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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday March 13, 2003

Student government doesn't represent views of students

In response to the Issue of the Week, ASUA in its current form is completely useless. First of all, the candidates have been running on the same issues since my freshman year at least, probably longer. Especially my favorite useless issue: a student section at the basketball games. Every ASUA candidate promises to fight for it; nothing ever happens with it.

Probably the biggest reason for ASUA's uselessness and such high student apathy is how asinine the idea of voting for 10 people for senate, and the 10 with the most votes getting the job, is. Not to mention that if you look at the list, most of the senate candidates represent only a few different majors and colleges. There is no real student representation here. I'll bet that no one really knows the issues of every senator they vote for.

I hate to admit it, but this is one thing ASU does far better than we do. Up there, every college elects its own senator in the way every state elects its for the U.S. senate. So, the Eller College would elect its own senator, so would the University College, and so on. A reformation like this would vastly improve ASUA, providing a true representative senate, increasing student interest and allowing students to worry about voting for four people (president, executive vice president, administrative vice president, senator) instead of 13. Until then, senators will be elected based on nothing more than number of signs, witty slogans and how they look.

Anthony W. Nelson
criminal justice senior

New tuition increase unfairly burdens out-of-state students

The out-of-state tuition increase is causing me to have to graduate a semester early. Due to the tuition increase, instead of graduating in spring '04, I have to graduate in December 2003. I pay my own out-of-state tuition through my own means (non-loan), and due to the tuition increase I can't afford another semester here. I don't qualify for financial aid and had to add an additional six units to this semester, making 19 units. I have a huge workload with 13 of my 19 units as 400-level MCB courses. I also have to take 10 units over the summer and, thus, don't qualify for any summer research programs that I would otherwise have qualified for.

I really hope President Likins is happy with the problems he has created. Every once in a while I see him walking around campus. Next time, I'm going to confront him and simply give him a sarcastic, "Thanks a lot."

The really disturbing thing is that the Arizona Legislature can pass legislation that would protect the university system from any effects of an Arizona budget crisis. So once again, the great leaders of Arizona have proven themselves to be what everybody expects: lazy, stupid, greedy, self-serving, lying politicians.

Jake Dupuy
molecular and cellular biology senior

Constitution requires defense of citizens, not education

In response to Allison Smith's Wednesday letter: Ms. Smith, while surely well-intentioned, exposed more ignorance on her part than on the part of Mr. Campbell. While she chastises the U.S. government for its purported lack of attention to education and its lavish treatment of the armed forces, she may want to reconsider her claims that the government cares more about the latter than the former. The U.S. government as Ms. Smith probably knows, but must have let it slip her mind is not delegated the responsibility for education under our constitutional system.

This is very much unlike the defense of our nation, which is expressly put into the capable hands of the U.S. government see the Preamble, Article One: Section Eight, and Article Two : Section Two. Given this delegation of responsibilities, it is not unreasonable for the U.S. government to spend a lot more on one of its express responsibilities than on one that is left to the states. The National Association of State Boards of Education reports that federal funds for education are intended to "supplement, not supplant" the efforts of the states, and that this is expressly included in both the Elementary and Secondary Education and No Child Left Behind Acts (NASBE Policy Update, Vol. 10, No. 16). "Support, not supplant" reportedly appears more than 30 times in the NCLB Act.

Since the federal funds are meant to augment rather than replace, it makes perfect sense for education spending to be significantly lower than defense spending at the national level. In comparison, many states have education as the number-one budget item. Arizona, for example, spends 42 percent of its budget on K-12 education and 13 percent on the universities. Ms. Smith, does 55 percent of a $6 billion budget represent a lack of caring? What is the state's budget for national defense? According to Ms. Smith's thinking, the state doesn't care about national defense. It is illogical, at best, to assign a level of commitment to an issue based on appropriations figures, when the basis for the appropriations is not the same. You're comparing apples to oranges, Ms. Smith.

Jason Baran
public administration and policy graduate student

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