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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


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    Hop on the feminist bandwagon!

    In Henry Prestwick’s recent letter condemning ASUA for supporting “”The Vagina Monologues”” (“”‘Monologues’ uses women’s rights as cop-out””), it is obvious that he is misinformed on simple facts, unaware of ASUA policies and completely ignorant of women’s issues.

    The V-Day Vagina Warriors applied for less than $1,000 to cover three nights of campus programming, including the costs of flyers, room reservations and technical equipment. Contrary to what Prestwick claims, the money that ASUA granted to the club included no money for the chocolate vaginas that the group sold in order to raise additional funds for Oasis, the on-campus program dedicated to survivors of sexual assault ad relationship violence.

    Although Prestwick claims that ASUA has the “”right to deny funding to organizations that will make a large portion of the student body feel uncomfortable,”” this statement doesn’t reflect the ways in which the Appropriations Board is supposed to allocate money. In fact, the Appropriations Board recently granted a fraternity an initial amount of more than $5,000 to hold a “”Support the Troops”” event that was projected to raise approximately $2,000 to send overseas.

    According to an Associated Press poll conducted last week, 63 percent of Americans oppose sending more troops to Iraq and 56 percent believe the war is a hopeless cause. If ASUA’s Appropriations Board based its decisions on public opinion, or what causes discomfort among members of the student body, they certainly could not have supported an event that 63 percent of Americans, and presumably UA students, ideologically oppose.

    And so I am left to wonder who comprises this “”large portion”” of the student body that Prestwick claims is uncomfortable with a play that celebrates women’s bodies and explores various sexualities – is it our 20,000 women students who are uncomfortable with the word vagina? Is it the 25 percent of sexually assaulted female students that oppose programming dedicated to eradicating violence? Or is it simply people like Prestwick that want to prevent women from “”hopping on the women’s rights bandwagon?””

    Before Prestwick contributes another letter to the editor, I hope he takes the time to check his facts, consider the impacts of his sexist language, and enroll in a women’s studies class. Once he is armed with more accurate information, I will happily welcome him to our feminist bandwagon.

    Carly Thomsen women’s studies graduate student

    Officials must be proactive on immigration issue

    In response to Kate Stevens’ Feb. 19 article “”UA: Border deaths due to security,”” I was surprised at the inferences made by “”UA researchers.”” From what I took from the article, these researchers conclude that the U.S. is responsible for the deaths of numerous illegal aliens crossing the border because they have no other option than to cross the border in the most difficult of terrain.

    I am deeply saddened by the loss of life that has characterized the recent and growing border crisis situation. However, it is absolutely false to say that this “”desert death trap”” is the only option left for illegal immigrants. They have the choice to not come here at all or to come here legally.

    Furthermore, for this very reason, it is ridiculous to assume that the United States is responsible for these unfortunate deaths. These people make that choice to try and endure the elements to get to our country illegally.

    It is an undeniable fact that illegal immigration is causing countless problems and is only worsening as time goes on and our first and foremost responsibility is to do everything possible to put an end to illegal immigration. If our Arizona state officials are not willing to be proactive in these situations we need to elect others who will be.

    The increasing number of deaths of immigrants illegally crossing the borders is a sad thing to say the least and unfortunately will not cease until we tighten security and do everything we can to deter illegal immigration.

    Bethany Fourmy pre-nursing junior

    Support the troops? How ’bout joining them?

    I was delighted to read that a bunch of patriotic, young, able-bodied Americans have decided to “”support the troops”” by standing around the mall waving flags. I am sure the troops will be delighted, too.

    The thousands of victims of “”stop-loss”” orders (some mothers of young children, some freshly wounded or victims of post-traumatic stress disorder), who would like to quit the army but are sent involuntarily back to Iraq because of lack of suitable volunteer recruits must be delighted. As must the soldiers forced to serve next to white supremacists, gang members, psychopaths and criminals, who all went through the selection process because the army is so short of suitable voluntary recruits it allowed any recruiting standards to be ignored.

    In these circumstances, I naively think that the only way for an able-bodied UA student to support the troops is to walk to the Military Recruiting Center at 2302 E. Speedway Blvd., fill out an enlistment form, and provide the troops with some relief.

    Such a course of action is also perfectly in line with conservative philosophy of personal responsibility: Since a Republican administration and Congress have, through lies and bullying, successfully dragged the U.S. and the world into this war, it’s only right that their young supporters should experience it first hand. I mean, it would be so much more constructive than wasting thousands of their parents’ dollars listening to a bunch of UA professors who were such a bunch of America-hating commies to believe, by a wide majority, that this war was a piece of criminal idiocy.

