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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Mail Bag

    Education not a financial transaction

    Mar. 6’s letter from Janet Lancaster (“”Profs: Consider students paying customers””) discussed treatment a student received from a professor after the professor discovered the student was reading a newspaper during class. Lancaster took the position that a university education is a financial transaction, in which professors are simply paid to deliver a commodity to their customers, the students. Lancaster suggested that, because students pay to take classes, they should not be prevented from doing anything during class that isn’t disruptive.

    She writes, “”As paying students, we should feel free to read, do homework, text-message, play solitaire on our laptops, sleep or pursue other silent activities.”” Unfortunately, Lancaster’s attitude is obviously shared by many university students. It is routine to find students sleeping, reading a paper, texting, talking or engaging in any number of activities that have nothing to do with the class.

    Because tuition is an expense, students feel they are buying “”something”” with that money and so are entitled to behave in this way. However, what is that “”something””? Is it merely a degree? The right to call oneself a university graduate when filling out an application or resume? Are we just paying for a diploma?

    What we are paying for is an education. We are purchasing the privilege to gain knowledge from our professors; people who spend their entire lives devoted to studying their topic. Lancaster notes that professors deserve respect because they “”hold our grades in their hands.””

    his completely misses the point of what an education should be about. We are here to learn and to develop as individuals. If you came to university simply to go through the motions and collect your diploma after four years of complete apathy, I suppose it is your right as a tuition-paying consumer. I am saddened, however, by the complete ignorance and narrow-mindedness reflected in attitudes like that brought forth in Lancaster’s letter.

    Let me be a voice for those students who actually came to school to learn. I am always personally angered in classes when people text, sleep, check email on their computers, or do anything else that isn’t directly related to the class. This blatant apathy is contagious and directly impacts the learning of those around you.

    It isn’t merely about respecting your professors. It is about respecting yourself, your education, and your fellow students. If you don’t care enough about what you’re doing to at least pay nominal attention during class, you really shouldn’t be there.

    All of us are lucky to be receiving the quality of education that we are. The apathy of others directly impacts the educational experience of those of us who care and who are invested in actually gaining knowledge from our tenure here.

    Carrie Mott Near Eastern studies graduate student

    Africa: The next economic powerhouse?

    With so many natural resources, if Africa as a continent could unite into a union akin to the European Union (an unlikely occurrence within the next few decades, but fascinating to contemplate) with a universal currency and generic government to avoid corruption it could possibly grow (over a lengthy period of time) to be the richest continent in the world.

    At one time in history, Nigeria was the nation that produced a significant portion of the world’s oil supply (and had a currency more powerful than the U.S. dollar), but corruption within its borders and the continuation of economic stigmatism by superpowers such as the United States and Europe put a halt to their success.

    With Sub-Saharan Africa struggling with genocide and the HIV/AIDS pandemic, it is hard to envision Africa as a united front and viable competitor in the global market, but so many natural resources are found in Africa including oil, diamonds and gold. Cultural and linguistic barriers prevent Africa from uniting, but it is something to contemplate as we continue to drain our own natural resources and outsource services and necessities. It is quite plausible that sometime in the next few centuries, we may have to turn to Africa for economic dependence.

    We should begin to cultivate a stronger relationship with African nations in our foreign policy since it seems the continent’s nations are cast aside as merely accumulators of foreign debt, aid and service. Unfortunately with the globalization of so many markets, Africa will continue to lack simple resources to survive including water, food and educational outlets.

    Ashley Emerole sophomore majoring in political science and regional development

    Sexual promiscuity only debases women

    I am sincerely baffled by Chelsea Jo Simpson’s and Lila Burgos’s tragic examination of relationships in the current generation (“”To screw or to woo?””). While I’m only a few years out of college, my generation’s angst on the subject wasn’t much different from that faced by the now post-adolescent Computer Babies, but it seems our conclusions differ greatly. Perhaps it is a perspective gained only approaching 30, but even so, to treat matters of the heart so cavalierly is doleful, and to pose it interrogatively as “”To Screw or Woo?”” is deplorable.

    First, I contend that “”sexual interactions without any emotional attachment or commitment”” do not exist! We are sexual beings; our sexuality is highly integrated with our global perspective. We filter many of our perceptions of the world through its screen, and it is essential to the relational bonds we form.

