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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Mail Bag

    No honor in schools’ stereotypical mascots

    Where is the honor? There is no honor in the way American Indians are portrayed as school mascots. We must remember that these long “”traditions”” were formulated at a time when Native Americans weren’t even considered citizens. Also, they were based off of the little – if even any – interaction with the local tribe in mind.

    The Illiniwek were part of a bigger band of Indians: the Illinois Confederacy. Moreover, this band of Indians was forcefully moved out before any settler arrived. The move of these people was not peaceful. The Illiniwek no longer exist. The closest ancestors belong to the Peoria tribe of Oklahoma. They took back their endorsement of “”Chief Illiniwek”” years ago, and even asked for the retirement.

    I’ll agree that some American Indians have liked the idea, but it does not speak for all of us. I have gone to sporting events where I look around and seen people looking at me as if I’m supposed to go center court and start a war song. It’s detrimental when kids go to school where the mascot is an American Indian and have people compare them to a stereotypical icon. That is why the National Education Association got involved.

    As if indigenous people didn’t have it worse, now we have to be portrayed in ways that show no honor. Slamming beer and painting your face, while dressed in “”Indian”” gear is unnecessary. People have to realize – this isn’t 1890. It’s offensive. People need to understand. And if you don’t, maybe it’s something that you just won’t understand.

    Byron Sloan undeclared sophomore

    Profs: Consider students paying customers

    Recently I attended a class that actually got me to thinking. Within the first 10 minutes of the start of class, a fellow student was reading a copy of the Arizona Daily Wildcat. The professor noted this and made a small comment about it in the middle of one of his lecture sentences. My fellow student was so absorbed in the article she was reading, she didn’t notice. The professor then loudly and rudely insisted that he would appreciate it if she quit reading the paper. She looked up, embarrassed, and quickly apologized.

    The professor cut off her apology and proceeded to belittle her in front of the class. The professor spouted his ideas that if she wanted to read the newspaper or pursue other things besides giving him her full, rapt attention, then perhaps she would be better off not coming to class, or possibly even dropping the class.

    I can’t speak for the rest of the class, but I for one was embarrassed and infuriated for the student. That got me to thinking. As students, we paid to take that class. Reading the newspaper didn’t hurt anyone, except the professor’s pride. As paying students, we should feel free to read, do homework, text-message, play solitaire on our laptops, sleep or pursue other silent activities that do not interrupt the learning of those around us during class. After all it’s our dime that is paying for that class.

    I am not advocating disrespect for professors. In fact, we should hold them in the highest regard; they do, after all hold our grades in their hands. But, because they give us a grade does not give them allowance to be mean. Doing whatever one wants during class may be an ideal that may never come to be.

    But I hope that as long as we are paying to take a class, the professors will treat students with dignity and respect. My fellow student should have been able to put her newspaper away without being treated to a verbal attack. Especially after she apologized for her own lack of respect.

    Janet Lancaster sociology junior

    Engineering profession not under attack

    Regarding Antony Mills’ Friday letter on liberal arts majors (“”Engineering more ‘useful’ than liberal arts””): For starters, he claims to be defending his fellow “”devoted engineering students.”” No one has been trying to attack the engineering profession. What people have reacted to is his ridiculous claim that engineers matter and others don’t.

    He also refers to the many “”self-taught authors, statesmen, theologians, and philosophers”” that have existed, thereby implying the lack of need for a liberal arts education. Like Mr. Mills, I don’t bring any statistics to the discussion. Still, I am fairly certain that such self-taught individuals are the exception to the rule, and not the majority.

    Finally, he declares that liberal arts majors are not “”useful.”” It seems he has been completely ignoring the previous letters published in response to his (especially the online-only set on Feb. 16). These pointed out that liberal arts majors become, among many other things, society’s lawyers, writers, teachers and CEOs. If only the very few professions Mills respects form the “”core”” of society, as he claims, then he must live in a very small society.

    Eduardo Cuellar religious studies senior

    Racism still alive at the UA

    Ultimately, college is supposed to be a wondrous experience, open to a plethora of ethic groups and ideas. As of late, racism has been a huge topic on campus, and how the UA is going out of its way to welcome minority students.

    Well, recently I’ve experienced several unwelcoming messages from random students. It’s noon and I’m strolling west toward the Gould-Simpson building. A large four-door F-350 Ford slowly putters in my direction, packed with your everyday Caucasian males. One guy in the bed of the truck decides to announce, “”Hey, there’s a black guy!!””

    Not only did I hear this, but I’m sure the surrounding students and visitors clearly heard this as well. Immediately, I wanted to plunge my head within the nearest cactus to escape from the combination of anger and embarrassment.

    Again, while strolling within the Student Union Memorial Center, a crowd of Caucasian males decide the hallway is only big enough for them to walk through. I closely tread along the right wall, but for some reason one of the guys heavily shoulders me, and his action is quickly followed by “”Too many minorities here!””

    At this point, I feel my existence within this school is crushed, churning my mind toward negative thoughts that no human should ponder. I wish I could charge these men for acting hubristically, but the Greek judicial system is somewhat sadly extinct.

    On the other hand, these men, along with the mass amount of students, are the ones who truly contribute to the overall feeling of a community. The huge burden should not be placed upon the aging shoulders of our staff, but divided among the students.

    It’s silly to highlight that the main reason why minorities are estimated to populate only 30 percent of students is because of the lack of college funding and grants or clubs that represent or welcome us. Sure, funding helps, but students don’t primarily choose schools due to how much funding is provided.

    If a hopeful student were to encounter such acts, it may just change his or her mind to apply elsewhere. Therefore, it’s not really an issue of bringing in students, but more or less presenting a lasting impact to further their stay. Needless to say, I’m positive no student wants to experience such atrocious acts of discrimination.

    Richard Riley pre-engineering junior

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