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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    UA ideal for binge drinking, not academics

    I have had an awakening. I have wasted $40,000 of my parents’ money. How? By going to college. I have only now come to grasp the fact that the UA is too laidback – so laidback it fails to prepare its students for the real world.

    I do not intend to disrespect those who spend hours on end at the library and at their professors’ office hours, but rather to question those who spend five, six or even seven years obtaining a degree from a university that is not at all highly regarded as a gem among public universities.

    Rather, the UA is comprised of students desperate to extend their experiences in high school in a location further away from their parents, where binge drinking and drug use plague students well into their final year here. So, I have concluded the UA is not for me – at least not until it starts investing more money into improving the applicant pool, working on academic resources and strongly penalizing students who “”fall through the cracks”” because they tapped a keg at a party this weekend.

    Ashley Davis political science junior

    Student apathy peaks despite Sept. 11

    Is it really possible that in the late 1960s and early 1970s the youth of America were really easier to rally in large numbers around a cause in comparison with today? It seems to be the harsh reality of my generation.

    Perhaps the evolution of media options, particularly on college campuses, has perpetuated this idea of riding the social current of modern American culture. Indeed receiving an invitation via Facebook for a kegger over the weekend draws more of a response among the modern-day college student than an e-mail in one’s inbox hoping to generate interest for a campus discussion on America’s cultural imposition in the Middle East.

    Of course, if attendance proves to be beneficial to one’s grade point average, that feeling might be slightly different, but it shouldn’t be. There seems to be an idea of forced awareness among youth that is quickly stored based on a scale of importance. Following Sept. 11, the swarms of courses and lessons dedicated to dictating possible explanations exploded. Muslim and Middle Eastern exploratory classes certainly saw a surge in interest. Protests of the Bush administration and the Iraq war saw numbers of attendance reflective of the Vietnam and civil rights era.

    Where has all of this passion gone? I remember writing about the war and what it meant for my generation in my LiveJournal my freshman year of high school, but I barely remember joining that “”Bush Sucks”” Facebook group my freshman year of college. The fear I have is that Generation Y will continue to “”ride the wave”” of current American ideals and freedoms with a limited worldview, until another cultural devastation strikes.

    At that point, we will be so disillusioned that our response will be limited or delayed. I cannot deny my lack of personal political involvement, but I can present an open-minded view that will hopefully progress into change for our generation. Perhaps your opinions differ, but remember we are not the only generation of people and America is not the only country.

    Ashley C. Emerole sophomore majoring in political science and regional development

    Changing mascots won’t hurt sports teams

    I wanted to first applaud Allison Dumka for incorporating a holistic understanding of Indian issues in the grand context of history, colonialism and oppression (“”Mascot ban about abuse, not political correctness””).

    I also just wanted to clarify a few things for David Francis (“”Opposition to Indian mascots exaggerated””). Francis spent a portion of his argument situating Indians and Indian mascots into a nostalgic idea of Americana. He compared Indians to cowboys and insisted that they are both enduring symbols for America and perfect mascot material.

    This comparison highlights serious problems Indians, as well as other minorities, face in developing a broader consciousness of the complexities of their group identities. First of all, the comparison is improper because Francis compares nations, races and ethnic groups to an occupation. Being a cowboy is something you do for a living, a choice. The same could not be said about being an Indian.

    Secondly, this comparison places Indians into the American imagination as an antiquated monocle, not as real, live human beings. Indians are not just a symbol, nor should they be. Indians are not face paint or acrobatic dances. Indians are humans with complex lives, stories, histories and realities.

    Moreover, I wanted to point out to Francis that the more notable trend than tribes allowing mascots is the trend of schools willingly changing their mascots from Indians to more harmless ones like the Orange of Syracuse University or Cardinal of Stanford University. This trend, as Dumka suggests, shows that teams are not made or broken by their mascots. The trend also suggests that schools, teams and mascots can show respect to their past while progressing into a more respectful future.

    While I disagree with Francis, I understand that this type of discourse leads to better understanding of ourselves, each other and important issues. Education about matters like these remains pertinent, and I hope that it can continue in open forums like these.

    Ke’opu Reelitz first-year law student

    No honor in stereotypical mascots

    Where is the honor? There is no honor in the way American Indians are portrayed as school mascots. We must remember that when 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 reitirement.

    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 see 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 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 it 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 paying for that class.

    I am not advocating disrespect for professors. In fact, we should hold them in the highest regards; 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

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