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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    Article biased by pedestrian perceptions

    Tuesday’s “”Students offer traffic solutions”” article by Shain Bergan was a perfect illustration of the prevailing dangerous attitudes of UA pedestrians. By reporting ignorant sound bites about how superior pedestrians are – such as how drivers should “”forget about cars”” and replace the roads with sidewalks, “”start walking,”” and “”focus on driving”” – the article showed a clear bias against bicyclists and drivers.

    What this article doesn’t seem to understand is that people aren’t simply driving around campus for no reason. Very few people drive to and from every class – most are coming to and from CAMPUS. Some people cannot afford higher prices to live closer to campus, and many students, faculty and staff commute daily to campus. It is my experience that many of these commuters park in garages and then walk around campus. Unfortunately for the inconvenienced pedestrians in the article, commuters must first get to campus and thus must use roads also used by pedestrians and bicyclists. A notable example is the intersection of Park Avenue and University Boulevard (which is and presumably will always be crowded and volatile), a major gateway to several areas of the university. I cross this area at least four times a day (twice to go to and from the Tyndall Avenue garage with my vehicle, twice to go to and from classes on foot) and I’m sure I am no exception to the rule.

    The key to using the roads harmoniously is to not blame others and to be aware of your own actions. One particular group isn’t at fault – EVERYONE is at fault. Motorists shouldn’t accelerate through campus as fast as possible only to screech to a halt moments later; bicyclists shouldn’t disregard stop signs (yes, they apply to you, too) or ride in pedestrian areas without caution; and pedestrians shouldn’t jump out into the road in front of a moving vehicle (car, bike or other) and then be affronted that they were almost hit.

    Everyone, no matter what, should THINK about what they’re doing and PAY ATTENTION to the area in front of them. Sometimes accidents happen – it’s unavoidable on a campus this large and this congested – but that’s no reason to be a jerk about it. Try a little understanding before you blame all of the problems of this campus on one group.

    -Jessica Calderwood
    senior majoring in anthropology and classics

    Have unions served their purpose?

    When I saw that the United Auto Workers staged a walkout yesterday, I was angered that they are seemingly unwilling to make reasonable concessions. I heard a woman speak about jobs going overseas. Her concern was that her children will not have jobs available to them.

    Well, let’s look at why jobs are going overseas. How many American companies offer free health care for the entire family? Someone has to pay for it. Wake-up call America! If GM goes out of business you will lose your jobs. The way I see it is you have two choices: Realize that times have changed and that, in order for General Motors to survive as a company and make good on the promises it made to their employees years ago, you need to make some concessions for the good of the company and America. If that means picking up part of the cost for YOUR health care, then so be it. Or, continue to make demands from a great American company and make certain that it continues to lose market share to foreign car companies.

    It would be nice if Americans still had enough pride in their country and compassion for their fellow Americans that they would be willing to pay more for an American car knowing that they were supporting other hard-working American families. The UAW members need to realize that their children will not even know what a GM car or truck is if they do not make some sacrifices for the good of their company and their country. We as Americans will continue to lose.

    We need GM, Ford and Chrysler. Not just for American pride but for security. Who made the tanks and jeeps during World War II? Who played a vital role in making sure we were successful at defending our country? We cannot have our ability to build vehicles, vital to the defense of our nation, owned solely by foreign nations. I will pledge to spend a little extra to buy American knowing that I am supporting my country and a hard-working American family. But I also ask that the UAW give a little and understand that it is vitally important to America that GM survives and prospers as a company. We ought to be citizens of America before we are employees of a union. That being said, the executives need to send a message and cut their salary as well. Rick Wagoner does not need to make $8.5 million.

    -Sean Cahill
    UA alumnus

    Roberts a ‘tremendous advocate’

    I was shocked and saddened to hear about the death of Dick Roberts yesterday. As a member of ASUA in the mid-1990s, I grew to know “”Uncle Dick”” as a tremendous advocate for student issues. One example of this was his support helping us navigate a complicated budget situation involving the Student Recreation Center. I had no background or understanding of budgets, but Dick spent a great deal of time educating me on the university budget cycle and mentoring us on the best course of action. I’m convinced that from 1994-1996, I spent more time working with him on these issues than attending class. While most students didn’t know him, they have lost an incredible partner in their educational experience at the UA.

    -Mike Remedi
    UA alumnus
    former ASUA cabinet member

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