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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pass/Fail

    Put in your two cents on tuition

    As administrators and student leaders gear up for the annual tuition battle, it’s important that they’re armed with accurate information about student preferences. To that end, this year’s UA tuition survey was sent to students this week, in an attempt to scry the mercurial tuition tastes of the student body. The trade-off between low tuition and better services is a difficult one – which is why it’s important to make your voice heard. Interested in a sweet rock-climbing wall or faculty retention? More academic resources or more financial aid?ÿIf you haven’t already thought through the tricky tuition propositions, there’s still time – the survey is open until the end of the day today. And if you’ve taken the time to thoughtfully express your opinion, that effort deserves a Pass.

    Stumbling into history

    Asked in a White House press conference yesterday if his presidential administration was becoming irrelevant as it wanes into its final fifteen months, President Bush boldly insisted that instead of fading into history, he’s “”going to sprint to the finish line.”” It’s nice to know that George W. remains committed to doing his best, but he’s done quite enough sprinting already – most of it from war to war in the Middle East – and we hope his finish line isn’t in Tehran. As his tenure begins to wind down, and public attention focuses on another race, the dismal track meet better known as the Bush administration deserves a Fail.

    Rise of the Silver Tsunami

    This Monday, Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, a retired New Jersey middle school teacher, became the first official Baby Boomer to apply for Social Security benefits – and the first drop of an impending flood of applications poetically described as an imminent “”silver tsunami”” by the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. According to The Associated Press, an estimated 10,000 people a day will apply for their Social Security benefits over the next 20 years. This rush of retirees has the potential to be as devastating as a real tsunami – it could suck dry the Social Security trust fund by 2041 unless the massive government program is revamped. Those ignorant of the coming catastrophe merit a Fail.

    Junking unwanted mail

    Junk mail and unsolicited catalogs aren’t just annoying – they’re wasteful. More than eight million tons of trees are cut down each year to produce the paper in glossy direct-mail catalogs, many of which are promptly tossed in the garbage or vainly recycled and used to print more junk mail. Fortunately, a coalition of environmental groups is hoping to make it easier to stop junking the world’s forests. At Catalogchoice.org, a Web site sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, the National Resources Defense Council and the Ecology Center, users can easily opt out of the mailing lists of several major catalog publishers at once. The service collects thousands of individual requests, and sends them in batches to publishers, making it easier for mailers to keep their lists free of annoyed customers, and simplifying the often arcane unsubscription process for the average consumer. For making the mail a little less obnoxious – and the environment a little less noxious – this idea gets a Pass.

    A prize professor

    Although we’re still not keen on Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize, shared with the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, one UA professor who helped author the prizewinning report deserves recognition. Jonathan Overpeck, a professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences in charge of UA’s Institute for the Study of Planet Earth, was one of 33 lead authors on the climate-change document. UA is a premiere institution for climate-change science, and the new Nobel is proof of that excellence. For helping fix an important problem facing humanity, whether or not the effort promoted peace, Overpeck has earned a Pass.

    Hello, Dalai!

    Although Al Gore may have grabbed all the headlines for his medal this week, another Peace Prize laureate – and another controversial medal – is getting all the attention in China. Wednesday, the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor in the United States, was awarded to the Dalai Lama, over the angry objections of the Chinese government. The awarding continued a recent Congressional trend of mucking around in foreign affairs with symbolic statements. Chinese officials lambasted the award as a “”farce,”” warning that it could have a “”serious impact”” on bilateral relations. But despite the whining by Communist Party spokesmen, the Dalai Lama deserves to be recognized. His lifelong, nonviolent dedication to “”meaningful autonomy”” for his Tibetan homeland is an inspirational struggle that deserves a profound Pass.

    Editorials are determined by the Wildcat Opinions Board and written by one of its members. They are Justyn Dillingham, Allison Hornick, Sarah Keeler, Connor Mendenhall and Jeremiah Simmons.

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