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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    Honors papers add substantially to education

    I write in response to Samuel Feldman’s column “”No point to Honors College”” yesterday. It pains me to read this piece, which could have offered constructive criticism but instead sounded woefully like whining. As a faculty member who has accepted honors “”contracts”” as well as approved them for instructors in the UA Writing Program, I am especially chagrined to read this comment by Feldman: “”Few would argue a couple of extra papers truly add to the weight of an already laudable college degree.”” This is a reductive view of writing – that a “”paper”” is just a “”paper.”” In reality, many students on this campus engage with topics they care about, write rhetorically sophisticated examinations of an issue and discover that writing makes a huge difference in their own lives and in the lives of others. If your view of “”papers”” is akin to check marks toward a degree, then perhaps a “”couple of extra papers”” don’t mean much. But if you have collaborated with a faculty member on a subject, explored its many dimensions, conducted original research and internalized the view that language really does matter in material and useful ways, then a “”paper”” in a contracted honors course is more than just “”a paper.””

    Anne-Marie Hall
    director, UA Writing Program


    ANWR drilling not the answer

    David Francis really does little more than wear his political ideology on his sleeve in his Monday column “”Energy independence: the time is now,”” so please bear with me as I may be wearing a little of mine. The “”our most viable option at the moment”” disclaimer aside, Francis does not objectively examine even one potentially negative aspect of ANWR drilling. In fact, if I read correctly, it appears that all Middle East violence and anti-American Islamic extremism will cease when ANWR is opened; Hugo Chavez will go away; unemployed Native Alaskans will finally have jobs (and state royalty checks to boot); and, get this, only 1 percent of ANWR will be mucked up in the process.

    Rrrright. But hey, out of sight, out of mind. It’s a vast, remote, pristine arctic plain untouched by human hands and largely unseen by human eyes. And that, my friends, is not a paradise. No, a paradise is a tropical island where they serve you pina coladas on the beach adjacent to your luxury hotel. OK, all sarcasm aside, I can’t refute all of the claims made in the article but I do have some follow-up questions:

    1. The Interior Department under which administration estimates 10 billion barrels of oil?

    2. What is the quality of the crude? (Hint: is it light-sweet?)

    3. Who polled these supposed 127 ANWR residents, and how were the polling questions framed?

    Look, more drilling is not the answer. It just isn’t. We went from the first sustained flight in 1903 to landing on the moon just 66 short years later. In the context of all of human history, 66 years is nothing. It’s a fraction of a second. So why can’t we just put up with a little pain and make the jump? Please, don’t tell me that we don’t have the brainpower, manpower and ambition to do it here in the most technologically and industrially superior nation on Earth because I ain’t buyin’ it. We’ve heard the pro-arctic drilling argument over half a million times now, and it’s been shot down over half a million times. I’m bored. Let’s talk about something new.

    Ulysses Garrison
    UA alumnus


    Wildcat columnist wrong to recommend drilling in ANWR

    Francis, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge truly is a viable option. With our paltry usage of roughly 20 million barrels of crude oil per day, those 10 billion barrels in Alaska could effortlessly last us a year and a half. And the current residents of the locale in question – caribou, geese and musk oxen – are certainly expendable, save for their potential appliance as fuel. And the environment – the thinning of the Arctic Sea? Global warming? Shrubs, sedges and mosses? Certainly these can be overlooked, as our fingers edge the thermostat skyward. And this fellow, Dan Ritzman, some spokesperson for the Alaska Coalition, flaunts this piece of buffoonery at us: “”In 50 to 100 years, would you rather stare out here and look back and think to yourself, ‘Thank God we opened this area for oil’? No, you wouldn’t. You’d say, ‘Thank God we had the foresight to recognize that there are some places with more value than that.'””

    Balderdash, sir. Balderdash.

    Peter Davidson
    creative writing senior


    In-N-Out Burger the best choice for student union

    In Damion LeeNatali’s article Friday, he mentions some of the burger places on the list to replace McDonald’s, one of which was In-N-Out Burger. And I just have to say that if they don’t choose In-N-Out, they’re INSANE. Not only is In-N-Out the best burger place ever, but there are no other In-N-Outs within 100 miles. It would be a genius marketing strategy since anyone wanting an In-N-Out Burger (which I can guarantee is a lot of people) will have to come to the one in the Student Union Memorial Center. Why would a Carl’s Jr. or Burger King even be considered over In-N-Out when there are half a dozen of each within 5 miles of campus? It’s amazing that there’s not an In-N-Out in Tucson already, seeing as there’s a good percentage of West Coast students who go to the UA. And I can attest that many of those students would die to have an In-N-Out in Tucson, let alone on campus. This would be a huge source of revenue for the SUMC, since people from all over will come to In-N-Out, not just UA students. So in conclusion, put an In-N-Out in the SUMC and everyone will be happy.

