The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

55° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mail Bag

    Columnist’s criticisms of UA Honors College misplaced

    This letter is in response to Samuel Feldman’s Tuesday column, “”No point to Honors College.”” As an honors student active within the college, I’ve seen the way that honors students can utilize the program to benefit not only themselves, but also the UA and other communities. For this reason, I resent what feels like the uneducated and inflammatory comments made by Feldman.ÿ

    Firstly, his comments referring to the college as an “”elitist”” institution ignore the fact that the college is, in reality, open to all students willing to make a commitment to their own academic success. Anyone is eligible to apply. This said, should the Honors College be blamed for the fact that students don’t apply? And should promoting academic interest and creativity through added benefits directed at this goal really merit the label of “”institutionalized elitism””?ÿ

    Secondly, Feldman’s discussion of benefits for honors students discounts the 30 percent of honors students genuinely working toward graduation with honors, which, contrary to what Feldman might think, is a challenging task.ÿShould hard work not be rewarded, especially if everyone is given the opportunity to enter the Honors College and in turn graduate with honors, given that they are willing to work toward maintaining a high grade point average and fulfilling honors course requirements?ÿ

    Finally, I want to ask why it is acceptable – within a university setting no less – to label an institution, and by association a group of students, as “”elitist”” when the primary goals espoused by this institution and embraced by a generous portion of these students are those supporting academic success and creativity. I would like to invite Feldman to educate himself more on the truly amazing programs sponsored by the Honors College (i.e. civic engagement teams) before calling for its closure, and I’d like to invite all interested and academically-motivated students to look into the honors program and consider applying for honors standing.ÿI can think of no better outcome for this disappointingly biased column than to encourage more students to take an interest in their education, within or outside of the Honors College.ÿ

    Sarah Smith
    senior majoring in sociology, religious studies and political science

    Demagoguery not right for Young Democrats

    The leader of UA Young Democrats does a disservice to his party by using extreme rhetoric in an attempt to make student voters hate Randy Graf and embrace Gabrielle Giffords (Tuesday’s letter to the editor, “”Graf not right for Arizona””). By adopting methods typical of Democrats, David Martinez III will only succeed in disenfranchising moderate and right-wing voters who may otherwise have voted for the Democratic candidate. Smear campaigns can sway the ignorant and might work in the short run, but if Democrat supporters ever want their party to win back the House and the Senate, they will have to begin to rationally address the issues.

    Martinez first criticizes Graf for not severing ties with radical David Duke, but to accept such criticism one first has to believe the false premise that Graf has any ties with Duke to begin with. In fact, the only relevance of Duke in all this is that his Web site contains a single link to Graf’s site. That’s it. There’s no “”white separatism,”” no Ku Klux Klan connections, and nothing that can be deemed extremist based on any of this information. Martinez points to Graf’s vote against a flag-burning ban, but this tidbit is at odds with the “”ultraconservative”” label and only serves to illustrate Randy Graf’s defense of the First Amendment. Lastly, if Martinez means to keep moderates and liberals from voting for Graf, he may not want to let everyone know how Graf is occasionally at odds with the establishment. In truth, Graf is a conservative who will oppose Republicans and Democrats alike according to his principles. If Giffords’ supporters wish to defeat him, they will need to start supporting Giffords’ positions over her opponent’s.

    Daniel Greenberg
    political science freshman

    Wildcat coverage of Polkey’s death inappropriate

    I am quite upset with the Arizona Daily Wildcat’s article about the basketball player Shawntinice “”Polkey”” Polk and the remembrance of her death. While this incident was very sad and tragic, let me remind you that this event did take place a year ago. What I don’t understand is why the entire front page of the Wildcat was devoted to this.

    When someone passes away, we cope with it and eventually move on. Personally, I remember when she died and yes, I, along with the entire university, was saddened. With this in mind, I want to know what makes Polkey any more or less important than other students who have died in the past few years? Should we devote an entire front page to those students too? Placing this on the front page may constitute trauma for Polkey’s friends and family as well. I think that a simple mention of the event (perhaps the front page of the sports section) is in order. I do believe, however, that her death a year ago should not prompt the Wildcat to devote an entire front page to Polkey.

    Nick Deininger
    communication junior

    Radiohead is for anyone

    After reading Andi Berlin’s column, in which she scorned the Pride of Arizona for performing the music of Radiohead, I didn’t know whether to laugh or be offended. The obvious hypocrisies, ignorance and just plain self-righteousness displayed in her writing speak for themselves, but let me address some of the “”finer”” points of her opinion. Berlin insulted every human being at the USC football game. From the “”rich”” people in the skybox, to the “”jocks beating each other up”” on the field, she spared no one. The fans present were accused of “”blind patriotism”” and the students specifically were noted to be unintelligent drunks incapable of appreciating the performing arts. Not to mention the band and its director, who she implies are incapable of interpreting the meaning and emotion behind Radiohead’s music.

    She later suggests that the band be restricted from playing anything other than Top 40 hits and oldies like Van Morrison, just so long as the band behind her “”favorite song since eighth grade”” is not touched upon. Unlike other marching bands, the Pride of Arizona has always been one of the most progressive, individualistic and talented ensembles in the NCAA. Strangely enough, these are the exact qualities she attributes to Radiohead. I personally appreciate the fact that the band doesn’t bore and underestimate the crowd with monotonous and repetitive tunes such as “”Oops, I did it Again”” or “”The Real Slim Shady”” and realize that football games are not their only venue. The fact that they take a truly meaningful and inspiring piece of art to competitions in Arizona and other parts of the country, where the UA will be looked upon as a progressive and innovative home for performing arts, soars above every word in her unprofessional critique.

    Zach Sanchez
    sociology sophomore

    Proposition 200 preposterous

    The Voter Reward Act ballot measure is a shameful disgrace to the political process of elections. The very idea of trying to increase voter turnout by offering a chance at $1 million for voting is flat-out disrespectful to those of us who actually care about the future of our state and country. The passing of this act may cause more people to turn out to vote, but are politically ignorant slackers who just want a chance at free money really the type of people who should be voting? For the sake of a decent political system, I encourage everyone to vote “”no”” on the Voter Reward Act.

    Alex Hoogasian
    political science senior

    Better pianos needed

    I am not a music student or anything, but I do like to play songs I like on the piano. The other day, I was at the Music building with some music I brought. I went down to the practice pianos in the basement. The first piano I played was severely out of tune. So I chose another one; it was better sounding, but had a couple of keys that did not work at all. On to a third piano I went. It was both out of tune and had a few sticky keys. I am not asking for world-class pianos, just some that sound better and have no sticky keys. Am I asking too much?

    Jeffery S. Anderson
    senior majoring in special education and rehabilitation

    More to Discover
    Activate Search