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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Columnist showdown

    Should the U.S. allow a United Arab Emirates-controlled company to run many of its major ports?


    Ryan Johnson/columnist

    Absolutely. The fact that the U.A.E. will control ports won’t harm our ability to check containers or otherwise monitor traffic in those ports. If it ever actually became a problem that the U.A.E. owned the ports, the world would understand if we unilaterally reclaimed ownership. The bigger problem is port security in general. Too high a percentage of containers go unchecked. While we get frisked for carrying nail clippers at the airport, huge containers go from port to truck to destination uninspected.


    Michael Huston/columnist

    Absolutely. The fact that the U.A.E. will control ports won’t harm our ability to check containers or otherwise monitor traffic in those ports. If it ever actually became a problem that the U.A.E. owned the ports, the world would understand if we unilaterally reclaimed ownership. The bigger problem is port security in general. Too high a percentage of containers go unchecked. While we get frisked for carrying nail clippers at the airport, huge containers go from port to truck to destination uninspected. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the U.A.E. that gives reason for concern about the nation having control over U.S. ports. It seems that the objections have arisen as much from the fact that a majority of the country’s population is Muslim as from any other reason. With that said, while it’s true the U.A.E. would have no control over port security, merely port administration, it seems intuitive that if an individual was seeking to do harm to our country, it would be easier if he had a friend involved in the port administration. At the end of the day, why not just let the ports be managed by a firm based right here in the United States?


    Mike Morefield/columnist

    The U.A.E. does not have strong enough loyalties to the U.S. to have a government-controlled business running our ports. In the 9/11 Commission’s report, the U.A.E .was called a “”persistent counterterrorism problem”” because its supported Osama bin Laden over the United States by informing him of a planned attack only a short time after he declared a holy war on America. The 9/11 Report also found bank accounts in the U.A.E . were directly used to fund the attacks on the World Trade Center. This is not a country that should be entrusted with control over entrances into our country that are already very insecure.

    What should incoming UA president Robert Shelton’s top priority be?


    Ryan Johnson/columnist

    Shelton needs to become what a president should be, the leading advocate for the UA. He can let his team micromanage and dictate. What he needs to do is establish a vision and build a coalition of students, faculty and community members. Michael Crow has been a success by becoming Mr. ASU. When Ira Fulton gave two $50 million-plus grants to ASU, he said, “”Michael Crow will get more.”” Beyond that, Shelton needs to look long-term, not be afraid of confrontation and stir things up.


    Michael Huston/columnist

    When Shelton comes in next year as the next UA president, his No. 1 goal from a student’s perspective must be to address the complicated issues that hamper students’ academic progress. Registration and admissions standards come to mind most immediately. Improvements are critically necessary to the class registration system, which has simply not shown itself capable of meeting the registration needs of thousands of students at once. Also, if the UA hopes to continue to establish itself as a strong academic institution, it must develop tougher admission standards that give high school students something to really work for.


    Mike Morefield/columnist

    President Shelton: Reform the admission standards at the UA. This will combat the deplorable freshman retention rate, create a stronger academic environment and force people to take admission into this university more seriously. Stronger admission standards can create smaller incoming classes, which will help class availability. The UA outranks other Arizona universities in a staggering number of categories, and it’s time that was reflected in the people we accept. Tightening admissions will allow the UA to become even more prominent in academia – a goal any president should strive for.

    Is it a big problem that the highest average frat GPA is 2.88?


    Ryan Johnson/columnist

    Lay off the greeks. Their average GPA is more or less the same as the university average. As long as they don’t go around saying they are great scholastic organizations, they shouldn’t have to have the same standards as Phi Beta Kappa. On the other hand, given that these students are from higher-income families than the general student body, they should be getting higher grades. I’d like to see how they compared to high-income non-greeks, because I have a feeling there they were crushed.


    Michael Huston/columnist

    While it can’t be said that the GPA average among fraternities is itself a huge problem, there’s no denying that greek guys could be doing better. The greek community has always taken the lead in campus improvement efforts; perhaps it’s time for it to take a more active role in ensuring that the GPAs of its members are something to be proud of. If the fraternities cared enough to compete against one another, with bragging rights on the line for who consistently had the best GPA, greek and non-greek students alike would benefit from the re-emphasis of the importance of academics in the university experience.


    Mike Morefield/columnist

    Although fraternities are mainly social organizations, they also have a duty to help their members succeed. When the highest average GPA is below 3.0, the intellectual part of fraternity life is at dangerous levels. A great part of fraternalism is creating productive members of society, but that goal is not served by a GPA of 2.88. The university should not support organizations that do not place a high premium on scholastics. Before fraternities teach their pledges how to shotgun a beer, they should help them acquire the skills necessary to lead successful lives.

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