Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 29, 2004
Flores doesn't deserve students' compassion
Two years ago, my aunt Cheryl McGaffic was killed by Robert Flores in her classroom. Under no circumstances whatsoever should that murderer be honored with the same degree of respect and reverence that my aunt, Barbara Monroe and Robin Rogers are shown. It would be an absolute slap in the face to the three professors, their students and their families. It is like saying the names of the 19 terrorists should be read each year on Sept. 11 along with those they killed. Flores completely disrupted the lives of countless people without batting an eye. That certainly does not deserve any sort of compassion or remembrance. He was not and never should be viewed as the victim.
Cheryl, Barbara and Robin all tried to help him, but he was unwilling to accept their help. The misery he had in life should stay with him now, wherever he is, and not be displayed in front of those whom the true victims left behind.
niece of Cheryl McGaffic
Flores not a victim of his environment
Ms. Johns' quote, "I just understand how Robert Flores may have gotten the urge to shoot up some nursing professors," is one of the most disturbing things I have read. I am upset that the Arizona Daily Wildcat would publish a heartless, callous and disturbing opinion on the very day that changed the nature of the UA forever two years ago. I understand that everyone is entitled to an opinion and I respect the right to free speech, however, I want to state that Robert Flores is not a victim, he was a coward.
Cheryl McGaffic, Barbara Monroe and Robin Rogers were human beings. They had families. They had emotions, feelings, compassion, careers and identities. They had a love and devotion to life and helping people make the world a better place. They did not deserve to be murdered. They did not deserve to have their lives taken away so soon. They were the true victims in this tragedy.
I am amazed that Ms. Johns worked as a nurse because reading her opinion led me to believe that she didn't have an ounce of compassion that she spoke of. She has a blatant disregard for the emotions of the families of the real victims. I truly cannot comprehend what would bring her to the line of logic that Flores is a victim.
The first time I met Cheryl McGaffic was when I was enrolled as a student in one of her classes. She was an amazing person who lit up the room when she walked in. I was amazed by her compassion, caring, understanding and intelligence. She left an impact on me and for that I will always be grateful.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of Cheryl McGaffic, Barbara Monroe and Robin Rogers.
Homecoming an event for alumni
As a student, I never understood what Homecoming was about. The fountains were turned on, the flowers on campus were planted, tents went up, and a group of people no one seemed to know were nominated for Homecoming royalty by a group of people no one seemed to know. The campus was flooded with visitors, and alumni invaded the student section at the football stadium, seated instead of standing, of course, and the campus looked a little like the pictures in the orientation brochure. By Sunday it was over, the campus was littered with red and blue streamers, the fountains were shut off, and the flowers were returned to the freezer, as they waited to be thawed and replanted in the spring, just in time for new student orientation.
Now, five years later, I understand what it is to be an alumnus, to look forward to the day that I get to return to campus and experience Homecoming for myself. It's about returning to a place I lived, worked, studied and experienced what it was like to be away from my family and be on my own for the first time. It's about reuniting with those who were part of those times, and remembering the days when it was our turn, our time, to be students on the campus to make memories that would carry us through life.
I had a rich experience when I was at the UA, and it all comes flooding in when I come back. I can remember midnight movies at Gallagher Theater, the many times the film broke and the many times a student was escorted out for getting up on the stage and standing in front of the screen while the movie was playing. I recall the unofficial tradition of tossing our friends in the Old Main fountain to commemorate their birthday, and the days you could walk on the Mall from Old Main to Campbell Avenue without falling in a hole.
As a student 11 p.m. was considered early, yet strangely enough, so was 11 a.m. The Mall preachers, the clock bell chimes, Mount Graham (and tortilla) protesters, cramming for exams, talking in the library, afternoon naps, Pink Floyd laser shows at the planetarium, Spring Fling on the Mall, getting tossed out of Coconino Residence Hall at 11 p.m. (sorry, no guys allowed after 11), potato chips for breakfast, reading Police Beat and celebrating the national title in 1997 for NCAA basketball. These were a few of my favorite things. As I come back each year to Homecoming I am overwhelmed how the smells, the sights and the sounds of the campus bring it all back, and if I close my eyes, it seems for a moment like I never left.
