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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    See why none of these ideas make the grade

    Fail: R u 4 real?

    In the latest race to the bottom, state legislators in Arizona and New York are apparently competing to come up with the year’s most ridiculous bill. Here in Arizona, state Rep. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, has introduced a bill that would allow police officers to fine Arizonans for text messaging while they’re driving. Across the nation, New York state Sen. Carl Kruger, D-Brooklyn introduced a bill to fine people who use iPods, Blackberries or other electronic devices in crosswalks. Really? It’s curious enough that the government is so preoccupied with Americans’ fascination with electronics instead of, well, governing. Legislators should focus on the real priorities and leave this kind of stuff to natural selection. For losing sight of the real problems, these meddlesome legislators get a Fail.

    Fail: Ain’t just a river in Egypt…

    In case you missed it, Ted Haggard, the former president of the National Association of Evangelicals who left his post after admitting to having sex with a male prostitute, announced that he now feels “”completely heterosexual”” after three weeks of “”intensive counseling.”” “”Completely heterosexual””? Maybe we’re confused, but having sex with a male prostitute would seem to make a guy at least “”a little less heterosexual than other guys who only have sex with women.”” For passing up the opportunity to take an introspective look at homosexuality, and instead opting to follow his own 12-step program (starting with denial and ending with ignorance), the Rev. Ted Haggard gets a Fail.

    Fail: Retention roulette

    If it seems like your freshman friends are leaving the UA in droves, there’s a reason: the Arizona Daily Wildcat reported this week that the UA only retained 77 percent of its freshman class in spring 2005. Now, losing one out of every five freshmen might be the status quo at, say, Yale Law School (or, at the other end of the spectrum, Arizona State University), but the UA’s retention rate has been hovering at or below 80 percent for the last three years. For losing freshmen like flies without any signs of real improvement, the UA’s administration gets a Fail.

    Fail: Dollars and sense

    The UA’s never claimed to be the Harvard of the Southwest, and after a look at the most recent endowment figures, it’s probably a good thing. The UA’s fundraising in the last year came in at No. 133 among universities in the United States, with $466 million in donations (Harvard, by contrast, topped the list with $28.9 billion). The dearth of private donations seems odd, especially considering that the National Science Foundation ranks the UA at No. 13 among public institutions for research expenditures. This should be a wake-up call to President Shelton, who’s had enough time on the job by now to know that the UA needs some serious cash flow in the future. Until Shelton and the UA’s army of cold-callers make some serious raids on alumni wallets, the UA’s fundraising efforts get a Fail.

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