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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    Remembering Pacheco’s heritage not wrong

    Mike Fenwick’s objection (in Nov. 17’s “”Pacheco honored for the wrong things””) to the Arizona Daily Wildcat’s mention of Manuel T. Pacheco’s Hispanic heritage is unfounded and naive. Pacheco’s status as the university’s first Hispanic president warrants mention. We will consider it a proud day when racial equality has progressed far enough to permit a minority president of the United States; why not apply the same logic to the leaders of our university? The words “”Hombre de Confianza”” can be interpreted as an attempt to cement his ancestry for everyone to know, but they can just as easily be seen as a testament to the diversity we have embraced and the progress we have made.

    Racial equality still has a long way to go, but Fenwick’s knee-jerk reaction to the very mention of race is problematic: That kind of response is part of what prevents intelligent dialogue on the issue of race. “”Never, ever mention race”” is not a solution. Perhaps most importantly, I sincerely doubt Pacheco cares whether people opt to note his Hispanic origins, so any quarrel on this topic is somewhat moot.

    Taylor Kessinger
    sophomore majoring in physics, math and philosophy

    Re-evaluating sports and ‘school spirit’

    In response to Jeff Johnson’s letter to the editor, “”Students’ absence at football games disappointing”” in Nov. 20’s paper, I would like to say this: shame on him! He fails to realize that some people genuinely don’t give a damn about sports. Mired in ideology, he believes such people are worthy of shame. He alludes to the longstanding history of sports and school spirit, but he should consider this: Just because something is institutionalized does not necessarily mean it is wholesome, productive or admirable. I refuse to mindlessly contribute to the construction of “”school pride,”” whatever it really is. For, though some may see this intangible quality as something that unites, I see it as a force that works to homogenize personality and thought.

    Many people defend the institution of sports in schools by claiming that it brings in a good deal of money. If this is so, then, in the case of the UA, I consider it due compensation for inconveniently reserved parking lots, for wasted space in classrooms and for taking up far too much of this newspaper, among other things. I believe empty seats at a game to be quite auspicious. Though they may not be entirely conscious of it, students who do not value school sports are slowly helping to tear down the construct that is “”school spirit,”” and I see this as a good thing.

    While Johnson may deem attending a game more important than all other activities, save for marriages and funerals, the vast majority of people, I would postulate, think otherwise. So, whether they are volunteering at a hospital or sitting at home doing absolutely nothing, students who do not attend sporting events, who do not idolize Lute Olson or glorify athletes, are harbingers of a potentially awesome paradigm shift within the U.S. public schooling system. I understand where Johnson’s views are coming from; maybe he should try to do the same. With all theoretical babble aside, and conceding that I am only human, I will offer my own vitriolic and short-sighted admonition to UA fans, students and alumni alike: Take sports and shove them up your ass.

    Rebecca Lane
    anthropology senior

    Blood drive rules should be clarified beforehand

    I thought the blood drive at the UA was really a great idea. As everyone mentioned these past few days, the university is a pool of healthy blood. The thing is, once in the event, the lack of information was translated in a waste of time. Being a blood donor in my country, I made an appointment to donate blood this past Thursday. I followed all the instructions on the Web page to register myself as a blood donor, went to the location, filled out all the forms and read all the educational material. Once I was with the nurse, I was accepted as a donor until I mentioned I was Mexican. She checked her map and told me I came from a malaria-free zone, but that I wouldn’t be able to donate blood until I had spent three years residing in the US. Even though I totally understood the reasons I wouldn’t be able to donate, I was a little mad that I waited 40 minutes reading “”important”” material and taking blood tests. I think this could have been avoided by posting on the Web page that nonresidents and people who have traveled outside the U.S. are not eligible, or having that as part of the “”educational material”” we were asked to read.

    The experience I had today will influence whether I donate blood again, even if Tucson is going to be my residence for the next five years.

    Brenda Verdugo Gonzalez
    chemical and environmental engineering graduate student

    Gender-neutral bathrooms are necessary

    Matthew McCord’s Nov. 21 letter to the editor, “”No need for gender-neutral bathrooms,”” leads the reader to conclude exactly the opposite from the title. We as a learning community here at the UA have an opportunity to support people who have largely been forgotten about in our culture and society. This opportunity, if passed up, could damage the UA’s reputation and tradition of nondiscrimination on our campus. McCord stresses that establishing gender-neutral bathrooms is unneeded and the thought that it would limit the inclusive policies is “”laughable and absurd.”” Well, here is the question I pose to you, McCord: How would this not? Surely if you label yourself as a gender opposite of your appearance and anatomy, you would feel quite uncomfortable in a restroom.

    Allowing everyone to “”pee in peace”” is a major theme behind this measure to establish these restrooms, but an even more important theme is recognizing the fact that the UA is a campus taking measures to promote a better community for all of its students and faculty. Hopefully with the UA’s influence on this matter, the world beyond the university will be ready for this challenge as well.

    John Kozel
    sophomore majoring in English and art education

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