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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mail Bag

    Students should be able to choose whether to view offensive images

    I have no objection to the actual contact presented by the anti-choice (or anti-abortions some might say) group on the Mall this week. Nor do I desire to express my support or rejection of their argument. After all, we are all entitled to our different opinions and we are all given the freedom of speech to express those opinions.

    Having said that, I do object to the way the images were forced on us students. If the anti-choice group is given the freedom of speech to express its opinions, I should have some freedom as well don’t I? How about the freedom to walk to class without seeing gruesome images such as those presented by the group? Or how about having the simple choice of listening to the group’s arguments? I was not given that choice, instead I was forced to view their argument in a rather obnoxious way.

    I am not arguing for or against the actual presentation or the cause; instead, I am asking for the anti-choice group to pay us, the UA students, some respect and allow us to make the choice whether or not we are interested in listening to the arguments. It is simply basic courtesy.

    Danielle Steinberg

    sociology senior

    Presence of anti-abortion billboards make people feel harassed

    Every morning thousands of Tucsonans leave their homes for the workplace. Although the UA has a diverse group of employees, from the food court servers toresearchers to the president and teachers, one thing all of these people have in common is that none of them wish to come to the workplace to feel harassed.

    Earlier this week the group Justice for All displayed their 18-foot abortion billboards on the mall in a pervasive manner to “”stimulate conversation”” – more like shove it down our throats. In some way this reminds me of the classic scenario of someone hanging a Sports Illustrated calendar or an offensive comic in their cubicle and being told to take it down because it was a form of harassment to some other employee. For those three days, the University of Arizona was one big cubicle and those billboards were the most offensive, harmful, threatening and humiliating images that could have been hung. At the UA, every single one of those thousands of employees is protected from harassment. So while they’re busy on the mall arguing morals, opinions and so-called ‘rights’, can we for one minute discuss policy? According to the UA’s Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy, harassment is “”unwelcome behavior that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for academic pursuits (and) employment.”” I could be wrong, but these billboards seem to fit the bill.

    Also, it states that “”harassing conduct may take many forms, including verbal as well as nonverbal behavior, such as graphic and written statements, or conduct that is physically offensive, harmful, threatening or humiliating.”” Basically, as is true in any place of business, employees have the right to work in a harassment-free work environment. Will the university not protect those employees who feel harmed by this display? Will we be forced to see it again next semester and the semester after that? I urge any employee who feels these displays are offensive, harmful, threatening or humiliating to file a formal complaint. While Justice for All has their protected rights to express their opinions, which are just that, they can do it somewhere else. I’d rather have a cupcake shoved down my throat.

    Lisa Mason

    music senior

    A modest proposal for anti-lifers

    Abortion is immoral and amounts to murder. I hope we pass legislation outlawing abortion in all cases, including rape and incest, because of course the person a woman may carry is infinitely more important than she is.

    Let’s say that happens, and happens soon. What do we do with the women who have illegal abortions? In many states, capital punishment is legal and convicted murderers are sentenced to death. Clearly, then, since abortion is no better than murder, we must arrest, try, convict and give 25-to-life or death sentences to any woman who has an illegal abortion. It’s the only way we can protect our unborn embryos!

    If a woman doesn’t value her child enough to keep from murdering him or her, she should lose the right to live just as serial killers who have no regard for human life should have no right to live, either.

    Clayton Chu

    aerospace engineering senior

    Justice for All should be banned from campus for violating student rights

    Earlier this week, a disturbing and violent monument stood in the heart of campus. It was invasive, based in religious ideals and impossible to ignore. I assume that the reason for allowing such a graphic set of images to be erected was that it was just another expression of free speech, but where do universities and school campuses draw the line? While this group, Justice for All, advertised their displays as promotions for discussion, it was blatantly anti-abortion, pro-life propaganda. Admittedly, they did post signs about 15-20 feet from the display warning of the graphic imagery present on the center square of our campus, but it was irrelevant: the images were clearly visible from as far away as the library quad and passing cars on Campbell Avenue could see the east side of the board, if not make out the text and images.

    I am not opposed to others voicing their opinion or holding debates with equal representation of viewpoints. But this was not solicitation of open discussion, this was assault. Their tactless methods had a complete disregard for the ability of students to simply get to and from classes with freedom, to attend school without emotionally upsetting and aggressive photographs being thrown in their face. There was very little explanation or discussion happening and this begs the question, aside from shocking and riling people up, how was this display effective? It encouraged anyone already sympathetic to their cause, which is essentially unnecessary, and completely angered and alienated anyone with more liberal views on abortion. In addition, it trespassed on the rights of those women who have already gone through the emotionally draining experience of abortion by making it impossible to avoid seeing the display, and accomplished virtually nothing productive in the process.

    It’s my opinion that Justice for All should be refused access to campus in the future, not for their content but for their violating tactics and complete disregard for the safety of our students.

