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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    Pres.: ASUA is your student government

    Is ASUA perfect? Of course not. Does ASUA do everything that it possibly could? Without a doubt in my mind, if we could add 12 hours to each day we would.

    When it comes down to it, ASUA (Associated Students of the University of Arizona) is student government, not your United States government. Our job is to serve the students of the UA and all of their needs and wants. Each and every day hundreds of students devote their time to the ASUA office working for all of the students we represent and I can assure you that we are not doing that for the 2 cents we make an hour, we are doing it because we believe in making a positive impact for all students, improving opportunities for all students and creating a memorable experience for all who participate in the campus community.

    It is true that ASUA is not your run-of-the-mill government, primarily because it is neither our intention nor our job. We are not here to simply have meetings and discuss legislation. While we do both of those things, we do so much more. ASUA is a sophisticated and well-respected department on this campus, providing unique opportunities for the intellectual, political and social development of all students. We provide real education outside the classroom. I am the first to admit that we are not a traditional government and also the first to admit that is one of the best things about us; we take the STUDENT part of being a student government to heart.

    Every single student on this campus has the right to say and feel whatever they so choose and I encourage each and every one of you to express yourselves and make your voices heard. All I ask is that we stop and think before we engage in discussions regarding the abolishment of a department on this campus that has contributed decades of hard work to students’ lives. Let’s not create or encourage a discussion that would essentially take away power, influence, voiceand effectiveness of students on this campus. Let’s create effective working dialogue. If students ever have any concerns, comments, suggestions or ideas they are always welcome to come visit the ASUA office (Student Union Memorial Center, third Floor) or contact any of the ASUA executives, senators, directors or volunteers. You can always contact me personally at anytime of any day and I assure you that I will do everything I can to improve your student experience. Please call me at 419-8006 or at 907-6311, if I don’t answer leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

    I can assure each and every student on this campus that if I did not believe in ASUA and what it does and can do for students at the UA our office would not dedicate every waking moment of our lives to this organization. We would not speak up at the 50+ committees we sit on to represent the student voice. We would not drive up to Phoenix every other week to represent students at the State Capitol, Arizona Board of Regents meetings or Arizona Students Association meetings. We would not reply to the thousands of e-mails we get each day from students, staff and faculty. Lastly, I can personally assure you that I would not have taken the time to write this letter to speak to the 37,000 plus students that I am honored to represent in an effort to assure each and every one of them that ASUA is legitimate and cares tremendously about the students of the UA. We represent you.

    ASUA is your student government. If there are concerns about what your student government is doing for you, please focus your energy in a positive manner, and “”be the change you want to see.””

    Thank you for your time.

    Tommy Bruce
    ASUA president


    Columnist gets economist exactly backward

    Matt Rolland invoked George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan’s “”Myth of the Rational Voter”” to argue that the fear of the teenage vote, or the uninformed or irrational vote in general, is unfounded and even “”negated by basic probability theory”” (“”Why America suffers without teenage suffrage,”” Friday). He exactly reversed Caplan’s message.

    The prevailing theory in political science, and, to a lesser extent, in the more rigorous public choice economics, was that ignorant or irrational voters are mere self-cancelling noise. Using data from the “”Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy,”” Caplan showed that such voters have systematic biases against sound policy, and, by using regression analysis, found that such biases have little to nothing to do with wealth or income.

    Far from showing that there’s nothing to fear from the teenage vote, as Rolland claimed, Caplan’s result shows us that, in an era of big government and weak constitutional protections, we must be wary of efforts to induce the ignorant or apathetic to cast ballots. It would seem to follow that we ought be especially wary of extending suffrage to people at an age when they’ve had little time to learn basic economics and are more likely than older people to be “”feeling”” voters, or, worse still, wide-eyed ideologues.

    Caplan’s book is far from flawless, but provides a strong case against applying democracy to sectors where markets do best. I recommend it highly, especially to Mr. Rolland!

    Ben Kalafut
    physics graduate student

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