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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Mailbag: April 22

Administration’s silence a disservice to students

I have been waiting to hear a public response from the UA administration on the vandalism that occurred on the No Mas Muertes Mock Border Wall in the form of a person of Mexican descent being violently lynched, as reported by the Daily Wildcat. I’m appalled and disgusted by their reticent apathy. How is a student of Mexican descent supposed to feel safe on a University campus that doesn’t reprimand such a hateful and racist act? I speak as a Chicano student when I state that I am sorely disappointed in the UA administration’s disingenuous reluctance to take a stand on this very serious issue.

— Daniel Curiel, ASUA Women’s Resource Center intern

Student regent’s appointment should be decried

I am writing to express my visceral displeasure regarding the issue raised by Storm Byrd in his column (“”New regent disrespects Arizona’s students”” April 19) concerning Tyler Bowyer’s appointment to the Arizona Board of Regents.  

Typically a university’s student government solicits applications from the student population of one of the three main campuses, which take turns in selecting the initial pool of student regent applicants. This pool is narrowed down to six applicants who then interview with Arizona Students’ Association and Graduate and Professional Student Council representatives from all three campuses.

ASA then prioritizes and recommends three candidates to the governor, who nearly always appoints ASA’s top selection. Bowyer’s circumvention of this process not only shows profound disrespect to the students of this state, but to the traditional democratic institutions that have been in place since the early days of the office of student regent, a position brought about by the efforts of ASA.

While to some extent I can sympathize with Bowyer in regards to the process being dominated by ASA members and the difficulty of overcoming the barriers to entry imposed on a non-ASA member, as a former student regent candidate and having no association with ASA before applying for the position, I found the process fair, professional and that it resulted in the selection of a candidate for whom I had and continue to have only the utmost respect, David Martinez III.

Though disappointed I did not end up as one of the final three candidates, the process made me realize the gaps in my experiences and knowledge of the key issues of concern to ASA and their constituents. This prompted me to seek and win a seat in student government. While I did not have a second opportunity to seek the student regent position, my experience convinced me that working in student advocacy is a vital undertaking in order to be able to best represent the interests of Arizona’s students.

By circumventing this process, Bowyer shows not only his contempt for ASA, its members and the institutions put in place by those chosen to represent the students of Arizona, but as Byrd pointed out, toward every student in the state of Arizona. Furthermore, the statement that he was aligned and the position was recommended suggests cronyism and offers no assurances that Bowyer will serve the needs of the students as opposed to the interests of Gov. Jan Brewer or the Legislature. Both the governor and the Legislature have advanced policies that have been damaging, if not outright hostile, to higher education in Arizona.  

Bowyer should not accept such an appointment and allow those democratically elected by Arizona’s students to determine the individual who is best suited to serve their interests.  

I call on the student governments of Arizona’s universities to pass resolutions decrying this contemptible subversion of our traditional institutions, the universities’ newspapers to continue to follow this issue and Arizona’s students to write to their governor and representatives expressing their displeasure at Brewer’s and Bowyer’s silencing of their voices on this critical matter.

— Jacob Knutson, UA alumnus

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