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Letters

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday December 6, 2002

UA discriminates against those who are ╬different'

The UA is not a diverse campus.

Many individuals would disagree with the above. One reason is that we have people from more than 100 different countries and all 50 states here, which means we have a person of every race, color, ethnicity, religion, etc., here. Big deal.

All I see is a painted image of the university's idea of diversity on campus. Diversity is not about trying to fill a quota of individuals who are different in some way. Diversity is about promoting and encouraging others to look at differences of others with respect, with a non-biased view, and with an open mind. Also, diversity is about promoting and encouraging others to accept those who are different.

If the UA is a diverse campus, why doesn't it encourage men to take women's studies classes? Women to declare majors that are popular among men (i.e., computer science, engineering and business)? Non-blacks to take African-American studies? Why don't I see more students on campus (including at a place called the "student union") trying to make friends or asking someone out on a date with someone who is different in some way? Why are there only Christians who preach their beliefs on the UA Mall and not those who are not Christian or follow any of the Eastern faiths? Why is there not one non-white person in the Greek Life chapters, that are dominated by white people? Also, why is there not one white (non-Hispanic) person in the Multi-Cultural Fraternity?

The UA's lack of consistency on diversity has allowed many on campus to get away with prejudiced, racist, sexist and shallow views of others who are different, especially towards the overweight. After all, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act doesn't protect those who have a different body physique. If the UA claims it doesn't tolerate discrimination against this group, why does it allow the sale of Slim-Fast?

Why does it only use what society considers "good-looking" (skinny) people in all the advertisements one can find on campus? Why does it allow many Greek Life members to discriminate against the overweight in their selection of members and dating?

The UA's hypocrisy clearly shows that they're not about promoting and encouraging diversity. Rather, the only "acceptance" the university has allowed is based on the idealistic, shallow, racist, sexist, prejudice norms of society. And if you don't fit into the norms, you're an outcast.

Donald Wilson
sociology junior


Activism means more than ╬spectacle and sensation'

As a member of Students Against Sweatshops who agreed to be interviewed for Sarah Nixon's article on SAS in Tuesday's edition of the Wildcat ("Sweatshop activists are losing steam"), I was slightly startled to learn that SAS was "losing steam" and had been "quieted." What startles me about Ms. Nixon's article is not the accuracy of her claims, so much as the assumption underlying those claims that activism is little more than sit-ins, lock-downs and protests ¸ actions that, perhaps not coincidentally, can be easily reported and packaged.

I do not dispute the fact that, as the word implies, activism often involves visible and sometimes elevating forms of action. But responsible activism is based on ¸ if it is not essentially ¸ quiet, tireless and persistent work by people who care about engaging and understanding our world, about transforming their own lives and the lives of others for the better.

To reduce activism to only those actions easily mistaken for spectacle and sensation is to misunderstand not only activism but, more importantly, the frighteningly powerful forces and agendas against which activism organizes.

Mark A. Rivera
classics graduate student


Quality Assurance Unit can help with good lab practices

Ms. Stephanie Schwartz indicated in her Dec. 2 front-page article "Researcher under FDA investigation since 2000" on the FDA and Dr. Marcus that the FDA found a violation in which "UA fail(ed) to establish a ╬quality assurance unit' for research."

Although it is true that Management at the UA did not support such a unit until recently, there has been a Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) at the UA for almost 15 years. It is composed of Dr. Martin M. Karpiscak and Ms. Susan B. Hopf. If researchers need/needed assistance in Good Laboratory Practices for FDA or EPA, they could contact the QAU for help.

A one-day GLP information/training session will be held on Feb. 18, 2003 (the registration form can be obtained from the QAU at 621-8591). And if there are current researchers needing GLP advice, please contact the QAU at the same number.

Susan B. Hopf
research specialist senior
Office of Arid Lands Studies


Researcher's FDA violation should mean his ╬removal'

Your Dec. 2 article on the investigation into Dr. Frank Marcus ("Researcher under FDA investigation since 2000") neglected to convey the severity of this situation. The fact that Dr. Marcus has received violations from the FDA for mislabeling dogs and not maintaining equipment, demonstrates that the Animal Care Program and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, which oversee animal research at the UA, are not doing their job.

The problems at the Marcus lab should never have reached a point where they warranted an FDA investigation; they should have been internally remedied by the IACUC long ago. However, the IACUC has a long history of turning the other way when it comes to researchers conducting sloppy science. We have an e-mail from Dr. Susan Wilson-Sanders, the head of the IACUC, showing that she was well aware that Dr. Marcus' lab had problems with mixing up animals long before the investigation. This is outrageous! This attitude, of course, is all at the expense of the animals who are not receiving the protection and care they deserve. We have been asking students to sign petitions requesting the immediate removal of Dr. Marcus and an investigation into the IACUC. Professors like Dr. Marcus need to be penalized for not following protocol, and it is high time that this university take a hard look at the IACUC.

Reasa D. Haggard
Founder and spokesperson
Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (SETA)

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