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Letters

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday January 17, 2003

INS registration punishes foreigners, ╬un-American'

First, I thank the Arizona Daily Wildcat for running the important article on the front page yesterday about the former UA instructor facing deportation after he registered with the INS in December ("Former UA instructor may face deportation"). The INS's new special registration system is not enhancing our nation's security. Instead, it punishes foreign nationals based on their national origin, religion, and gender. It is un-American. It violates our Constitution, which guarantees due process and protection from being searched without suspicion. It erodes confidence in the fairness of the INS in our Muslim and Arab communities. It is unfair and abusive in its application.

Attorney General John Ashcroft has threatened our national security with this special registration program, because it wastes valuable time and resources investigating people who are not suspicious. Such discriminatory profiling punishes entire groups of people for the actions of a few who happen to share superficial characteristics with them. I doubt many terrorists will register with the INS.

I hope that UA students, staff, faculty and administrators will speak out against this system. Let's not stand by while our leaders use fear to encourage us to hate our Muslim and Middle Eastern guests. Let's not wait until they begin detaining Muslim and Middle Eastern Americans to say this is wrong.

Carrie Brown
Near Eastern studies graduate student
President, APJME


Wildcat reporting strong on INS registration issue

Thank you for your responsible reporting in yesterday's article, "Former UA instructor may face deportation" by Jose Ceja. Cheers and I hope to see more of this type of reporting done about topics that concern all of us, especially the "patriotic" suspension of rights and common sense so clearly demonstrated in the new INS registration regulations.

Louise Catherine Grubbs
Near Eastern studies graduate student


UA underestimates impact of extended university cut

I simply cannot believe the load of crap this university has dumped on its inhabitants for the last decade. For years, the gripes have been the same each year, over and over. The extreme needs of the students and employees, which included better parking arrangements (more affordable and more reliable), better classroom atmosphere (less crowding without loss of quality, which has always been in question), and more monies allocated and actually utilized for the students and employees, have been "focused on" for quite some time. Now, not only do we decide to fail the students once again by killing off programs left and right, we decide to stick it to the employees as well. The extended university was the only true "ray of hope" left on the campus for those of us who actually work for a living, those of us who give out excellent efforts each and every day on the job with some hope of reaching financial prosperity and higher self-esteem down the road.

I, for one, was one of these very individuals. I firmly believed all of the lies spoken so fluently throughout the campus about how the university is committed to excellence, blah, blah, blah. The only true ideal this university has ever been committed to is cutting the bottom line. Unfortunately, this dedication involves cutting the hopes and dreams of all of those who believed that this university offered a chance at something better. Well, that is partially correct anyway. Hopes and dreams are really only offered to those with tenure, more than adequate finances, and unrealistic work schedules. At least with the extended university some of us were able to "live the lie" and take classes in order to achieve a better life. No more, though. Probably the biggest misnomer is the term "extended university," seeing how the only thing that extends to you is a very long middle finger.

Where is the love, UA? Let them know how it feels to work with pride and take home excuses. I doubt anything like that has ever made it to proposition form. Look, this gripe only focuses on one of many gripes, but believe this, the point is exactly the same. Why punish those who truly have no say? Why not lead by example instead of rhetoric? Oh, I forgot, this is the University of Arizona.

Malik Hawkins
sociology senior


Landscaping over AIC ¸ UA has wrong priorities

I was just talking with some students in my office about the massive educational cuts proposed by the administration of the university. We had to pause our conversation for about three minutes as a university employee passed the window with her gas-guzzling leaf-blower removing various blemishes (leaves, petals and other nasty organics) from the welcome dirt that

passes for our back yard here in arid Tucson. Beside her was another employee applying herbicides to the few green plants that had miraculously managed to creep out sunwards. I just wanted to speak out, among the plumes of dust blown skywards, fumes of gas entering our atmosphere, chemicals pumped into our soils, and noise from my meeting with students, that I am glad, when making the tough choices, that we have our priorities straight around here.

Pete Sherman
Professor, Arizona International College


Institute provides training to produce quality leaders

More than any other program announced, the Institute for Local Government is a poor choice for elimination. The Institute provides invaluable leadership training and policy support to Arizona's government leaders. These are real and useful services that aren't offered elsewhere in the state, especially in Southern Arizona. It provides this support at a minimal cost to the university ¸ just $100,000 of its budget is provided by the UA. The elimination of the Institute for Local Government is a clear signal that the university is uninterested in serving the public that gives it life. In a time marked by difficult political and financial situations, a change in directions that impedes the development of good leaders and policies is truly a wrong turn.

