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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wildcard

    Jumping through Dean’s List

    Our Sun Devil and Lumberjack counterparts at NAU and ASU can get on the Dean’s List at their universities as long as they are full-time students enrolled in 12 units of coursework. Not so at the UA. In order to have the honor of being on the Dean’s List, students here must be registered for a minimum of 15 units. Is the higher minimum fair, unjust or just another antiquated element of an outdated system?

    The 15-unit rule for the Dean’s List is a good idea in theory. In reality, however, a student’s workload can’t be summarized by the number of units she’s taking.

    Firstly, units aren’t comparable. A three-hour chemistry lab with lab reports due each week is worth only one unit, while a homework-light general education class is worth three units. In any case, some classes are simply more difficult than others. Sixteen units of upper-division classes is not the same as 16 units of electives and gen eds. There’s no quantitative way to say how easy or difficult a person’s schedule is. The Dean’s List should be open to all full-time students.

    Lillie Kilburn is a sophomore majoring in psychology.

    If there is going to be some measure of academic performance, lowering the bar so more people can jump over it runs counter to the purpose of the Dean’s List – to recognize those who supersede the academic average. With 12 units being the minimum number required to be a full-time student, the “”With Distinction”” accessory would become a mark of the minimum. It is not that I lack sympathy for those who are unable to enroll in 15 units – I too have fallen victim to the cutoff. But so what? I’m over it. If it bothers you, if you find yourself needing that validation, maybe you should re-evaluate your source of self-esteem. Or you could get a dog. … It will love you no matter what.

    Courtney Smith is a senior majoring in anthropology and molecular and cellular biology.

    Who cares whether the cutoff is 12 or 15 units? The idea of a Dean’s List is antiquated, counterproductive and superfluous. In the same way that grades and GPAs are not actually reflective of unadulterated intelligence, the Dean’s List propagates a system that is not altogether meritocratic: It signifies who knows how to jump through academic hoops and stifles the intellectually curious. Unfortunately, graduate schools and employers need some benchmark of a person’s academic aptitude. That institution is the GPA. The Dean’s List, a derivation of GPAs, is ultimately superfluous, a gaudy and tired means of reinforcing students’ feelings of self-worth. Let’s dump the resume-building and get back to real intellectual development.

    Matt Stone is a senior majoring in international studies and economics.


    Gambling with the law

    Though online gambling has been technically illegal in the U.S. for a long time, gamers got around the system by using gambling Web sites based in other countries. That’s about to end, with a new law passed by Congress making it illegal for banks and credit card companies to process payments to overseas gambling sites. Does the new law represent a step forward to a healthier society, or a step back to dangerous paternalism?

    Between 4 million and 8 million people are “”problem gamblers,”” and as many as 1 million are pathologically addicted to gambling. To needlessly allow clearly problematic access to gambling is irresponsible. There is a big difference between online gambling and casino gambling: one gambles online at home, whereas casino gambling has atmosphere and social interaction. For gambling to be justifiable, it needs to be social; otherwise it becomes addictive and impersonal. Former online gamblers can just play a game online – there’s no need to place money on it.

    Sam Feldman is a junior majoring in political science and Spanish.

    The congressional ban on Internet gambling is just one more encroachment on individual freedoms by our ever-expanding government. The government’s role is not to protect people from engaging in potentially harmful “”self-regarding”” behavior – imagine the state outlawing skydiving or rock climbing. If the problem is that people might form gambling addictions and lose their ability to make rational, autonomous choices, then let’s see some federally-subsidized programs to help people with those problems. The ills we suffer from living in a society that permits morally contentious behavior like gambling are greatly outweighed by those we suffer when we prohibit adults from making choices regarding how to live their own lives.

    Stan Molever is a philosophy senior.

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