When it all comes down to it, I have realized that my experience of Homecoming as an alum is directly related to my experience as a student and something I encourage students to consider. The years here can be spent just going to class and going home, or you can get involved and make the most of the time you have on campus. When someone asks me if, given the opportunity, I would go back and relive it over again, I tell them that's what Homecoming is for.
UA alumnus, former Wilbur the Wildcat
Coulter not racist, just tells the truth
I fail to see how anyone who went to see Ann Coulter on Oct. 17 could call what she said racist. She mostly talked about what liberals have been doing in America. She didn't talk all that much about Muslims. The only thing that could be in any way interpreted as racist would be racial profiling.
The fact is, the terrorists of Sept. 11, 2001, were all Muslim extremists.
Almost every terrorist attack on Americans has been done by Muslims from the Middle East.
It only makes sense that they take special interest in searching those who match the description of the terrorists.
Had the 9/11 terrorist attacks been committed by white males, it too would only make sense to take the extra time to search white males. It's just like the Mexican border; when officials at the border are looking through cars, they take the extra time to look at anyone with dark skin. You just aren't going to see white Mexicans crossing illegally, that's just the way it is.
And finally, why is it whenever Republicans do things, stuff is thrown? I mean really, hold signs on a street corner and someone has to chuck a soda at you. No one saw anyone throw anything at Michael Moore. They could easily challenge Republicans to a battle of words, but instead they show how smart they really are because it sure does take a lot of brain power to get that arm back enough to throw something.
computer engineering, freshman
Teachers should get raise before politicians
I am writing in regards to the Wednesday column by Lauren Peckler. Ms. Peckler hit the nail on the head when she mentioned that our state legislators work a part-time job and are not among the lowest paid legislators in the country. Instead of giving politicians who work part-time a pay raise, give the money to Arizona's hard-working teachers. Arizona ranks near the bottom for funding for education, and teachers work closer to a full year than our legislators do. I believe teachers deserve the raise over Arizona's politicians.
Rainbow Bridge depiction misleading
Based on the picture shown with the article ("Rainbow arch could drape downtown" in the Monday Daily Wildcat), I can't blame those who don't like the bridge design. But that picture is just an inspirational sketch drawn by architect Rafael Viñoly. The actual bridge design (which is still just a concept at this point) that Viñoly unveiled as a rendering at the Town Hall last week is really quite beautiful and spectacular. First, imagine St. Louis's Gateway Arch crossed with the Eiffel Tower. Now, nudge the top of the arch off center a bit and give it a little twist. Then sprout cables down from the arch at all angles to suspend the winding pedestrian bridge and science center buildings below. I hope the university and community will have the courage and foresight to see Viñoly's bold design through. It will be an icon for Tucson and the UA. The Wildcat should show the more accurate rendering of the bridge design. When people get to see that, I think they'll love it.
principal research specialist, molecular and cellular biology
Bigotry abounded in Coulter's audience
Whatever you may think or say of Ann Coulter, I must say that fanatical conservatives scare the living daylights out of me. I saw a 13-year-old kid who went around saying things like, "We should kill all ragheads," and "The Second Amendment gives us the right to kill."
This kid was full of hatred and bigotry, and the parents were just standing there clapping at what he had to say. I can never understand why a parent would raise their child to be so full of hate. This kid is so closed-minded that he is no better than any fundamentalist Muslim person in Iraq or Iran.
I cannot condone any kind of bigotry or racism, but that was what I saw that night. Not necessarily from Ann Coulter, but from some of the more zealous spectators.
On a side note, the protesters outside and the other conservatives held very polite and courteous debates over different views. Of course that was before the speech, but nevertheless I was proud of that we still could hold peaceful talks without throwing insults or pies or other desserts at other people.