Jason Baran
public administration and policy
graduate student


Library school important, benefits students, faculty

I am compelled to weigh in with my thoughts about why the School of Information Resources and Library Science should not be eliminated. We are a quiet bunch by stereotype, but we are a vital part of this campus.

We have attracted record numbers of students for each of the past two years due to our spreading good reputation and hard working faculty, staff, and administration. We currently have over 200 graduate students who wish to complete their degrees (more than any other unit in SBS). With the increases coming in tuition, our students will be contributing more to SBS than perhaps any of its other programs.

We contribute to the university and community libraries and museums in innumerable ways, so closing SIRLS will have a serious negative impact on, for example, the previously easy hiring practices of local libraries, corporations, and institutes and the level of dedication and eagerness to continuously learn exhibited by its SIRLS employees.

Currently, no less than a dozen graduates of SIRLS and over 10 students work at the Main Library alone, a handful almost solely running the place from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m.

SIRLS serves a corner of the nation (Arizona to Texas to Utah) otherwise devoid of an affordable library school. We provide Gates Foundation interns for Web connectivity projects to American Indian communities and we support a one-of-a-kind program, Knowledge River (with over a million-dollar grant), whose sole purpose is to recruit Hispanics and other minorities to information careers.

We have student initiatives to read to local elementary schools, send books to needy international libraries, and other philanthropic projects that are conceived and run by SIRLS students in their free time.

Finally, to clarify some false statements in the eliminations statement, 1) we were never unaccredited. We were merely under probation for a couple years, and we quite successfully gained full accreditation again after very close scrutiny by the ALA. 2) The administration did its duty meeting with the accreditation committee and answering questions from the school as it prepared accreditation materials, but it was the valiant and untiring leaders of SIRLS, its faculty, and a number of students that earned the reinstatement of accreditation. And it will only be over the equally exhausted and valiantly sacrificed bodies of all current SIRLS-associated individuals that our school is eliminated.

The administration, Regents, and investigation committees need to be prepared to get so much information about us proving our worth that they will be having nightmares of what campus life will be like without SIRLS.

Today, information is everything. What is a major research university without a top-notch research library filled with professionals and soon-to-be professionals?

Christine Dykgraaf
School of Information Resources and Library Science doctoral student


Unfunny ╬Say Home' comic needs touch of originality

I was reading through the Arizona Daily Wildcat yesterday and I wasn't able to find anything really serious that annoyed me, so I flipped to the comics, as they always seem able to annoy me. I can handle them not being funny, as I understand how much effort it takes to be funny. I am, you see, an aspiring improvisational comedian with dreams of someday heading to New York City and being on "Saturday Night Live." I will be to improv comedy what Tiger Woods is to improv comedy. This requires funniness, which I clearly have in abundance.

I am also extremely beautiful, but that is a whole different story. Enough about me, though. The comic that annoyed me the most was titled "Say Home." It wasn't the lack of humor that annoyed me. It was the fact that the lack and style of humor was stolen. I am an avid reader of the "Pokey the Penguin" comic strip that can be found on the Internet using all of those delicious search engines. Pokey is so UN-funny that it becomes funny. I would like the artist of "Say Home" to create more original pieces in the future because he simply cannot compete with the delightfully entertaining bundle of trouble that we genuine comic aficionados refer to as Pokey. Teehee!

Niall O'Connor
business management and marketing senior


Bush tax cuts do nothing for poor, reward wealthy

President Bush shows his true colors in unveiling his new "economic stimulus package." At a cost of $674 billion, this plan focuses 49 percent of its benefits on the richest 1 percent of U.S. citizens. Eliminating the taxes on corporate dividends will benefit only those who are financially capable of investing in corporate stocks. Reuters reported that Vice President Cheney would have saved over $100,000 last year had this plan been in effect. However, Vice President Cheney would not even have seen this new savings until he filed his taxes for the year.

The American family earning less than $20,000 per year will see no new tax cuts and no "economic stimulation" through Bush's plan. Though Bush claims that middle-class tax cuts will be included in the package, these cuts are actually part of last year's tax package, which will be taking effect this year. In fact, as a result of the elimination of dividend taxes, interest rates will likely rise, making it more difficult for low-income and middle-class families to buy a home or car.

Glaringly missing from the stimulus package is any relief to debt-laden states in budget shortfalls. In our own state of Arizona, this will mean more cuts to education, medical care, and programs that service the low-income and middle class, those whom the tax cut will ignore.

Bush shows very clearly with this new tax package where his priorities lie. If you are a member of a low-income or middle-class American family, you are being told that, financially, you do not matter to your president. While he claims to feel compassion for the low-income and middle-class American family, President Bush's actions show that he truly only values the very wealthy.

Kate Mahady
education graduate student

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