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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Who gives a damn about ASU?

    ASU sucks. We write that on our posters, our Facebooks, our faces and pretty much anywhere else that an Arizona State University student can see it. The UA has a classier way of saying it. On all of the tours, billboards and propaganda UA puts out across the country, officials proudly declare that the UA is “Arizona’s best public university.”

    Yet, if ASU sucks as much as we say, what are we doing comparing ourselves to it?

    According to the most recent U.S. News and World Report college rankings in 2012, the UA is ranked the 124th best university in the country, while ASU comes in at 132. UA’s business school is ranked 49th in Businessweek, while ASU is ranked 77th. The statistics point to our superiority.

    But we aren’t improving with each year. In fact, we are getting worse. In 2008 and 2009, the UA ranked No. 96. Since then, the UA’s progress has stagnated.

    That’s why it makes no sense when UA officials tout the school’s credentials compared to ASU’s. The UA is the best university in Arizona, but there are only three major universities in Arizona, and being the best of those three is fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

    Through using other Arizona universities as a measuring stick, UA officials are only hurting the school. It’s like bragging about getting an “A” in a really easy class. Instead of reassuring ourselves that the UA is the best in Arizona, officials should be challenging faculty and students to be the best in the Southwest, the best in the West and the best in the country.

    If Ann Weaver Hart is hired, she has an opportunity to really make a difference at this university. New leadership should bring about positive changes, but only if the new leader takes on the right mindset. Rather than using other mediocre schools as a barometer, the UA’s administration needs to start comparing the school to elite public universities. Nothing is stopping the UA from being one of the best in the country besides the fact that no one is trying.

    As it stands now, the UA is a mediocre university. It’s time to face it. People don’t want to hear that they’re mediocre when they’ve been told that they’re great for years. But once those who tout the UA’s greatness get over the initial denial, they can realize that the school has a lot of potential. There are good programs that need just that little push to be even better.

    When it comes down to it, the UA is really just that fat kid who compares himself to the even fatter kid so that he doesn’t feel bad about himself. Let’s stop being that fat kid. If the UA would strive to be the best public university in the country rather than the state, then we could brag to more than just ASU.

    — Dan Desorchers is a chemistry freshman. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

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