capabilities would take years. Who will pay for all of this development? Surely the government will provide subsidies, which means taxpayer dollars being used to fuel development. And how much will the people get for this oil exploration? If you listen to most experts, very little. ANWR will produce a minuscule amount of our daily petroleum usage. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “”even at the point of its peak production rate in 2027, it would likely equal less than 2 percent of projected U.S. consumption for that year.””

    Is this the path to independence that Francis is referring to? By the time we realize the comparatively small gains from drilling in ANWR, we could have developed real solutions to our foreign energy dependence problem. The second problem that becomes evident when looking at this columnist’s argument, is that drilling in ANWR will have almost no impact on “”anti-American extremist nations such as Iran or Libya.”” According to the Department of Energy, our chief suppliers of oil are Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and

    Venezuela, with Canada being the No. 1 supplier. Iran, Libya and other Middle Eastern states have many consumers of their oil resources, but it’s not the United States.

    The simple facts of the matter are that drilling in ANWR won’t make a serious dent into our oil consumption, and it certainly won’t impact the actions of Venezuela, Libya, Iran or any other major oil-producing state around the globe. If we really want to make changes that positively affect our national security, we have to reduce consumption and develop alternative energy solutions that are sustainable. The Brazilians have been using sugar cane-based ethanol for years, and have been able to obtain a moderate level of energy independence. It’s high time we took a cue from the Brazilians, and not Francis.

    Jonathan Latson
    Near Eastern studies senior

    Republicans wrong to politicize 9/11

    It sickens me that Republicans, who always tout their “”tough-on-national-security”” stance, have resulted to one thing in trying to regain the confidence in Americans before the Nov. 7 general election: politicize 9/11. We have seen this recently with baseless attacks on two of Arizona’s strongest leaders, Democratic Congressman Raǧl Grijalva and Gov. Janet Napolitano. The governor’s ultraconservative opponent, in trying to criticize Napolitano for politicizing 9/11 is, ironically, politicizing 9/11. With nonpartisan help from state leaders and Arizonans directly affected by the attacks, the governor turned an idea to establish a permanent 9/11 memorial in Arizona a reality. Rather than criticizing her work, her opponent should stand with her in honoring those who died and the numerous Arizonans who assisted in relief efforts. Republicans have also attacked Congressman Grijalva, who stood courageously when he voted against HR 994, which lost its true focus of honoring the victims and their families when Republicans entered into the bill language that was essentially equivalent to hammering a campaign yard sign at ground zero. The resolution also claimed our “”nation is safer than it was on Sept. 11, 2001,”” when in fact, a recent assessment commissioned by this current government found otherwise. If Republicans actually cared one bit about keeping their jobs, they’d take a big dose of reality and try to remedy the worsening conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq instead of attacking Democrats and politicizing 9/11.

    David Martinez III
    pre-education senior
    president, UA Young Democrats

    Columnist’s criticisms of UA Honors College misplaced

    This letter is in response to Samuel Feldman’s piece, “”No point to Honors College.”” As an honors student active within the college, I’ve seen the way that honors students can utilize the program to benefit not only themselves, but also the U of A and other communities. For this reason, I resent what feels like the uneducated and inflammatory comments made by Feldman.ÿ

    Firstly, his comments referring to the college as an “”elitist”” institution ignore the fact that the college is, in reality, open to all students willing to make a commitment to their own academic success. Anyone is eligible to apply. This said, should the Honors College be blamed for the fact that students don’t apply? And should promoting academic interest and creativity through added benefits directed at this goal really merit the label of “”institutionalize elitism””?ÿ

    Secondly, Feldman’s discussion of benefits for honors students discounts the 30 percent of honors students genuinely working toward graduation with honors, which, contrary to what Feldman might think, is a challenging task. Should hard work not be rewarded, especially if everyone is given the opportunity to enter the Honors College and in turn graduate with honors, given that they are willing to work towards maintaining a high GPA and fulfilling honors course requirements?ÿ

    Finally, I want to ask why it is acceptable – within a university setting no less – to label an institution, and by association a group of students, as “”elitist”” when the primary goals espoused by this institution and embraced by a generous portion of these students are those supporting academic success and creativity. I would like to invite Feldman to educate himself more on the truly amazing programs sponsored by the Honors College (i.e. civic engagement teams) before calling for its closure, and I’d like to invite all interested and academically-motivated students to look into the honors program and consider applying for honors standing. I can think of no better outcome for this disappointingly biased column than to encourage more students to take an interest in their education, within or outside of the Honors College.ÿ

    Sarah Smith
    senior majoring in sociology, religious studies and political science

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