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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday March 6, 2003

Anti-tuition-hike protesters spread good message, picked bad location

Living in the dorms has many downfalls, but most of all is being susceptible to the occasional "hall damage fee." Like all fees that show up on your bursar's account, if they are not paid by the appropriate deadlines there will be repercussions. To my point, today at the Administration building there was a protest against tuition hikes. I, like any other student, am against tuition hikes as well. But when protesting, don't shut down the whole building. People need to get in there for other reasons, such as the registrar, financial aid or to work. If you have a desire to protest, don't chain yourselves to the doors; beat your drums outside so that those of us who work and need to be there can enter and take care of our business. Some of us don't have the time to wait for the police to arrest you.

Andrew Benson
fine arts freshman

ROTC-bashing letter got it wrong: corps teaches ╬leadership, respect'

As two fairly liberal, anti-war, anti-military college women, one might think we would be in agreement with Michael Lewis, author of Monday's letter: "UA should demilitarize by eliminating ROTC program." But, quite honestly, we were rather offended and appalled by Mr. Lewis' overall approach to the subject matter. The letter's contents were altogether distasteful, including unmerited ridicule, unsubstantiated arguments and, in general, a misinformed view of the ROTC program.

Reserve Officers Training Corps is a program to train college students in leadership, respect and responsibility through the structure of discipline (not to abrogate their identity or to define themselves by perfecting war games). For many of those on the ROTC scholarship, it is their only means of providing funds for college.

Further, although we might not consider President Bush the most capable person for the job, and we might not agree with his policies, we do not feel that Mr. Lewis' description of President Bush was mature in the professional backdrop of university life.

Additionally, what does rappelling have to do with being offensive and moronic? Learning to rappel is part of the Army ROTC program just as learning the phonology of a language is key to the study of linguistics (Mr. Lewis' major).

In regard to Mr. Lewis' question, "aren't they supposed to be over in Iraq preparing to kill innocent noncombatants?," we would like to say that civilian casualties are an unfortunate and generally accidental part of warfare. We are against war for this reason (among many), but we cannot belittle those who have chosen to defend this country and its liberties because they might be put in a position where they would have to kill someone, a position that even most military personnel don't want to face.

Lastly, we are not sure where Mr. Lewis has encountered the blatant recruitment ploys of the ROTC that the rest of us have missed. Yes, the military does have an avid recruitment program, but they generally focus on the people who have been responsive to the military in the first place; they don't go out of their way to bother ordinary passers-by.

To reiterate, we are not pro-war or pro-military, and we have never been part of ROTC, but we would like to encourage a more open-minded discussion of the issues at hand through informed, intelligent articles and responses written with maturity and understanding towards all people and opinions.

Jennifer Anderson
math education sophomore

Renee Burchinal
religious studies junior

Columnists are fuzzy on greek facts, but we'll keep trying to stop hazing

To the columnists of the Wednesday's "Issue of the Week": Although narrow-minded, you seem to be intelligent people, so the following concepts shouldn't be too tough for you to understand. Fraternities are a large group of people just like the student body is. Out of these huge masses of students, there's going to be different types of personalities. Sure, fraternities have their share of screw-ups, boozers and "monkeys." But are you trying to tell me that the rest of the school doesn't have people like this? We have the good and the bad, the smart and the stupid, and the poised and the reckless, just like the non-greek student populace has.

Considering your ridiculous and skewed views of what actually takes place in a fraternity, it's clear that none of you have spent much time around a fraternity, or done any amount of research. So how can you think you know what you're talking about, because you've seen a few movies satirizing fraternities? Come on. It takes a pretty weak-minded person to let the media or movies influence their opinion on an entire group of people.

You all gave your opinions about hazing, but did any of you do any research on what's being done about the problem? Did any of you bother to call someone in the Greek Life office, on the Inter-Fraternity Council, or any of the fraternity presidents? I know I didn't get a call. If you would have picked up the phone, you would have found out that we're working extremely hard to end hazing. All fraternity presidents meet every two weeks to discuss certain issues, and the issue most talked about is how to end hazing. We compare notes, successful strategies, ways to get the point across to our members and we hire experts such as Dr. Ron Binder to come educate us about stopping hazing completely. Everything that we're doing is working, just look at the progress we've made. There have been incidents this year, but the number of incidents has dropped significantly, and the severity or potential of harm in each case has also decreased considerably. If we continue this current trend, then hazing will be extinct by next year, and believe it or not, that's what most of us want.

Despite the efforts of many fraternity leaders to rid this campus of all hazing activity, you have to realize it can't happen overnight. We're going to keep working hard and take your criticism as an encouragement to work even harder in the future to end hazing.

Brett Gerson
international studies sophomore
president of Kappa Sigma

Iraqi citizens who fall victim to U.S. bombs won't call Washington ╬moral'

Until last night, I did not know where I stood on the possibility of war in Iraq. Last night, I had an epiphany, however ¸ an epiphany that I think is worth sharing.

It is easy for we Americans to think that war is justified. Saddam is evil. He is threatening to America, to world peace, and perhaps he has connections to terrorism. From our perspective, these are reasons to think that going to war is (morally) justified. Morality is supposed to be impartial, however ¸ and here is where my epiphany comes in.

Last night, while I was lying in bed, (I am somewhat embarrassed to admit) I thought for the first time: "What would I think if I were an innocent Iraqi citizen? What if I were lying in bed right now and had to worry whether some country was going to bomb me and my family tonight, killing us all, just because the leader of my country is evil and threatening to their country?"

My answer was very quick: I would not think that the invading country would be doing something (morally) justifiable. I would not think that it is (morally) OK for some other country to bomb my city, perhaps killing me and my family, simply because my leader is evil and threatening to the invading country.

There is an important lesson to be learned here. Morality is supposed to be impartial. Innocent Iraqi citizens have no less a right to life than do you or I. If you cannot morally support the U.S. going to war when you imagine yourself and your family as innocent Iraqi citizens, then you cannot justify the U.S. instigating war. Period.

Here, then, is what I ask. Try what I tried. My bet is that you will come to the same conclusion that I came to: The U.S. is not justified in starting a war.

(When do I think the U.S. would be justified? My answer: if Iraq posed a clear and present danger to our country or other countries beyond a reasonable doubt. Why? Because, when I imagine myself as an Iraqi citizen, I would, in this case, support war even if myself and my family were at risk of dying ¸ since our lives are, once again, no more important than the lives of people in other parts of the world who would be in grave danger if there was no war.)

Marcus Arvan
philosophy graduate student

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