If this is what the conservative right has to offer, and the liberals offer comedic violence instead of debates, then I am glad to be an independent seeker of intellect.
environmental science senior
Analysis of religious protesters flawed
Although I have come to expect grossly slanted opinions from Ms. Keslar coupled with a ridiculous amount of poor grammar, this article was over the top. I am tempted to believe that Ms. Keslar wrote this article, full of sweeping generalizations, in an attempt to stir the fire. But perhaps she is as misguided as her article would lead me to believe.
Her first mistake: labeling all Evangelicals as "born-agains." This is hardly the case, as being an Evangelical is based on a belief in the truth of the Bible, belief in the Holy Trinity and a belief in resurrection, to name a few.
Her second mistake: labeling the entire religious right Evangelical. Although Evangelicals do tend to be Republicans, not everyone who is religious and right falls into this category.
And by the way, all Christians see the death of Christ as an act of salvation, not just Evangelicals. And while Evangelicals believe the Bible to be true, this hardly closes the door on the debate over capital punishment (see Genesis 9:6). Although this may be used as a justification for capital punishment, it can also be used to justify anyone killing a convicted murderer. Perhaps the Bible is open to interpretation. Just page trough Leviticus. Have you made your guilt offering today?
Oh, and (hint:) Kerry's party isn't the only one using religious symbolism to sway voters; you may remember a certain letter sent by the Republican National Committee stating that a vote for Kerry will lead to a ban on Bibles.
So much for Keslar's liberal "bastardization" and exploitation of religious symbols. I sincerely hope that Ms. Keslar is a member of the Evangelical community, as she felt comfortable generalizing their beliefs and opinions in her article.
veterinary science senior
Democrats canvassed, rather than protesting
The Oct. 25 Wildcat featured an extremely ignorant statement in the Mailbag. Jim Brody, an electrical engineering junior, stated that "While the Democrats did not prove their ability to peacefully protest, they did prove one indisputable fact: All Democrats throw like girly-men."
First off, there was no organized effort whatsoever for the Democrats to "peacefully protest." Instead of "protesting" and interrupting Coulter's speech, us Democrats did something productive: we phone- banked, went canvassing and gave out Kerry gear.
It is ignorant to immediately stereotype the two men who threw pies as Democrats. For all we know, there two men could have been from some anarchist group. Maybe they were Republicans who have a passionate disliking towards Ann Coulter and her lies. And yes, there are Republicans who think Ann Coulter is a disgrace to their party and would do something radical, for example, throwing pies.
So Jim Brody, you are smart enough. Heck, you are in electrical engineering! Before making statements that the two pie throwers are Democrats, use your smart noggin and consider the possibilities that the two men could have been Republicans or affiliated with some other political group. Ever thought they might belong to another political party? I didn't think so.
elementary education junior
Pie-throwing not a Democratic activity
I am writing in response to the recent incident at the Ann Coulter visit. While I strongly disagree with Coulter's views, I find it unacceptable that someone would choose to protest her visit by throwing a pie at her during a speech.
As an avid supporter of the UA Young Democrats and John Kerry, I feel it is imperative that it be clarified that the Young Democrats and John Kerry's campaign did not support this type of behavior and actually discouraged such acts prior to her visit. Through much deliberation consisting of countless e-mails, the Young Democrats eventually decided that Coulter has a right to be heard, even though many of us believe her views are racist, extreme and unpalatable. This is precisely why the Young Democrats remained outside the event to protest, rather than interrupting the event by protesting inside.
This is in stark contrast to the UA College Republicans, who obviously did not believe Michael Moore had a right to be heard. They rudely interrupted his event multiple times - even after he generously gave them 60 seconds of his time to speak their minds.
I am still not convinced that the person responsible for throwing a pie at Coulter was a Democrat or a supporter of John Kerry's. In any case, Kerry and his supporters believe in freedom of speech, and do not believe anyone should be interrupted or prevented from speaking - even someone with views as inflammatory as Ann Coulter.
political science senior