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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mail Bag

    Campus eateries need more vegan options

    I just wanted to expand on Pulin Modi’s Feb. 12 letter “”Vegan options important for college students.”” Modi brought up so many important points about the health benefits of veganism, and I have been meaning to write a letter to the editor on this subject for a while.

    When I go to On Deck Deli, my sandwich containing healthy but heavy, water-dense veggies should not cost more or the same as the person getting the sandwich of roast beef, turkey, ham and gobs of mayo. Vegetables are cheaper! It is ridiculous that the weighing method they use should have the same pay scale for vegetarian sandwiches.

    On campus, being vegan is a challenge. The only options really available are the aforementioned overpriced sandwich, and Oy Vey Cafe, but a lot of menu options there are not vegan. (Not to discredit – what is available is delicious!) Thank you to Three Cheeses and A Noodle, which is now offering vegan meat sauce, but I am not sure if the oily material glistening on the noodles is butter.

    I just wish the Cactus Grill would consider a few of Modi’s suggestions. Such options might pique the interest of non-vegans – and let’s face it, most college students need a little improvement in their diets. Vegans and vegetarians realize that we do choose to eat this way because we believe in compassion and health, but there are a plethora of diet needs on campus that most places meet, and I just want us to be included a little bit more.

    Colleen Dugan computer science senior

    Labels need to learn to compete with free music

    Lillie Kilburn’s ad-infested utopia of “”free”” music (“”Music becomes a little more free””) would fail for the same reasons that Digital Rights Management is failing today: Only one file needs to be cracked, and then it’s game over. Restricting rights with digital music, whether through DRM or pre-play ads, makes legal music an inferior product to the pirated version online.

    The real solution has already been found by the Russian music seller www.allofmp3.com. Those free thinkers thought of an outrageous solution for the crazy DRM-free world: sell a desirable product at a reasonable price. Instead of offering overpriced plastic discs, or locked digital files, they offer MP3s, or AACs, or OGGs, or whatever format you’d like, for cheap. They realize, unlike the major labels, that they must compete with free products.

    Anybody can go online and get music, ad-free, for free. When your competition is free, you’ve got to offer people an incentive to buy your product, not threaten to sue if they don’t. You’ve got to offer things like different file formats and bitrate, all DRM free, at reasonable prices. I used to be a music pirate, but it’s less hassle for me to buy it, rather then search for and download it, or even ask a friend for it. When the labels realize their true competition, then music will really be free.

    Jason Katterhenry computer engineering senior

    Paying customers don’t deserve DRM

    This is in response to Danny August’s Feb. 13 letter (“”‘Free’ music punishes small artists’). First, I’d like to commend the Arizona Daily Wildcat for addressing what may seem to many to be an issue that only affects a niche of the population. In reality, is an incipient issue for most.

    I don’t feel that Lillie Kilburn’s column (“”Music becomes a little more free””) was advocating stealing from artists at all. Digital media is going to be stolen no matter what measures are taken. In fact, it is being reported that the Digital Rights Management on both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs has been completely bypassed, and that technology is still in its infancy. With Digital Restrictions Management (as it is referred to on DefectiveByDesign.org), companies have decided that it is more important to keep people from illegitimately acquiring media than to maintain a legitimate user’s right to use the media the way he or she pleases.

    For instance, I cannot legally watch a DVD I own on my computer because I use an alternative operating system. Of course the DRM that locks DVDs down has been bypassable for years, so I have made a choice to live on the edge and watch movies I legally bought on my computer anyway.

    So next time you have to call Microsoft to activate your copy of Windows, register another computer with the iTunes store so you can listen to your music, or find out that a media company secretly installed software to cripple your computer, ask yourself, “”As a paying customer, do I deserve to be treated like this?””

    And please do not think that I am on the outside looking in on this issue. Being a computer science major and in all likelihood a future programmer, I will likely be affected by piracy issues as well. I do not believe Ms. Kilburn’s article advocated the theft of digital media, but rather suggested looking into more realistic approaches to making sure both the creators and customers of media get what they deserve.

    Garrett Hoxie senior majoring in computer science and Spanish

    Reading a book not an education

    In Wednesday’s Mailbag, Antony Mills dismisses liberal arts majors as doomed to serve him coffee (“”Bias? More like ‘barista'””), while he will only do productive work because he is an engineering major. However, he also explains that he often expands his cultural horizons “”simply by reading a book,”” which he does “”on many political, environmental and philosophical topics,”” as if this makes him well-learned.

