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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Editorial: Pass/Fail

Pass

After being shot in the head on Jan. 8 and recovering at a nearly miraculous speed, it would be fair for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to simply retire. But Giffords’ camp is whispering about a potential run for Senate next year instead. Although Giffords remains in a rehabilitation facility and is still learning basic tasks, The New York Times reported that longtime aides suspect she’ll recover in time to pursue retiring Sen. Jon Kyl’s seat. Her Congressional staff is responding to her constituents, issuing press releases and appearing at public events. Political allies held a fundraiser for her last month in Washington, D.C., just in case, and Democrats have said they will not join the race unless Giffords bows out. While it’s still far too early to tell how these tentative plans will pan out, a pass to Giffords, her staff and allies for solid will and perseverance.

Fail

Speaking of perseverance, there’s a difference between tenacity and just plain stubbornness. Considering the overwhelming 2-to-1 margin between ASUA presidential candidates James Allen and Daniel Hernandez, it seems strange to continue to pursue an office the voters evidently don’t want you to hold. Appealing his disqualification from the election made sense the first time, but appealing a second time just prolongs an already miserable bureaucratic mess. If Hernandez were a relatively unknown, average candidate in a normal election, his determination to be president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona would be weird. Really weird. A fail to Hernandez for not realizing that, when 2,009 votes outnumber your 1,004 votes by more than half, it’s probably time to give in.

Fail

It would be predictable to fail state budget cuts to higher education and the UA, but budget constraints will only further the issue of UA professors’ salaries. Professors at the UA earn 9 percent less than the market average, according to data from the Office of Institutional Research and Planning Support. Salaries were compared to similar public research institutions like the University of California, Los Angeles. Eleven of the UA’s 14 colleges, not including the College of Medicine, paid professors below the market averages, and a lack of funding has nearly frozen faculty salaries. It doesn’t take a genius to know that poor compensation means a negative impact on faculty attraction and retention, and it shouldn’t take one to know that professors drive higher education. Which is why a fail goes to budget shortfalls that prevent us from rewarding the people who deserve it the most. 

Pass

Still, while all levels of government grapple with the budget crisis, there is some hope to be found in the hands of hundreds of volunteers in Tucson. In February, the city launched a “”volunteer service program”” to fulfill duties formerly performed by paid city employees. The tasks volunteers perform aren’t stealing jobs from anyone; there’s just no money to pay for the work they do. The jobs they do, such as answering phones at City Hall, were eliminated from the budget. The volunteers provide “”continued consistent services without using additional funds from the city’s budget,”” City Manager Mike Letcher said in a news release. It would be easy to sit back and complain about losing services by the City of Tucson, but a pass to volunteers who would rather pitch in out of sheer kindness.

— Editorials are determined by the Daily Wildcat editorial board and written by one of its members. They are Kristina Bui, Ken Contrata, Michelle A. Monroe and Heather Price-Wright. They can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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