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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Mailbag

Shelton the right choice for presidency

By now, the news that Robert Shelton will become the next UA president will have reached every corner of the campus. As a UA graduate, a former UA administrator and one of Dr. Shelton’s colleagues here at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, I can tell you that the positive news you have heard about him is absolutely true. He is a wonderful scholar, a skilled leader, an adept manager and a good human being. He is a marvelous fit for the UA. Congratulations.

Jerry Lucido
Vice provost for enrollment policy and management, UNC

Library should rethink pornography policy

I was recently in the main library doing some research when I noticed a nicely dressed older man at one of the computers on the third floor. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but as I was leaving I noticed that the man was not doing research; rather, he was chatting on the Internet while looking at some very graphic pornography. Although he wasn’t touching himself, he was definitely leering at all the young girls who walked by. I felt that I had good reason to report this, considering how many problems we’ve had with perverts in the library in the past. (Who can forget the infamous “”foot fetish”” guy of two years ago?) I reported it to the officials, who told me that they were not allowed to take action unless the guy was looking at child pornography, touching himself or posing some kind of threat. This is absurd. As a graduate student, I had to sign an agreement that I would not look at pornography while on a university machine, and other students as well as members of the public should abide by a similar policy so that good-intentioned library patrons do not have to worry about the possibility of predators in the library. I am not trying to dictate what anyone does in their private space (i.e. their homes and dorm rooms); however, allowing people to view pornography in the library on a public machine is not only detrimental to those who need those machines for legitimate reasons, but also has the ability to create a hostile environment. It is the university’s responsibility to protect its students, staff and public. For this reason the library should seriously reconsider its stance on pornography.

Allisa Stoimenoff
Classics graduate student

Daily Wildcat poll an insult to readers

The Wildcat is in sore need of reassigning the space taken up by the daily poll. Case in point: Friday’s poll of students’ opinions on the new UA president amounted to little more than an admission that not one of the contributors (or poll editors) knows anything about the university presidency, or how it is determined. The second option on the ballot, “”Gupta who?”” is frankly insulting, even though this man was a last-minute addition. And the last option on the poll demonstrates the least amount of accountability for fact I have seen in any poll … ever.

Trusting “”the democratic process”” to “”elect the best person for the job”” did not apply here – the UA president was chosen by a committee. Please get your facts straight before making any more polls of such an important nature (i.e. replacing Likins), and, as you are taking our opinions as readers, please include definite opinions and choices on the ballot – “”I don’t know”” is not a valid option if that is all there is to choose from. I’m pretty sure someone thought that this style of polling was “”funny,”” but I’d rather see an approximation of truth, rather than a demonstration of the complete ignorance of pollsters and the polled alike. One hundred percent of the Daily Wildcat staff that created this latest poll was asleep on the job.

Jeremy Daniel
Ecology senior

University should create marijuana-friendly dorm

In Friday’s story, “”Drug violations cause increased dorm evictions,”” Jim Van Arsdel speculated as to whether the increased number of drug-related evictions was related to increased drug use or to more students being caught. The majority of the drug evictions were because of marijuana.

The fact is marijuana is becoming a perfectly acceptable drug to this generation and all incoming generations hereafter, because a majority of their parents have used marijuana. It is time for the school policy to change and reflect the fact that marijuana is not only a millennia-old successful medicinal plant that should be available to anyone, but also helps a lot of people grow into successful and wise adults – UA professor Andrew Weil for one.

I have a suggestion for Van Arsdel. This may seem a bit progressive, but I make the suggestion because the city of Tucson treats possession of a personal amount of marijuana as a ticketable offense (the same as jaywalking or parking in a residential zone) while the UA treats marijuana the same as assault or a weapons offense. We have more than enough marijuana-using students to fill a dorm like Coronado; why not have all of them live together? Of course, there will always be some people who don’t want to smell any kind of smoke. They will report it, and currently the RAs are required to report it to the police. Why not make a marijuana-smoking dorm where the RAs are not obligated to report the odor of marijuana and the kids and parents are aware that it is a marijuana-friendly dorm? If cities such as Denver can decriminalize possession of personal amounts of marijuana and Tucson is reasonable about it, I suggest the UA catch up to its own city and start fixing a situation that will otherwise only get worse.

Melissa Mauzy
Graduate student in soil, water and environmental science

Bernsen should face harsh punishment

If found guilty of sexual harassment, Cade Bernsen should face severe criminal penalties other than just expulsion from the university and denial of entry into other universities. He should get the punishment that the worst sex offenders get, chemical castration.

Alex Hoogasian
Political science senior

Sharon did more for peace than Palestinians

Earlier this year, we watched Ariel Sharon and the Israeli army force their own citizens out of their homes. They did so in order to follow through on the roadmap and pave aÿway to peace in the Middle East. Sharon might have visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem five years ago, but in 2001 it was Yasser Arafat whoÿordered Hamas and the Islamic Jihad to begin the intifadaÿand murder Israeli civilians. As David Samuels describesÿin an Atlantic Monthly article available online, Arafatÿstoleÿmore thanÿ$1 billionÿfrom his people, authorized terror attacks and did little to promote peace. YetÿArafatÿis revered as a martyr.