    I hope he realizes such books are written by the people he so casually dismisses, something he wouldn’t know how to do. I mean, unless he were to write a book on how to build an automated coffee hut.

    Eduardo Cuellar religious studies senior

    ‘Support the Troops Week’ nonpartisan

    On behalf of the College Republicans, I am appalled that Joel Shooster feels the need to criticize an effort that does nothing more than show genuine adoration for our men and women in uniform (“”Time to bring the troops home””).

    Support the Troops week is not about Iraq. It is not about President Bush. And it is certainly not about promoting the Republican Party. Supporting those who selflessly serve our country is not a cause defined by party lines. Anyone of any political background is free to, and should, show their appreciation for these brave men and women.

    Shooster’s accusations that this event is hypocritical are completely out of line. He is resorting to the typical rhetoric that is overused by uneducated people trying to make a needless point. This was not a partisan event; the UA Young Democrats have been invited to join the College Republicans. There seems to be a misconception about the relationship between the two groups.

    Shooster’s comments do nothing to mend this issue. If anything, he is perpetuating the harmful concept that Democrats and Republicans should hate each other. Shooster and people like him, which includes Republicans who would like to promote the same trite droning, contribute nothing to society; it seems all Shooster can do is hide behind a computer screen.

    If he, or anyone else who actually agrees with him, feel this strongly, do something about it. The USO is one of hundreds of charities that support the troops. The College Republicans and the Young Democrats are actively contributing to this important cause. I suggest Mr. Shooster do the same.

    Erin McMahon junior majoring in Spanish

    Liberal arts students indispensable

    In response to the letter by Antony Mills (“”Bias? More like ‘barista'””), there is nothing wrong with pursuing a degree in a field like engineering, but to claim that it produces a more productive education than those from the liberal arts is simply ignorant.

    You can go ahead and design and build the buildings where people go to get coffee, but it’s the liberal arts students, who you claim are only fit to serve you there, that will be managing the company. It’s also the liberal arts students, who you claim serve no use and don’t care about, who will be defending your future company’s legal interests, creating the government policies you live by, likely paying your bills as the CEO of the company you work for and educating your children.

    I can’t even begin to list the extent of the “”productive”” careers that a majority of students who major in philosophy, political science, journalism, etc., will be holding. Sure, it’s up to you to care about their views, but as far as how you view their place in society as the country’s future “”snobby baristas,”” maybe it’s time to get off your high horse.

    Lauren Wadlington senior majoring in psychology and philosophy

    ‘Snobby’ engineers have nothing on English majors

    As an English major, but more importantly, as an objective critical thinker, I have to take offense to Antony Mills’ letter (“”Bias? More like ‘barista'””) in yesterday’s Wildcat. Not only is he unnecessarily sarcastic and nasty (which is quite different from flippant, as any English major could tell you), he’s also clearly uninformed.

    In an April edition of CNN’s online Fortune magazine, author Annie Fisher notes that “”strong communications skills comprise the most important attribute a candidate can have – and also the one most lacking among job applicants, according to a recent poll of hiring managers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.”” One of her sources, the founder and president of www.CollegeRecruiter.com, argues, “”It’s the students who graduate with very specialized degrees [with] little job experience who struggle to find a position.””

    In a follow-up article a month later, Fisher notes overwhelming reader response to her article, 3-to-1 in favor of a broad-based education in the humanities over more technical or specialized degrees. In fact, these readers note that the biggest challenge in having a degree in English is being perceived as overqualified. Maybe more people should be English majors!

    Additionally, a quick Google search of various university and business-oriented websites reveals that approximately 40 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs majored in the liberal arts. However, there’s no need to go futher than our own English department’s Web page to see that there’s more to being an English major than serving coffee.

    Of the 65 or so alumni who have posted their information so far, their careers include law, technical writing and professional communication, research administration (at the Arizona Cancer Center), CEOs, television and movie writing (including Emmy winners), magazine and book publishing, military intelligence and the armed services, banking and library and information science – all in addition to the more traditional jobs of teaching high school and college.

    Yes, there is a lone waitress on the UA English Department’s alumni page. However, as she points out, not only does she get free food (who could say no to that?) but she is “”a waitress with one published book, one current book deal, three national nonfiction awards and a day job of writing for ESPN – all achieved before my 32nd birthday.”” Hmm. I’d rather be a waitress than a snobby, unemployed engineer any day.

    Georgie Miller English doctoral student

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