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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday January 27, 2003

Universities' priority should be ╬future leaders of America'

I'm writing in regards to Jessica Lee's take on how public universities should not choose its students solely on quality for Wednesday's Issue of the Week. Are you kidding me? Why should a hardworking individual have his place stolen by another student chosen solely because of the color of his skin? Sure there are some "rich white kids" that have been fortunate enough to live in nicer areas, but why should they be punished for the hard work their parents or grandparents put forth so that they are in the position that they are now? And who is to say that they don't have the same, if not greater desire to attend college as someone less fortunate? Is there a difference between the quality of schooling in the inner cities and the suburbs? Yes, but the opportunity to excel in both situations exists.

We live in America, a place where no matter where you were raised, you have the opportunity to achieve almost anything with hard work. Do you think that the "rich white kids" did not have to work hard to achieve academic excellence? I come from Orange County, California, one of the richest areas in the world, and regardless of economic standing, the individuals that attained excellent grades were some of the hardest working people I have ever met. I saw friends who were honor students with full International Baccalaureate awards and in the top five percent of our class get rejected from state schools because of a movement to diversify college campuses. We live in a capitalistic society, not a communist one and because of that, strong effort and a motive to achieve will get you places. Should the universities take a "me, me, me" approach? No, but they should think about the "we" in terms of selecting the future leaders of America.

Bryant Conger
public administration freshman

Affirmative action's focus on race ╬neglects poor whites'

Affirmative action in higher education is well meaning in principle but flawed in practice. When it comes to inequality and lack of opportunity in undergraduate education, race should not be the central issue; rather it is socioeconomic status that should play a role, if any, in leveling the playing field and determining the future of hopeful entrants.

As a recent transfer from the University of Michigan, I have witnessed the effects of the university placing such a huge emphasis on race as a determining factor in college admissions. Many African-Americans who are admitted and enter the school are totally unprepared for the rigorous curriculum they are up against and face four years of constant doubt and having to sit in the front row to absorb information, while others are prepared just as well for college as their white counterparts and do not need the extra boost. Putting the focus solely on race also neglects poor whites, many of whom are just as worse off and underprivileged as the African-Americans the university is trying to help. A student's economic past should receive equal consideration, if not more, to that of race in the game of college admissions at such prestigious, competitive schools as the UM. The UA, while cursed with a sea of financial worries, is fortunate not to have this problem and should continue its policy of open enrollment to people off the street and the like. As for the UM use of affirmative action in law school admissions, I find it unnecessary to implement at the graduate level. From the time of admission as an undergraduate, the opportunity for success is equal across the board as everyone has access to the same classes, professors, libraries, research opportunities, and so on. All 25,000 undergraduates at the UM, from the onset, have an equal opportunity to carve their futures, and further steps toward reverse discrimination at the graduate level are both redundant and unnecessary.

Eric Bohn
environmental science senior

SALT Center cuts should be part of Focused Excellence

Budget cuts? Focused excellence? Will someone please explain to me why the university just built a new building for the SALT program?

President Pete Likins is threatening to cut some of the architecture program after he builds a new home for students who have trouble learning. I see this as a way to kill two birds with one stone. We save money from cutting SALT and weed out the students who can't keep up scholastically with the rest of us. Then with the SALT building vacant we can move the Honors College, which is now called the run-down Slonaker House home, into the new, modern building it deserves. Come on President Likins, we can send all the slow kids to ASU.

Brian Danker
materials science and engineering senior

Off-campus businesses other than Domino's should accept CatCards

Is there a realistic reason why the CatCard has not been introduced to East University Avenue? Why is Domino's the only place that allows CatCard off campus? These two questions have plagued my friends and I when looking to get some food, tired of eating the same generic food at each union stop. Now I know that there is a McDonald's and a Panda Express, which are some type of variety from the burgers fries and chicken wraps, but honestly, how much fatty McDonald's food can someone eat? I for one this semester, with the closure of Park Student Union, have designated less money for my CatCard food plan and more for off-campus spending. With the closure of Park, I felt that it would have been useless buying a food plan. Why should I have to walk to the Union for every single meal? I personally think that the places in town should not only take CatCard but also be required to take CatCard as well as cash and credit. By imposing the use of the CatCard on University Avenue, it will become what many want to be as a second Mill Avenue, which is currently the main drag at Arizona State.

Secondly why is Domino's the only off-campus establishment taking CatCard? I can understand why Papa John's and Blackjack don't take it for the reason of a contract with the CatCard company, but why not a Chinese place on (East) Fourth Avenue? I once called up and asked why they did not take CatCard, and they explained that there was all kinds of fees involved which discouraged them away from it. If the CatCard company would make it easier for businesses to do business on campus such as delivery to hungry students in their dorm late at night, then the CatCard company would not only make their money back but would also make the campus even better.

What is the attraction of eating McDonald's and generic fatty grill items all the time? You're right, there is none. I propose this to the CatCard company: The more businesses you get to take the CatCard, the more return you will see, and the more students will be happy.

Jon Barkan
pre-business freshman

Lack of protestors at peace rally does not mean all Tucson supports war

In response to Chris Simon's Thursday letter titled, "Anti-war protestors' efforts may reveal pro-war majority," he states the readers should do the math regarding the participation of the community in the recent peace rally on Jan. 18. Mr. Simon ends with the assumption that the lack of protestors indicates the Tucson community does not care, or "more likely" supports the idea of war on Iraq.

Mr. Simon, please do not start jumping to conclusions and speaking for the majority. The message that you think was being sent "loud and clear" may not be the one you made a point to stress as the most probable. The "lacking" of people at the peace rally cannot be automatically correlated to mean the citizens of Tucson either do not have an opinion or are in support of Bush's "protecting the American people." The peace rally of last weekend was not well advertised in my opinion; I had no knowledge of the event until the afternoon after the fact.

According to an online poll conducted by CBS News, reported Jan. 23 regarding the war issue, 64 percent of Americans support military actions against Iraq, that is down from 70 percent two months ago. Also, 63 percent of Americans want Bush to find a diplomatic solution to this issue. Lastly, 77 percent of Americans state they want United Nations inspectors to continue to keep looking for the evidence needed to justify military action if the report due on Jan 27 does not provide just cause for war. Granted, the national polls may or may not reflect the views of the residents of Tucson, Arizona; however, I find it ignorant of Mr. Simon to make assumptions and speak for the masses.

Mandy Riley
psychology senior


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