    David Knapp
    electrical engineering sophomore


    Turning union into a strip mall not necessarily best for UA

    LeeNatali’s Friday article pertaining to the viability of Arizona Student Unions operations is at the end of the continuum of articles on the subject that started at least 14 years ago. I worked as a supervisor at Louie’s Lower Level before privatization. Even then, there was tremendous scrutiny directed at the dining services operation. In truth, I have railed, from time to time, the financial viability of the operation. That said, I came to the conclusion that I was missing the point, as is anyone who focuses exclusively on financial merits when evaluating the Student Union Memorial Center. It is not merely a platitude when David Galbraith speaks of the relationship between the Tucson community and the full-time employment base. The connections that are forged here are the main reason that the student union still has some of the feel of a family operation, figuratively speaking. The funding stream that currently links dining services revenues with student activities is a second part of this important relationship. It is not difficult to conclude that this ongoing scrutiny will continue to chip away at precisely those relationships that make the union a nice place to hang out. I am sure that the appeal of turning the student union into a strip mall makes sense to someone. I just want to know if that someone is making sense.

    Bruce Munroe
    UA alumnus
    former supervisor, Student Union Dining Services


    Cellar should keep regular hours

    The official hours of the Cellar restaurant are from 11 a.m. to midnight every day. However, on Sunday night, I found the Cellar was closed with a sign stating that the Cellar was closing at 10:30 p.m. due to staffing problems. I thought the SUMC restaurants (including the Cellar) raised their prices in order to afford a full staff to keep the student population happily fed. I don’t mind paying more for reliable service, but it’s not really something we can rely upon if they can change their hours at will. I remember when the Cellar first opened, it was open every night until 4 a.m. So in the course of about four years, the Cellar has reduced hours, increased prices and now will not even operate all the time when it is supposed to. Hopefully these staffing situations are handled, because ultimately the hungry students will be those who lose.

    Aaron T. Fathe
    pre-computer science senior


    Football team needs improvement

    Even with as many positives that came from the game Saturday against the so-called “”No. 3 team in the nation,”” Arizona needs some vast improvement on the offensive side of the ball. Am I the only who has noticed that this year’s offense is on pace to be worse than Arizona’s offense in Mike Stoops’ first year as head coach? This year, the team is averaging 12.5 points per game along with 241.5 yards per game, with 87.2 of those yards coming from their rushing attack. With numbers like this, the only bowl game we will be watching this year is our eighth straight trip to the “”Toilet Bowl!””

    With Washington coming to town this weekend, I just don’t want to see us embarrass ourselves on our home turf once again, to this years 3-1 Huskies who have proven themselves to be a much better team than their last year’s 2-9 finish!

    Eric Townsend
    undeclared freshman


    Better pianos needed

    I am not a music student or anything, but I do like to play songs I like on the piano. The other day, I was at the Music building with some music I brought. I went down to the practice pianos in the basement. The first piano I played was severely out of tune. So I chose another one; it was better sounding, but had a couple of keys that did not work at all. On to a third piano I went … it was both out of tune and had a few sticky keys. I am not asking for world-class pianos, just some that sound better and have no sticky keys. Am I asking too much?

    Jeffery S. Anderson
    senior majoring in special education and rehabilitation


    Single-serve newspaper?

    Have you ever wanted to grab a Daily Wildcat late in the day and there were just none left? Well, no matter if it ever does, it happens to me all the time. Where do all the newspapers go? Is this single-serve newspaper picked up, read and thrown into the trash before it can satisfy another customer? Before I go on, I guess like all the other letters to the editor (and like literary method teaches) I have to try to establish my credibility. I’m not going to do this by wasting my time trying to make this sound good (I’m not an English major), but I’ll tell you that I’m a doctoral student, and since all doctoral students are smart, that’s all the credibility you need, and all you’ll get from me. Am I a nerd…of course, I’m getting a doctorate, all doctoral students are nerds, there are just some that don’t know it. Anyway, to get back to my point, and I really don’t have any data to back this up, which doesn’t mean I don’t care, I just don’t have any time, as I’m probably grading 30 of this paper’s readers’ homework, my point being: why can’t the Daily Wildcat do two things? First, provide another newspaper receptacle in which to place newspapers that have been read but still have enough life in them to be read by other people. Second, provide another bin in which to throw newspapers to be recycled, following the UA’s commitment to being environmentally friendly (read the story about E85).

    I realize that you will then need fewer newspapers, and this in turn will make your circulation seem smaller than it actually is, and this is a very important statistic among newspapers, but what is more important, your circulation or commitment to your customers and the environment? I would hope it is the latter, and if it is so, I hope to see my comments implemented soon. On another note, thank you for all your hard work in putting this newspaper together and for providing information and entertainment to all of us every day.

    Lorenz Wild
    management graduate student

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