    Bri Date

    geosciences junior

    Pro-life movement should focus on helping, not criticizing mothers

    In Friday’s column “”Pro-life display isn’t pro-life enough”” (Feb. 6, 2008) Taylor Kessinger discusses JFA’s Mall display and its unacknowledgment of sperm and egg as being fully human. He goes on to further discuss the lack of pro-life advocates recognizing this.

    As a pro-life advocate, I believe the JFA mall display and the human versus non-human debate is destroying the pro-life cause. We cannot use any type of science or religion to convince a person who believes in a women’s right to her body that an embryo is a child. Instead, we need to attack and solve the social and domestic issues behind the abortion debate by asking ourselves “”why do women of all ages and classes carry out abortions?”” A child deserves the right to life as well as moral respect, but so do the mothers who are considering an abortion or who have had one. Women receive abortions for many reasons, such as they were helpless rape victims, they are too young to be mothers, they do not want their child growing up in poverty, they do not feel fit to raise a mentally disabled or handicapped child, etc. …If we want our cause to be effective we need to help these children and their mothers. The problem behind unwanted pregnancies is society’s view of sex itself. With the exception of rape, if a female wants to have sex that is her own choice and her own privilege. However, with every privilege comes a responsibility.

    There are several females in this country that have had as many as eight abortions. What kind of message is that sending to our female youth? Sex does not need to be taken seriously anymore because laws allow for us to abort our mistakes? Whether you believe it is the parent’s responsibility or the school’s responsibility, sex education and credible birth control need to be available to our youth. Our sole job is to prevent future abortions from occurring. We cannot publicly persecute women who received an abortion or we are just as inhumane as the abortion itself.

    Katie Galvin

    English sophomore

    Capitalism still ‘force for good,’ despite human flaws

    I would like to respond to Greg Grewell’s Friday letter on capitalism (“”Capitalism promotes culture of dishonesty, cheating,”” Feb. 6, 2008). I disagree with the theme of his letter that capitalism is evil. Some people who operate under what we call capitalism have done evil things, but the majority of those who take part in it have not.

    I do agree with Greg that the banks should not have been bailed out using tax dollars. They made bad decisions and should pay the consequences for them. However the bailing out of banks is not capitalism; in a truly capitalistic system the government plays no part in business. Greg goes on to complain that oil companies “”continue to rake in exorbitant profits””. Oil consumption between 1980 and 2006 has increased by 42 percent – that combined with inflation explains much of the oil companies’ “”exorbitant profits.””

    The entity which profits the most from gasoline sales is the government. According to TaxFoundation.org, over the past 25 years oil companies have paid more than three times their profits in taxes. Greg states that “”The only means of controlling this economic system is through legislation…”” I believe P.J. O’Rourke said it best: “”When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.””

    I also agree that employers should not be allowed to force you to work more than 40 hours a week. However, mandating that businesses must pay time and a half for overtime makes it too expensive to allow people to work more than 40 hours per week. If a worker agrees to work for their usual hourly pay why should the government say they are not allowed to after 40 hours? This forces these people to try and coordinate times with a second job, which can be extremely difficult to do.

    When Greg complains that capitalism only benefits capitalists, what does that mean? Is he saying that only CEOs are able to make a living? I believe that, in general, CEOs are overpaid, but money is merely a representation of a person’s time; the greater a person’s ability the more their time is worth.

    Greg implies that college students cheat because capitalism teaches them that it’s OK. This is a ridiculous statement; if true, it would mean that people in a communist economy (the opposite of capitalism) would never cheat. High-ranking members of communist governments often have more than the average citizens, cheating, and proving this thought process to be untrue.

    Let’s stop the capitalism bashing, I know it’s the cool thing to do, but that makes it neither correct nor logical. Capitalism is the greatest force for good this world has ever known; giving people the opportunity to improve their standard of living regardless of age, sex, skin color, or income.

    Kyle Van Renterghem

    electrical engineering senior

    Public Service Academy would help civilians serve their country

    Everyone’s heard about the Air Force Academy, the Naval Academy and the Military Academy. All of these great institutions work to help the national security of our country. But, what about the men and women who want to serve at home? The people who long to serve as civilians in the public sector?

    In March 2007, Congress introduced a bill to create a U.S. Public Service Academy. Students who would attend this Academy would receive four years of subsidized education in return for five years of service in the community. Now, these people would become public school teachers, firefighters, policemen, relief effort workers, etc. A large majority of our workers go into the private sector because of school debt. The average student is $20,000 in debt after they graduate from college, as of 2007. We are also facing what is called a “”federal brain drain”” – meaning that more than 40 percent of all government workers are eligible for retirement in the next three years! What does this mean? Our public sector is slowly deteriorating. In the midst of this budget crisis, I believe that we as students of UA can relate to all the other students across this country who are facing similar monetary problems.

    Of course, this academy would be extremely expensive. But think about this symbolically: an Academy that embodies civic virtue and community service, to cultivate young people who will be experts in their fields, to represent the U.S. public sector. I urge you all to sign the online petition if you believe in education and in the virtue of service. Also, you can look up the U.S. Public Service Academy online for more information. Thank you for reading!

    Soo Chang

    political science senior

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