    But since I am obviously being naive, I look forward to the next “”we support the troops all the way!”” Kegger party. The rest of us can go to and read further examples of such timeless patriotic commitment.

    Giorgio Torrieri UA alumnus

    Teachers human, can’t always hide opinions

    Thanks to Dr. Hogle for speaking out against the bill that would ban teacher “”advocacy”” (“”Bill would ban teacher ‘advocacy'””). While I recognize the issue to which this responds, we as an institution have to recognize the danger this presents to education – both to students and teachers.

    This bill would make any knowledge about a teacher’s personal life dangerous to her or him; if a student happens to accidentally encounter a teacher off-campus, perhaps participating in “”advocacy,”” and tells other students, couldn’t this be in violation of the bill? Wouldn’t this eliminate special topics courses?

    Wouldn’t this open the door to any student unhappy with a grade challenging it with the claim of biased grading? Can’t personal style or any personal information at all convey at least a stereotypical association with certain viewpoints?

    Clearly, such a bill would begin a dangerous descent into the end of academic freedom. As teachers, we have a responsibility to present both sides of issues, and to do our absolute best to be fair and objective. We cannot, however, stop ourselves from being human.

    As a teacher, I do my best to be objective but cannot guarantee that my opinions are perfectly hidden. As a student, I am terrified to imagine a classroom in which teachers are too frightened to teach what they love.

    Amanda Gradisek English doctoral student

    Arizona DUI commercials offensive

    Recently, I have seen two new commercials from Gov. Janet Napolitano’s “”DUI? Expect the Max”” program on television, both of which I have found shocking and racist.

    In one advertisement, a young Caucasian male walks amongst a prison dormitory area explaining how he was sentenced to jail regardless of his lawyer’s best attempts. However, towards the end of his speech, an African-American inmate can be clearly seen smirking and “”eyeing up”” the speaker in a very sexually suggestive manner. A second advertisement by the same Napolitano program features yet another young Caucasian male being threatened, but this time by a lone, heavily muscular African-American inmate, with similar sexual abuse implications being made.

    Not only do I oppose the state’s tactic of attempting to imply that a jail sentence leads to rape and sexual abuse (perhaps more specifically, sodomization of young white Caucasians by African-American inmates), but also the stereotypical use of intimidating African-American homosexual inmates.

    I sincerely hope that the public becomes aware of these racist commercials being funded by Arizona’s own state government, and that the outcry is not only large enough to pull the offensive material but call into question the sensibilities of our state officials altogether.

    Mika Mage pre-physiological sciences sophomore

    Abortion, torture information skewed

    Alex Hoogasian’s letter titled “”Liberals protect terrorists but not fetuses”” made many points that I find to be not only disheartening, but also without accuracy. This short editorial tackled many issues ranging from domestic social issues such as abortion and the death penalty, to the morality of torture.

    While one could easily debate each of these issues with Mr. Hoogasian, I believe it is more important to address his free use of vulgar and unnecessarily colorful language while writing about these issues.

    The most poignant example could be found in his posing of the question, “”Why is it perfectly acceptable to prematurely extract a human being from a womb and jam forceps into its head, but we could not torture a terrorist to save our lives?”” This sentence carries virtually no weight simply because Mr. Hoogasian failed to reference or research any information of the subject. Therefore, I feel compelled to do so on his behalf.

    The 2002 Abortion Surveillance, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that only 2.4 percent of abortions conducted in the United States were from operations known as Dilation and Evacuation (or D&E). The survey also found that 59 percent of legal abortions conducted at less than 8 weeks gestation and 87 percent at less than 13 weeks.

    This unbiased and scientifically accurate data suggests that his language of “”jamming forceps into (the fetus’s) head”” could only apply to the smallest percentage of abortions, most of which would occur only during medical emergencies and situations of the highest urgency.

    Mr. Hoogasian also appears to have failed to research the issue of torture as well. In a Freedom of Information Act request, the FBI released documents showing their findings while inspecting the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The report stated that tools used to interrogate prisoners included “”sleep deprivation, the use of so-called truth drugs, beatings, locking in confined and cold cells, and being forced to maintain uncomfortable postures.””

    One agent wrote in these reports that she saw “”two detainees chained in a fetal position between 18 to 24 hours that had urinated and defecated on themselves.”” I personally find the image of American military personnel taking part in these activities to be disturbing. This clearly is not the case for everyone.

    Perhaps Mr. Hoogasian would be better served to do additional research before writing published editorials in the future.

    Jonathon Gable pre-business sophomore

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