The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

66° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Chatter: May 4

We have spent enough — we’re in a $13 trillion hole and still faultlessly spending billions more. Part-time jobs have been on the decline since years prior to the recession, yet this is hardly a reason for unresolved funding for the job market. Congress’ failure to provide money for the summer jobs that keep teenagers off the streets might be one of many useful cuts to services that are not essential to the job market.

According to The New York Times, the House approved $600 million for summer jobs for teenagers, but the Senate failed to do the same. Senate Republicans blocked a separate proposal by Democrats that would have committed $1.3 billion in order to create 500,000 summer jobs.

The fault in such spending, in addition to the immense costs, is the speculative nature of it. Money given to organizations that sponsor this job-seeking process has no guarantee of working. Therefore, simply stuffing unavailable dollars into the pockets of those who only vow to help — yet leave the situation unfinished. Money will simply not reach those hundreds of thousands of teenagers without jobs.

Andrew Sum, an economist at Northeastern University, found that the year-round employment rate for teens went from more than 45 percent in 2000 to as low as 26 percent this past March. The summer rates also fell below 33 percent in 2009 — a record low. This figure comes after a summer jobs program that was paid for through the controversial stimulus package passed by President Barack Obama’s administration. What would any additional, overestimated funding for imperfect firms do for the students that need jobs?

Without a clear plan for fund allocation, this may be the grimmest summer for teenagers in a long time. The problem will be the most serious among teens part of poor minority communities. These places are largely violent and criminal gangs easily recruit disaffected teenagers. The joblessness also has long-term consequences. According to the Times, young people who do not find jobs earlier in life are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed into their 20s and might remain in the lower margins of the economy, trapped in a lower financial level. And despite these grim facts, a $1.3 billion disposal of funds will fail to do what is planned. The good intentions might be there, but the integrity of the system will fail. We need the jobs, yet this pointless act will do nothing about that — add to the deficit surely, but that’s all.

— Part-time jobs do not warrant overspending,

Rutgers Daily Targum editorial board, May 3

Last Friday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a law allowing police to ask anyone for their immigration papers at any time.  Some people, cities and lawmakers are rallying against the law, saying that it allows and even encourages racial profiling and discrimination.

With this law, anyone who looks like they don’t belong can be asked to prove they are citizens. This country was founded on freedom from restrictive laws. It has overcome slavery and progressed into a world of equal civil rights. Yet people are again forced to be conscious of the color of skin. It is backsliding at its best.

The law was created because the Arizona government, at least part of it, doesn’t believe the federal government is doing a good job controlling the borders and is worried about the crime rate supposedly related to illegal immigration.

The illegal immigration rate in Arizona and the U.S. has been declining, but are these harsh measures the best way to do this?

Imagine if that law was effective in West Virginia. Any one of us who looks remotely foreign would have to carry a driver’s license, birth certificate and social security card at all times, just in case we were asked.

Some believe this state law is unconstitutional because it is overriding the federal government’s standards for immigration, and the Constitution states that the federal government will always overrule the state government.

America prides itself on being the “”melting pot”” country, a mix of all heritages. The Constitution also states that “”all men are created equal.””

This law is requiring that people be treated differently because of their appearance. It is stating that every man is not equal. To be asked if you belong somewhere you’ve lived your whole life is insulting and upsetting and goes against what America was founded on–freedom.

— Arizona state law forces the country to regress,

The Marshall University Parthenon editorial board, April 28

At higher education institutions, we expect money to go toward academics, but Northern Arizona University followed a different route. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the school is using $75,000 in federal stimulus funds to implement a new system that tracks student attendance by detecting their ID cards as they enter a classroom. Not only do we think that attendance hardly proves a student’s intellectual ability, but this move misplaces funds that were otherwise supposed to aid collegians academically.

While it may be rude to consistently miss or skip class, most of us do have better reasons. Illness, family situations or personal days are hardly excusable by parent notes, therefore students may need to miss a day or two over the “”allowed quota.”” Installing stricter measures could only damage a student’s college experience.

The problem also lies within the classes themselves. Some professors just do not generate enough interest in the material and rather pull information from a self-written book on the subject or other scholars. The purpose of a class is to spark a discussion if only to prevent us from falling asleep in the back of class. So if professors want us to take attendance seriously, they should seriously consider the quality of teaching. Otherwise, students will only pull lessons from SparkNotes.com or Google Books, researching and writing a paper the night before it is due — they will attend class only for the checkmark of being there.

It seems like Arizona school is saying, “”If you come to class, you’ll pass.”” Yet their plan is fatally flawed. If a student understands the material and shows it through midterms or term papers, there will be virtually no reason to go to class. Professors seem to be somehow doing their jobs via multiple assignments, or perhaps, the student grasps the concepts sans-assistance from the professor. Either way, going to class in that case becomes a pointless trip there and a tedious bus ride back to the student’s campus.

It is rude, we know. And recommendations can hardly be expected from professors who see your face for the first time at the end of the semester. But there are those classes that deserve the occasional online paper submission or cram session with classmates — and that’s all. In the case of this particular Arizona university, students will still find ways to cheat the system, and we hope they do. Just like with Clickers in our university’s science and math classes, crafty students will give their IDs to a friend who hopefully takes care of attendance — hopefully.

— Attendance optional at college classes,

The Rutgers Daily Targum editorial board, April 28

More to Discover
Activate Search