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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    Classics inquiry should continue

    After reading Roman Veytsman’s article yesterday, I felt I had to respond as the representative of the graduate students in the department of classics. The university should be appalled to call the investigation closed concerning the favoritism accusations against the former interim head of the classics department.

    Why is the university so quick to sweep a matter of academic fraud under the rug? Basing their evidence on the fact that “”no such prerequisites existed”” only further demonstrates the university’s desire to conceal this matter as quickly as possible. I can tell you that prerequisites to classics 554 do exist. Every one of our archaeology graduate students before entering the upper division courses, such as the ancient Greek and Roman sculpture class in question, must pass classics 340A and 340B. This is listed under the course requirements for classics 454. However, the university certainly has taken advantage of a convenient loophole. Apparently these prerequisites weren’t listed under the requirements for the co-convened classics 554 course (nevertheless, actual graduate students in the department would never have been allowed to take the classics 554 course without at the very least being enrolled in the 340 courses – a fact of which we were all made well aware the minute we set foot into the classics department).

    Are you telling me that the university is going to let this matter slide based on such a hideous technicality? I think we are all in agreement that if a certain class is a prerequisite for a 400-level course, it naturally is the prerequisite for the 500-level equivalent of that course. As a graduate student, I find it insulting that I’ve worked hard and spent years moving up the ladder while someone else based on a certain status he may hold at the university had it handed to him. As an instructor, I think it’s sickening that I hold my students to a higher standard than the university does some of its faculty. If the university wants to launch a real investigation, it should come into the classics department and talk to its graduate students. We can tell you what is expected of us and then you will see that a serious boundary has been crossed.

    Allisa Stoimenoff, classics graduate student
    representative, Latin 102 instructor

    Kyl not a moderate

    I was shocked to read in Michael Huston’s column regarding the state of the Republican Party that Sen. Jon Kyl is a moderate. Last time I checked, Arizona’s junior senator had voted with the president 97 percent of the time! In fact, he has a 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union, as well as a 100 percent rating from the Christian Coalition. Does this man sound like a moderate Republican? Sen. Kyl has failed the state of Arizona horribly and is nothing more than a lackey of the current administration. Huston is right on one thing; if the Republicans are smart enough to give Sen. John McCain their nomination, they probably would have the White House until 2012, but should we really expect the extremists who have taken over the party to do the “”smart thing””? Vote Pederson for Senate in Arizona, and let’s start working now to have a Democrat in the White House starting January 20, 2009.

    Andy Gaona
    senior majoring in political science and Spanish

    Wildcat ad inappropriate

    Reading Monday’s Arizona Daily Wildcat, I was shocked to see that you would run an ad from some loony conspiracy theorists promoting a movie screening that suggests Uncle Sam, rather than Uncle Osama, was behind the terrorist attacks on 9/11. I have no problem with indulging a few nut jobs who like to pretend that the moon landing was staged or that aliens make crop circles or whatever. They’re dumb, but harmless.

    Even printing ads for rallies on hot-button political issue is fine; there’s a legitimate debate to be had about abortion, the war in Iraq or even that U.S. policies somehow brought 9/11 upon ourselves. Personally, I disagree with that conclusion, but that argument is certainly within the sphere of legitimate discourse. We must, however, draw a line somewhere.

    By accepting money from a group that seeks to deny something so rooted in fact, the Wildcat puts at serious risk any its reputation as a legitimate and objective news source.

    I seriously doubt that the Wildcat would accept advertisements for a “”Did the Holocaust Really Happen?”” conference or a panel discussion entitled “”Your Role in Maintaining Racial Purity.”” Some topics, needless to say, are outside the realm of legitimate discussion, and advertising such offensive “”discourse”” is not far removed from actually supporting that position.

    At best, advertising a movie proposing that 9/11 was an “”inside job”” insults the families of those who were indeed murdered by foreign agents. Worse, it proposes that there is no real threat to Western interest or culture from religious fanatics. It may be soothing for some to think that such destruction was borne of corporate or political malfeasance rather than the much uglier genocidal and religious fanaticism we face, but a responsible publication should not direct its readers to such lunacy.

    Even those who think that “”we brought it upon ourselves”” should be outraged because a “”we did it ourselves”” position encourages complacency in our foreign policy and sedition domestically. Neither extreme left nor far right could support this.

    I realize that complaining runs the risk of drawing more attention to this film. But I would rather see those outraged come to dispel these lies rather than sit back and let them go unchallenged.

    Shame on you.

    Andrew Holter Barbour
    first-year law student

    Private firms should play role in Darfur conflict

    I was reading an interesting article in the Boston Globe a few days ago and it detailed using international organizations like NATO or the United Nations versus private firms like Blackwater and Sandline in humanitarian situations like Sierra Leone and Angola. The basic point was that these private organizations are willing and able to do a job that the international organizations have been reluctant to do correctly or willingly. There is, however, a debate in the international community regarding outsourcing of force during an international crisis like the genocide going on today in Darfur. The NGOs are not being adequately protected to do the job that they need to do in order to help the unfortunate people caught in the crossfire.

    Granted, private organizations overstepped their boundaries in Angola when they fought against UNITA, but they have learned from their mistakes in Iraq and nobody questions their ability to do the job and do it cheaper for that matter. It is about time the United Nations and NATO got out of the way because they are unable to do the job properly. This is not the time for arguing in committee about the idealism of an international intervention over a private firm doing the job. I urge all members of the UA community to get in touch with your representatives and call on them to apply pressure on these increasingly useless international organizations.

    Let me conclude by stepping outside myself for a moment. I’m a father in Darfur with a family that I would do anything to protect. I don’t care who does the job. Just do the job.

    Nik Turner
    UA alumnus

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