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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pass/Fail: See if these ideas make the grade

    Rewriting the book on research

    Whether the Gospel of Judas, recently rescued from a safe deposit box on Long Island, N.Y., will turn out to be a boon or burden for the prevailing Christian orthodoxy remains to be seen. What’s certain, though, is that the controversial document has given the UA yet another reason to celebrate its scientific stature: Scientists at the UA’s National Science Foundation Arizona Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory played an integral role in its carbon-dating. In a sea of outstanding research this year, this is just another drop in the bucket, but it has once again put the UA on the national scientific map. For furthering our university’s reputation for stellar, impactful research, the scientists at the NSF lab earn an enthusiastic pass.

    What about reducing and reusing?

    Yavapai Residence Hall certainly deserves congratulations for its admirable showing in Residence Life’s Recycle Mania contest, which it won by collecting the greatest amount of recyclable goods per person in the hall. However, Recycle Mania does beg the question of whether the goal of producing the greatest weight of trash per person -ÿrecyclable or otherwise – is actually an environmental good. Recycling will do little to help the environment if not coupled with reducing and reusing goods as well. Perhaps a contest in which the goal is to reduce the use of throwaway products overall would serve a greater purpose. Despite the program’s excellent intentions, the jury’s still out on Recycle Mania. Hopefully, in the future, Residence Life will encourage more holistic behavior changes to help the environment; until then, the program gets an incomplete.

    Conspicuous consumption

    It was hard to miss the contrast on campus this week: The Consumer Electronics Association, in partnership with a marketing firm, constructed its TechKnowOverload exhibit, a grotesquely flashy “”ultimate dorm room”” furnished with over $10,000 worth of equipment, while elsewhere on campus, the International Rescue Committee, an organization that aids refugees, set up a model refugee camp. It was hard not to feel silly ogling a flat-screen TV for on-campus digs when confronted with the stark poverty of the mock camp directly afterward. But even if the IRC hadn’t created such a harsh contrast, the idea that students should aspire to overload their already cramped dorm rooms with thousands of dollars in technology equipment is ridiculous. For suggesting that this brand of frenzied consumerism is something that belongs in a dorm room, the TechKnowOverload exhibit gets a fail.

    50,000 strong and growing

    If the measure of a successful government program is the direct impact the service has on the public, then SafeRide has achieved overwhelming success. The program, which offers free rides to UA students on and around campus, reached the 50,000-rider peak two weeks ago, decimating last year’s total of 39,841. Match that with a UA campus of 37,000 students and it’s clear that a great many students are riding – and riding often. In an age in which bureaucracy is burdened with excessive spending for myopic programs, it’s refreshing to see SafeRide thrive. Moreover, the possibility of online reservations to cut down wait times displays a commitment to making SafeRide easier than ever. For getting students across campus safely, and for continuing to better its service, SafeRide – and the leaders behind it – get a pass.

    Opinions Board
    Opinions are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Nina Conrad, Lori Foley, Caitlin Hall, Michael Huston, Ryan Johnson and Aaron Mackey.

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