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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    Boeing shouldn’t be lumped in ethically with Halliburton

    This is in response to Gabriel Matthew’s Tuesday letter labeling Boeing as a terrorist organization and relating it to the Halliburton Company. Although I do agree that Halliburton has far from reasonable business practices and really no legitimate company identity (other than pursuing government contracts), I strongly disagree with associating it to Boeing. Furthermore, the idea of labeling Boeing as a terrorist organization is absurd. Ever take a plane trip? Chances are you flew on a Boeing or McDonnell Douglas (now owned by Boeing) airplane. With the kind of logic being tossed about in Matthew’s letter, you are now in a roundabout way financially aiding a terrorist organization by flying home to see grandma. Personally having family members who work for Boeing, the letter is also something I take offense to. Is my uncle, who tests commercial planes for Boeing to make them safer for pilots and passengers, a member of a terrorist organization? Or my grandpa, who built cargo airplanes that deliver the books you just ordered online? How about my other family members who have worked at the tour center – are they just like the Al Qaida terrorist, dressed in black, doing summersaults with AK-47s? Even more disturbing was the labeling of our military personnel, many of whom join for moral reasons and make a far from livable wages as mercenaries. There are far easier ways to make a dollar than risking one’s life on the far side of the world. I think it’s time we collectively stop tossing out fear-mongering terms like “”terrorist”” at every company or person we feel like disagreeing with. Misuse and overuse of these words is common among the government and its adversaries, with many failing to take in the weight of what they are actually saying.

    Andrew Austin
    media arts senior

    Representation, service provision separate issues for grad students

    Erin Hertzog recently wrote a guest commentary in the Arizona Daily Wildcat stating that if the GPSC becomes the sole representative body of graduate students, then grads would lose access to services that the Associated Students of the University of Arizona provides. This is puzzling to me, as representation and service provision are two different functions. This vote of representation was only to determine to whom the administration and the Arizona Board of Regents should look for current policy, information and positions on issues regarding graduate and professional students. Existing programs need no new advocacy or representative involvement in order to continue to do business as usual. In fact, ASUA receives its current budget based on the assumption that the services it provides will benefit all students. If it bars graduate students access to these services, its budget will be proportionally cut and possibly reallocated to the GPSC so that we may in turn administer these services. We would be happy to do so, as many of these services are poorly managed and consequently underutilized by graduate students. A good example of this is ASUA’s inadequacy in undergraduate club funding. In spite of this, we have never advocated for inefficient doubling of services by the two organizations. The GPSC, in contrast, currently runs several service programs effectively and within budget, including Student Showcase, in which both undergraduate and graduate students participate.

    I will agree that graduate students have not been well served by the majority of ASUA’s services and programs due to their undergraduate focus. Last year the GPSC even negotiated the creation of a Service Advisory Committee that included both ASUA and GPSC representatives so that we could help ASUA to improve its programs and services to better serve all students. ASUA insisted that Administrative Vice President Cassie Sonn be designated to oversee the SAC. It met twice during the fall semester and has not met since. There have been no effective changes to improve these services, to our dismay. Perhaps ASUA’s mismanagement and negligence in services and programming could be remedied if it were held more accountable to its constituents. However, its willingness to completely abandon graduate students in these areas when their representation is challenged is yet another indicator of the lack of commitment to graduate students ASUA has institutionalized within its organization.

    Elaine Ulrich
    optical science graduate student
    GPSC president

    GPSC not the first to secede from ASUA representation

    As one of the graduate students that Erin Hertzog claims to represent, it was disheartening to discover that she is so ready to dismiss the overwhelming opinion of those she claims are her constituents. The GPSC’s recent vote is only one part of a larger movement illustrating that graduate students do not feel represented by ASUA. This past November, the graduate students in the College of Optical Sciences voted to secede from ASUA. In December, the English Graduate Union, whose membership consists of all graduate students in the department of English, voted in similarly near-unanimous numbers to secede from ASUA. Despite mailing a letter of secession to ASUA, the Wildcat and the GPSC, the GPSC was the only body to acknowledge EGU’s secession (see the most recent edition of the GradCAT). Our secession elicited no concern, or indeed response, from ASUA. That lack of response only legitimized EGU’s decision to secede, and English graduate students therefore participated in the recent GPSC vote as well. If ASUA officials can’t even be bothered to send a follow-up letter to EGU in order to more fully explore the reasons behind our secession and to address our concerns, clearly ASUA has no interest in representing us. What EGU has had, and continues to have, is a close working relationship with the GPSC – a body with whom we worked closely in order to obtain many of the benefits ASUA now falsely takes sole credit for.

    I also found it disheartening that Hertzog apparently found it appropriate to resort to threats (to reduce the number of services graduate students have access to) in order to retain ASUA’s self-proclaimed “”mandate”” to represent the graduate student population. As Paul Thorn stated in his article, there is no reason that ASUA and the GPSC can’t work in concert when their interests intersect. However, there are many issues that impact the lives of graduate students that are either not a concern for undergraduates or about which they feel differently from graduate students. Legitimizing GPSC as the sole representative body for graduate students will create a forum in which those differences can be recognized, not buried; where representation to the Arizona Board of Regents and the Legislature can be proportional to graduate student enrollment, not token, as it is under the current system; and where the compromise Hertzog refers to in Monday’s article can truly take place.

    Georgie Miller
    co-chair, English Graduate Union

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