[Wildcat Online: opinions] [ad info]





Editorial: State legislator should get her facts straight

Arizona Daily Wildcat,
September 27, 1999

Sometimes, people make statements that are far-fetched, factually baseless and downright bigoted.

Generally, these comments originate from the mouths of outlandish radio shock jocks who are trying to increase their ratings.

But it appears the virus has spread to the state Legislature, and has invaded the mind of one of our representatives.

According to Rep. Jean McGrath, R-Glendale, one of Arizona's more conservative legislators, co-ed dorms at the three state universities are leading students to become pregnant and resort to welfare.

McGrath told the Arizona Board of Regents on Thursday that the state is "supporting immorality" by sponsoring co-ed dorms on their campuses.

As a reminder, this is the same member of the Arizona Legislature who has repeatedly denounced the University of Arizona's Women's Studies department, and she once again expressed her viewpoints about the classes during Thursday's meeting in Tempe.

"I don't see any benefit in having a lesbian studies class, but if you want to, it's up to you," McGrath said, referring to some material in a course that deals with gay issues.

Last semester, McGrath also tried to stop a University of Arizona instructor from sending students to Antigone Bookstore, 411 N. Fourth Ave., to purchase textbooks. She said the store caters to homosexuals and other minority groups.

McGrath's wrath also spread to the UA's Science and Technology Park last semester, when she called the university "silly" and clueless for investing in the endeavor and blamed the Board of Regents.

It's hard to see where McGrath's drivel originates.

Granted, the Science and Technology Park was openly criticized in its early stages by others. They said it could fail and was taking business away from the cities.

But her diatribe about co-ed dorms and women's studies on Thursday was unwarranted and unfathomable.

McGrath offered arguments that included no factual information whatsoever. She presented no statistics, no studies, no research.

We would be surprised if she's even visited a residence hall, much less spoken to a dorm dweller. We'd also be surprised if she fully understood the Women's Studies department or its classes.

Even more frustrating is the reaction of Regent John Munger, who said that he and his colleagues were appointed by a conservative governor and are "for the most part on the same page" as McGrath.

Wonderful. Now the body that represents the state's universities -Øsupposed institutions of higher learning - is endorsing McGrath's viewpoints.

McGrath's comments are embarrassing to the state of Arizona, and Munger should be ashamed of himself as a representative of the state's educational system, for even partially agreeing with the legislator's monologue.

Yes, McGrath comes from a conservative part of the state and she should represent the viewpoints of her constituents.

But as a member of a supposedly open-minded society and a state leader who should act as a role model, how can McGrath make these types of statements?

The UA community, especially dorm dwellers and students who take classes in the Women's Studies department, would be wise to call McGrath's office and voice their opinions.

Show this legislator that UA departments are not corrupting the student body. Show her that co-ed dorms are not resulting in immoral acts and unwanted pregnancies.

Most importantly, show that her making speeches on behalf of her district and the Legislature requires an ounce of research before she again humiliates the state of Arizona.

[end content]
[ad info]