Over Thanksgiving, Sharon left the party he foundedÿ30 years ago to start a new centrist party, Kadima.ÿSharon promised to make those difficult decisions Israel had to make forÿthe sake of peace:ÿto separate from the territories andÿhelp the Palestinians formÿan independent state. Last week, Palestinians voted into government a terrorist group that calls for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people.

In the past year alone, the Israeli people, led by Sharon,ÿhave taken step after step, made difficult decision after difficult decision, to bring peace to the Middle East.

What have the Palestinians done for peace?

Keren Raz
UAÿalumna

No such thing as “”official”” U.S. language

In response to Joel King’s Friday letter, I would like to point out one major flaw and common myth. There is no official language in the United States. Some towns have made English their official language, and interestingly some border towns in Texas have made Spanish their official language. For more information, I refer to a Public Broadcasting Service documentary, “”Do you speak American?””

As far as placing the burden on teachers to teach English to nonspeakers, I do sympathize. My grandmother was born in the United States, but her family emigrated from Poland. Her first language was Polish, and it was the only language her parents knew. It wasn’t necessary for them to learn English because they lived in a Polish neighborhood. When she went to school, she went to a parochial school. The nuns there taught her English.

The problem of teaching children English would be easier if many parents learned the language themselves. But, like our own country, many people in public school systems are not encouraged to learn another language or to learn it fluently. They are also faced with financial need, or, in more devastating cases, political asylum. Therefore parents have to move without learning English. Children face the burden of learning the language and having to translate.

It’s unfortunate, but I believe the solution is to encourage all schools (foreign and domestic) to teach children to learn more than their home language. It gives children a more worldly view and more opportunities.

Laura McCormick
Musicology graduate student

Column disrespectful of Sharon’s work toward peace

Friday’s column about how Ariel Sharon should not be celebrated as one who worked toward peace couldn’t have been more wrong. During the tenure of Ariel Sharon, Israel has moved closer to peace with the Palestinians than ever before. Why is this? Ariel Sharon. All the actions that were pointed out as anti-Palestinian were self-defense for Israelis. It’s hard to handle another country with kid gloves, as the author seems to advocate, when it is lobbing rockets into civilian homes. Sharon did the best that he could given the situation he had, but to call him the “”Butcher of Beirut”” or a “”war criminal”” is just disrespectful.

Adam Lewis
Political science freshman

English education would benefit all Americans

This is in response to Joel King’s question as to why “”a tax payer (should) have to pay for some illegal (not migrant) to speak English.”” I am not very certain whether it is a good or bad policy to fund English Language Learner programs, but there is at least one reason in favor of it.

Just as Joel says, English is the only official language in the U.S., and living in the same community, we all have to communicate with one another. Therefore, to fund those children to learn English is not only for the benefit of a handful of persons, but also for the benefit of every individual who lives in our society. Good communication definitely will bring a lot of positive impacts on our society, which are often referred to as externalities in economics.

Li Zhu
Agricultural and resource economics graduate student

Sharon did nothing more than defend his borders

In response to Yusra Tekbali’s outrageous Friday column, “”Sizing up Sharon’s peace:”” As a journalism major, you should probably have considered beginning with a statement that actually described what you were about to discuss, rather than choosing words that contradicted every single word that followed. Sharon is not a man of war – he has only done an incredible job to attempt to protect his people. If Mexico and Canada were constantly planning to take over the U.S. with suicide bombers, assassinations and blowing up innocent students on the CatTran, then I can guarantee you that our government would not sit back and take it. Our leaders would protect our land. The Israeli state, established in 1948, belonged and will always belong to Israel. Historically, the land never officially belonged to Palestinians. To brutally attack a leader, who has suffered and is in a coma is disrespectful, unnecessary and completely contradicts your opening statements. It is entirely right for you to hold your own opinion, but when your opinions are based on non-factual information, your words cannot be taken seriously.

Zach Bromberg
Economics junior

Column attacking Sharon on target

It was a pleasure to hear a critique of Ariel Sharon that falls outside of the “”naive idealistic peacemaker”” or “”warrior with a changed heart”” mold that is generally portrayed in the U.S. media. I would like to comment, though, that we should not over-personalize Sharon’s efforts in the Middle East. None of his actions would be possible without extensive U.S. government funding and diplomatic support.

Daniel Brockert
Linguistics senior

Schools should teach English to students

I am writing in response toÿJoel King’s Friday letter, “”Parents should teach children English.”” First of all, the personal attack on Governor Napolitano was unnecessary. She has done a lot for the people of Arizona and also for education. Second, how is it screwed up that she wants to help children learn English? People come to the U.S. to try to find a better life, usually for their children. Whether they are legal or not, how are parents supposed to teach their children English if they don’t know it themselves? King said, “”English is our only official language.”” Since this is the case, it should be our job to teach English to those who don’t know it. Children whose first language is not English probably know more than this guyÿbecause once they are taught English,ÿthey will knowÿone more language than he does.ÿAmerica is supposed to be a place where people can come to get away from oppression and find opportunity for their families, and it’s people like this who make it aÿvery scary place for them.ÿÿÿ

Amanda Witkowski
Undeclared freshman

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