The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

79° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    ASUA gives students strong voice on campus

    I stand firmly against the Wildcat’s editorial on Thursday which claims that “”ASUA has limited ability to accomplish anything significant.”” As a voting member of the Arizona Board of Regents, I know firsthand that the work done by ASUA President Tommy Bruce and the passionate group of student advocates that make up our student government impacts greatly the decisions made on campus and statewide.

    Often putting in 20-hour days, President Bruce and our student government constantly meet with administrators to inspire and promote action which guides the work done at the UA. It is this spirit of shared governance that moves the UA to become a world-class university.

    Whether it is by funding our clubs and organizations, giving us a ride home late at night, providing us with sound legal advice or making sure that we see direct impact from our tuition dollars, know that our student government is strong and gives each of the more than 37,000 students on this campus a voice that is clearly heard and respected by UA administrators and all the members of the Arizona Board of Regents.

    I find it truly ironic that in the same year the Wildcat editorial board once again criticizes student advocacy, we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the position of Student Regent. Knowing it was the same student advocacy the Wildcat criticizes that actually created this position, I commend ASUA’s great ability to accomplish many things significant.

    David Martinez III
    student regent, Arizona Board of Regents
    secondary education senior

    UA community has much to learn from older students

    I’m 46 years old, but I still can’t believe that I’m technically an adult. Not only am I an adult, I’m one of the “”older students”” that Laura Donovan is apparently deathly afraid of encountering while attending classes (“”Older students elicit mixed emotions,”” Sept. 16, 2008).

    Discrimination comes in many different forms – ethnicity, disability, and age. You state that “”older students can potentially make standard undergraduates uncomfortable or confused.”” You may not think your statements rise to the level of discrimination, but try substituting “”ethnic minorities”” or “”disabled persons”” for “”older students”” in the previous sentence, and read it out loud. Your prejudice is showing. Yes, Laura, there are a number of us on campus. Welcome to a true learning environment. Welcome to diversity.

    You said you noticed that “”older students are more likely to raise their hands, ask questions and offer comments.”” Wow, imagine such abhorrent behavior in a classroom! How do you think a professor feels when he asks a question of the class and the only sound he hears is the chirping of crickets or cell phones texting messages? If you think about it, I’m sure you will admit that older students do not have a monopoly on annoying conduct at this university.

    It’s not easy being in a classroom with fellow students that could be my children. I particularly enjoy walking in during the first week of classes and being mistaken for the professor, and asked if I can sign a add/drop form. Personally, I try to engage my fellow students. I feel that I have a lot to offer, and I learn a lot from them as well. We may not hang out on the weekends or have much in common, but at least I am making the effort and being courteous. Fortunately, some of your “”standard undergraduates”” either do not share your views or are at least polite enough to hide their “”instinctive reaction to someone who seems out of place.””

    News flash: If older people scare you, then you had better stay in school. Who do you think is most likely to be your boss in the real world? Yes, one of those scary older people.

    Linda L.H. Ross
    English and creative writing senior

    Many on campus seek older students’ opinions

    As the Adviser for the Evening and Weekend Campus I read the column “”Older UA students elicit mixed emotions”” with particular interest. Evening & Weekend classes tend to attract a number of older students, as they often have more daytime obligations than the “”standard undergraduates”” Ms. Donovan refers to. We often hear from students and instructors that these courses are particularly sought after precisely for the contributions of older students to the classroom culture. Fortunately, many people across campus embrace the diversity of background and opinion that “”non-traditional”” students bring to our institution.

    Diana Rix
    academic adviser

    Shelton’s restructuring another failed project

    President Shelton’s restructuring of the UA, under the rubric “”Transformation”” is more insidious than the “”Focused Excellence”” fiasco of ex-president Peter Likins. Once again, the students will bear the brunt of this newest failed project. The first event of the restructuring should be the reduction of the obscene salary that our do-nothing president enjoys!

    Arthur Herman
    art history and classics senior

    Mall fence educates students about problems

    After reading Laura Donovan’s “”No More Deaths crosses line with UA Mall fence”” piece (Sept. 28, 2008) I was completely appalled by the lack of understanding of the goal of the display. I am not a member of No More Deaths nor of Justice for All, but the point of their in your face tactics is to inconvenience their audience just enough to gain their attention in order to educate.

    Lack of reform in immigration policies and the militarization of the border have pushed crossers further into the barren desert and further from civilization, which has resulted in a huge increase in deaths.

    While not being able to cross the Mall can be frustrating, we will not lose our life in the process of walking the extra yards to step around the fence. Donovan associates the fence with inciting feelings of guilt “”for someone else’s risk,”” stating that immigrants are aware of dangers. If we have no concern for those which choose to risk their lives despite awareness of danger, rehabilitation centers for those risking their lives with drug use would be deemed unnecessary.

    In reality, awareness is not as simple as it seems. Though there are signs posted at popular border crossing points, they are often difficult to understand. Also the coyotes who smuggle people into the U.S. easily manipulate and exploit people into the belief that, despite warnings, it is safe to cross, in order to gain a profit. The combination of these factors becomes lethal because many immigrants are being led blindly into the harsh desert.

    Yes, unfortunately for a few days students’ routes to class are disrupted, but the education the fence creates will hopefully help to perpetuate a greatly needed change in our immigration policies and the mentality associated with those we deem “”alien.”” There are many sides to the debate but loss of human life despite all contributing factors should be of concern to all of us. The fence in the center of the Mall was a brave and informative way to educate the university community.

    Alice Streight
    psychology senior

    Writer wonders why he still reads Daily Wildcat

    I have a love-hate relationship with the Arizona Daily Wildcat opinion columnists. They feel that wit and humor can make up for ignorance in their columns as most demonstrate bigotry at nearly every turn. “”Bigotry?”” you ask. Yes, indeed. Generalizing, stereotyping and a host of “”isms”” regarding whites, religious/Christians, Republicans/conservatives, males, older people (Sen. John McCain included) and just about any other group that has not been tagged as “”untouchable”” by the Political Correctness Police.

    Like the Wildcat staff, I believe in being sensitive to minorities or others who are oppressed, but why is it okay to direct one’s hateful thoughts, words and actions toward these more acceptable whipping boys? I have no problem with differing points of view, but let me just say that the lack of professionalism and even name-calling when dealing with other viewpoints, as well as the far left slant that the Daily Wildcat holds in general is utterly infuriating. And that’s why it is so strange that I look forward to reading these columns every day. I guess I truly look forward to getting mad at them. It makes for easy rebuttal and I usually get a good laugh or two at the banality of our MoveOn.org and Huffington Post aspirants. It would be a sad day if the Wildcat put forth the effort to provide a little balance in the Opinion pages. The newspaper would lose most of its charm.

    Meanwhile, maybe more of us should let the Wildcat know that the UA isn’t completely filled with far-left extremist voices, but rather a spectrum of completely valid opinions. The main difference between these columnists and the rest of us is that we don’t have our opinions printed regularly on pages 4 and 5 of our biased paper.

    Jonathan Rutherford
    psychology senior

    More to Discover
    Activate Search