    When it is abused, we are hurt, even if we shove it down inside and try to ignore it. And when we treat it cheaply and throw it about to whoever wants it, we feel cheapened and dirty. And that says nothing of the social stigma attached to promiscuity.

    As for dating being a “”treacherous, time-consuming process,”” I argue rightfully so! Yes, love brings risks, but the potential rewards far outweigh the risk, time and commitment required by traditional dating. Indeed, you become emotionally vulnerable, but the intimacy it offers ultimately strengthens your relationship.

    Of course, there are guidelines to follow which I admonish are as equally as “”clear-cut”” as those theorized by Ms. Simpson and Ms. Burgos; rules like fidelity and trust, sacrifice and patience.

    I realize a blasǸ approach to sexuality helps justify a supposedly enlightened, liberal view of modern sexual roles, but it will surely be to our final detriment. In her book “”Domestic Tranquility,”” author Carolyn Graglia laments the devaluation of traditional sexuality and argues that in the end it will serve only to lower women rather than to give them the equality they so desire.

    With such assertions, I wholeheartedly agree and advise Ms. Simpson, Ms. Burgos and all those of similar mindset to reexamine their thoughts on the matter.

    Jacob Lauser UA alumus

    Is there more to the ASUA scandal?

    In regards to Kate G. Stevens’ article “”Low funds, club checks vex ASUA,”” I have to say that I am vexed to know that the ASUA Appropriations board director was also involved in a bribery scandal. Just a month ago on Feb. 16, the Wildcat said that two ASUA leaders were accused of misconduct including bribery and creating false clubs.

    On Feb. 22, David Reece resigned leaving his executive vice president office empty, but what happened to Blake Rebling, the Appropriations Board Director? As far as I know, he is still in office.

    What gets me thinking, is with the increase of club funding and now the lack of funding left for those clubs, where is all the money? Did their false clubs get funding? I sure hope the investigation didn’t stop because only one of them resigned.

    Beth Anderson business junior

    Religious Right hamstrings GOP’s electoral hopes

    I agree with David Francis’s recent op-ed on Rudy Giuliani (“”Rudolph, the red state winner?””) and I think its good that some in the GOP are now willing to admit the dangers the religious right is posing to this country.

    Despite the fact that I supported Rudy as a college freshman, I quickly changed my mind when I learned about his handling of the New York City police department. Truth is, Giuliani is without a doubt the strongest candidate the GOP has along with Mitt Romney. However, both of them have many controversies to overcome and their political beliefs are just the beginning.

    I find it difficult for Giuliani to get elected president because his strongest card, terrorism, is simply not playing as well with the American people now as it was in 2004. Americans are concerned about terrorism but they feel by and large that the GOP has failed to protect us and has put us in more danger with the War in Iraq. However, if America is attacked again between now and Nov. 2008, that will change everything.

    Giuliani’s three marriages will be a problem as well, especially if his opponent ends up being Sen. Barack Obama. Obama has only been married once and has a healthy relationship with his wife and two daughters, whereas Giuliani didn’t even know his daughter got into Harvard until it was published on TV.

    Obama is also a true Christian and in my mind has far more moral character to him than anybody in the GOP, including the slimeballs who endorse them (a.k.a. Jerry Falwell and James Dobson). This too will hurt Giuliani in red states where moral character plays a large role. I also don’t see any Democrats switching sides if Obama is the nominee.

    For too long the “”religious reich”” has been one of the greatest threats that our democracy faces. We always talk about how Middle Eastern fanaticism threatens our country and way of life but how are they any different from the religious fanatics here in our own country? When the war in Iraq started, Jerry Falwell got on TV and publicly endorsed the war 100 percent. But forget him! He’s not even paid attention to in religious circles anymore.

    Instead, why don’t we take a look at the world-renowned Rev. Billy Graham? He’s a man who was personal friends with the last 11 presidents of the United States. Every time a major war was about to break he was called into the White House where he told the president that they have God’s blessing in going to war. He did this in 2003 and in 1990 before the first Gulf War.

    The hypocrisy and fanaticism of the religious right speaks for itself. Sadly for the GOP, though, it will very likely cost them the 2008 elections. The top three candidates for their party are considered too liberal by the base and the only candidate “”conservative”” enough for them is either Newt Gingrich or Sam Brownback, two men who will never get elected by the American people.

    Democrats are evenly divided between Hillary and Obama but they will have made up their minds long before the Republican National Convention, in which I predict there will still be a lot of infighting.

    Joel Shooster political science junior

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