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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Mailbag: March 2

Letters to the editor

Don’t drop the baton on track coverage

In today’s paper, I was looking forward to reading about all the accomplishments of the Arizona men and women’s track and field team this weekend in Seattle, so, when I finally found the article “”Cats climb high at Mt. Pacs”” written by Galo Mejia, I was somewhat disappointed. As a member of the team, I would like to take time to give recognition to some of those who received none. Not only did Mejia fail to mention numerous achievements, but they also printed LaTisha Holden’s win incorrectly. She got fourth in the 60-meters and won the 60m HURDLES (her main event). Also, Edgar Rivera-Morales won the men’s high jump with Nick Ross finishing right behind him in second. Chris Titsworth had his last collegiate performance in the 60m high hurdles placing third. Our women’s shot-put throwers finished first, second, fourth, and fifth, giving us a huge point advantage. Rob Gire was seeded tenth in men’s shot-put and ended up finishing fifth with an improvement of a foot. Tomaz Bogovic PR’d (personal record) and finished fifth in the men’s weight throw. Mohammed Ige placed third in the 5-kilometer and seventh in the 3k. Abdi Hassan fell down in the 1500m, got up and still managed to finish seventh. Hannah Moen had an 8 second PR and placed second in the 3k. While I appreciate that track and field is at least getting mentioned in the paper, our sport is often overlooked and with as many accomplishments as we achieved this past weekend, I feel that more should have been said. Thank you for shedding some light on our sport and please continue to do so throughout the outdoor season.

Taylor Bush

Pre-physiology junior

Advancing justice

In reply to Anna Swenson’s column, I believe that Swenson has grossly underestimated the role that alcohol plays in cases of sexual assault or rape. She acridly denounces the claims advanced by another journalist, who (I believe rightly) commented that in a state of inebriation, alcohol must be allotted to playing at least a partial role in a situation involving sexual assault.

First, the percentage of false accusations (alarmingly) range anywhere from 1.5 to 90 percent. In no way does the United States Department of Justice represent totality or authority; in an article by Dr. Bruce Gross, an exhaustive number of studies have demonstrated that there is wild inconsistency in the variation of reported claims. Furthermore, many of the cases (near 50 percent) involved alcohol of some sort. In studies by Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting, rape cases among Air Force personnel were reported as a staggering 60 percent being false, only recanted after polygraph tests were suggested.  Another example indicated that among two large Midwestern universities, 50 percent of charges were later found to be false. And finally, in a study by that same Justice Department, 25 percent of cases were found to be falsely claimed and exonerated based on later evidence, after the alleged perpetrators served an average of seven years in prison. I could go on, but for the sake of brevity, I think I have made my point.

Swenson’s argument hinges on brushing off alcohol as being an active factor in rape allegations. Her claim that a man or woman being drunk should have no bearing on their actions, likening it to claiming that likewise, a person who is robbed or beat up are likewise not responsible. Should we take that logic a step further and claim that a drunk driver should not be held for vehicular homicide or manslaughter, because he was not responsible for his actions? I would venture to say most people would say no. Similarly, alcohol should have a bearing on rape allegations. A person who voluntarily drinks (and I emphasize voluntary) should be held in partial responsibility. Sexual assault is a horrific reality. But men or women should not be allowed to claim non-consensual sex merely because alcohol by either or both parties was involved. Swenson’s argument is that consigning blame to the victim does little to advance justice, and she is right. But consigning blame holistically to the aggressor when there are mitigating factors that limit judgment may send an innocent, though thoroughly foolish, person to prison and permanently brand him with a scarlet letter. This, like victimizing the victim, is also not right and should be accounted for.

Matt Winter

History graduate student

 

Comments from dailywildcat.com

On ‘Editorial: Issues to watch,’ March 1

As regards the ABOR meeting: … Several observations: In April of 2002, during Peter Likins tenure at the UA, the in-state tuition was $2,490 while the out-of-state was $10,356. For eight consecutive years, there have been increases to where it is now $7,224 and $23,276 respectively — this an in-state increase of almost 300 percent since 2002, plus a serious increase in special fees.

Twice dishonest. President Robert Shelton and the Board of Regents are acting like a fifth column in their unlawful violation of Arizona’s constitution’s “”Nearly free as possible”” clause. They have no authority to be doing what they’re doing.

The process of increasing tuition has degenerated into a tax levy — again, which these individuals have no authority to be doing — this power properly belonging to our Arizona legislature.

Governor Jan Brewer’s constant diatribe that the state is short of tax dollars does not take into account the recently complete $27 million Student Recreation Center or the enormous expenditure of construction on the UA campus for the last six years, not to mention the ridiculous salaries paid to athletic coaches. Whatever Shelton’s claims, the school is not short on money. They don’t need people like Shelton or Michael Crow (over at Arizona State University) or the Board of Regents — who, with their mechanical and wind-up hearts — are all but flailing the students alive. Not to mention the loan officers who are in the process of precipitating another foreclosure crisis, loaning high dollar sums to the students, knowing that the money will never be paid back.

And then there are the students who are comatose, inebriated with borrowed money who don’t seem to care what’s being done to them — notwithstanding the students in the University of California system who protested en masse a 32 percent increase in tuition in November of 2009. If the stones could cry, they would.

Michael J. Beisch

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