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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pass/Fail

    ‘Stronger’ = poorer?

    As the Daily Wildcat reported yesterday, Kanye West’s much-hyped “”Glow in the Dark”” appearance in McKale Center could leave UA’s student government in the red. Combined expenses for the blowout concert total nearly half a million dollars, but ticket sales for the sold-out show are expected to reach a mere $350,000. Although the UA will get a cut of the money from concessions and merchandising, it’s likely that those revenues won’t make up the difference for Kanye’s pricey performance. We like the idea of bringing big-name artists to perform on campus, but student leaders need to be careful to ensure that each event is a prudent investment. Last time we checked, the primary role of student government wasn’t doling out massive subsidies for fun events. Err … we take that back. Either way, costly Kanye deserves a Fail.

    Strained logic on stimulus

    As the state of Arizona tightens its belt in anticipation of a $2 billion budget deficit, officials at Arizona’s public universities are still hoping for a handout to renovate their ivory towers. This week, the Arizona Board of Regents, meeting here at the UA, will consider the future of a $1.4 billion construction package proposed by Arizona’s universities as an “”economic stimulus”” plan. UA President Robert Shelton hyped the idea in a recent Tucson Citizen guest opinion, claiming that it will “”restore more than 14,000 construction jobs to Arizona”” and “”give a meaningful boost to our economy.”” We can’t blame the university for squeezing cash from the state Legislature by any means necessary, but billing the plan as a bailout for Arizona’s construction industry is disingenuous and disturbing. The fact that buildings across campus are crumbling ought to be enough to justify a repair plan, and the academy should stay out of economic engineering. If the plan passes, however, it will bring much-needed construction cash to the UA, including renovations to Centennial Hall, a new home for Social and Behavioral Sciences and a slew of much needed equipment upgrades. For that reason, we’re willing to plug our noses and give this stimulus stinker an Incomplete.

    Turning textbooks on their heads

    Students know the textbook industry’s business model all too well. Entrenched copyright monopolies and academic partnerships to prevent competition, frequent revisions to make used books obsolete, and prices that make most undergraduates weep in silent horror. But if one upstart publisher has its way, that model could be turned upside down. This week, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported on “”Flat World Knowledge,”” a digital-textbook publisher that plans to offer “”online, peer-reviewed, interactive, user-editable textbooks”” for free, and make money by selling supplementary materials like study guides and pre-compiled notes. The plan has a lot of promise – but only if it finds academic allies among faculty, who can be slow to embrace digital technology. Still, for taking a shot at shaking up the textbook industry, Flat World’s plan gets a Pass.

    Everybody loses!

    Rather than doing a service to the nation and voting to end this interminably long primary race, Pennsylvania voters picked Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama on April 22 with a decisive 55 percent of the vote. The victory gave the tireless senator both reason and energy to continue her campaign, though by most estimates it is impossible for her to close the delegate gap between Obama and herself. Leaving aside the fact that her victory means the exhausting race is far from over, the sheer length of the race is having a Dorian Gray-like effect on both candidates’ personas. Clinton’s criticism of Obama’s record-fundraising in Pennsylvania was disingenuous and counterproductive – after all, since when is a candidate’s superior fundraising a reason not to make him the nominee? Their debate was almost entirely without substance, and served to make both senators look worse as the general election draws nearer. For condemning us to listen to this kind of petty squabbling for weeks to come, and, for perhaps the first time in history, making us have to care about what voters think in Guam, the Pennsylvania primary deserves a big fat Fail.


    Editorials are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members.

    They are Sarah Devlin, Allison Hornick, Christina Jelly, Melissa Krueger, Evan Lisull and Connor Mendenhall.

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