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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday September 8, 2003

Band prepares for ╬hours upon hours' to get ready

Some people, unfortunately, are not so ╬Fastş' when it comes to understanding how a marching band works. The week prior to classes, the Pride of Arizona practices 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, teaching new members how to march, practicing the new music and preparing the first performance of the year: pre-game and the first segment of the halftime show. It takes hours upon hours of endless work to make a show performance-ready. By the time of the first football game, it is impossible to have an entire 15-minute show completed, as that would include having memorized every note, every dynamic, every move and every form in the space of two weeks. Have you already learned every ounce of information that will be covered this semester so that you may be tested on it tomorrow? In the POA, there are only two ways to describe something: spectacular or unacceptable. Mr. Fast's letter would fall in the latter, as would the football team's performance against UTEP.

I am a huge fan of Wildcat football, but that will not prevent me from making basic observations. How can one say that the football team was "playing a good game" and that we "put the crowd to sleep?" Stumbling around, forgetting routes and blocks, yet still clobbering one of the worst college football teams is hardly what I would consider "good." And such a powerful composition by the extraordinarily talented Professor Rees is far from boring. His original composition "Teardrop" is a complex work of art that will blow you away and ¸ as we can now tell ¸ is evidently beyond the mind capacity of certain "fans."

Indeed, we are an "alternative" marching band. That means we perform things out of the ordinary such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins and original, never-before-heard compositions. If only we had "alternative" Wildcat fans ¸ then perhaps they would stay for the entire game and continue to cheer on the team no matter what the score, as we do in the POA.

To the POA: Keep up the hard work!

Geoff White
anthropology freshman

Tucson police raids very unlike Gestapo actions

In response to Kyle Booen's letter "Tucson police should focus on real crime" that ran Thursday: I was rather dismayed to see him compare the Tucson Police Department to the Gestapo of Nazi Germany. His thoughtless and faulty analogy not only does a great disservice to TPD, but trivializes the deeds of the Gestapo as well. I seriously doubt that the raids TPD has been conducting on parties to catch underage drinkers are "Gestapo-type'" especially if we consider the fact that many of the Gestapo's victims were innocent, unlike the underage drinkers at those parties. Gestapo is not a term that should be thrown around carelessly; doing so dishonors the victims of WWII atrocities and is a grave offense against the men and women of TPD who serve and protect our community. If Mr. Booen wants to drink and carouse, he should be prepared to face the consequences and not launch a tirade against people who are just doing their jobs. We live in a democracy that precludes the existence of something like the Gestapo; I don't think that being expected to obey the law is too much to ask in return.

Matt Powell
computer engineering sophomore

No argument against adding same-sex benefits exists

In Thursday's editorial, the contributing member of the Board wrote, "There's no legal way to distinguish a same-sex couple living together from two roommates, or from a boyfriend and girlfriend cohabitating. Without some legal distinction, offering domestic partner benefits would amount to discrimination against non-married, non-same-sex partners living together."

First, I am happy to see the Wildcat addressing the issue. The decision to offer domestic partner benefits is being used increasingly around the country as a draw for universities and major corporations. Considering the option here at the University of Arizona could place us in a more competitive space regarding recruitment and retention of staff and faculty.

The fact of the matter is that there IS a legal way to distinguish between same-sex couples and roommates Ě qualifying conditions are set forth on this issue by the majority of the Fortune 500 companies, major universities and other institutions offering domestic partner benefits. These conditions are met, typically, through filing affidavits proving conjoined banking, habitation and expense handling, and such practices take their roots in United States Common Law Marriage tradition. Most importantly, these benefits are often available to both homosexual and heterosexual couples able to meet qualifying conditions.

The argument against adding this benefit based on discrimination against heterosexual couples is unfounded for two reasons: (1) Depending upon the insurance company chosen to offer the program, domestic partners often can be of either the same or opposite sex; and (2) Heterosexual couples already HAVE universal access to legal certification Ě a marriage license.

Christopher Tindell
bookstore employee

Beverage wrenches ╬just another way to advertise'

This letter is in response to Ms. Lee's piece on UAB beverage wrenches. In your article, I didn't hear anyone disagree that the bottle opener or beverage wrench (let's all just agree it's a little multi-purpose piece of plastic) wasn't for beer bottles; they just said it didn't promote alcohol consumption. Also, you obviously didn't listen to anyone you interviewed because the unanimous message seemed to be that the little pieces of plastic did not promote alcohol consumption. They are just another way to advertise for an organization full of volunteers who do more for this school than many of the other organizations on campus. If you took the time to ask what UAB does, you may have learned about all the people who give up their free time to promote diversity or bring us free concerts and films or do comedy or family weekend or a hundred other things that everyone on this campus takes for granted. Maybe you might want to look at things for their redeeming value instead of trying to find ways to spark up controversy on a subject that has been beaten to death in your paper already ¸ namely the Star Ranch bust. In fact, what exactly does that have to do with CatFest? How many people were raped in Centennial Hall? How many students at that show got drunk and beat up people or broke car windows? How many of those students drove home drunk and hit people? None. You know why? It is because UAB brought them together in a safe environment to be entertained. We offered them an alternative to going to Star Ranch and drinking, but I guess that isn't as important as a little piece of plastic, especially the ones that say UA on them in the bookstore. You know ¸ the ones right next to the beer steins and shot glasses.

Matt Sanchez
media arts junior
director of Comedy Corner (UAB)

Students must be educated on ╬hazards of alcohol'

As last Friday was the anniversary of my son's death in an alcohol-related accident, I was interested in the Wildcat's features about campus drinking. When I went to the Carleton College campus after my 19-year-old son's death, I visited his dorm and was surprised to see how much alcohol was available ¸ bottles on windowsills, students lugging beer cases up stairways and so on. The attitude toward alcohol (and the indifference to its human costs) was similar to that reflected in the Viewpoints section of last Friday's paper: "I don't see what the problem is;" "Let them have their fun;" "If kids are going to drink, they're going to drink;" "There is something inherently natural about college students drinking alcohol;" etc. The Dean of Students told me that, had the Minnesota legal drinking age been 21 rather than 18, my son's death probably would not have happened. There are

hundreds of alcohol-related deaths on and around campuses each year, so let's not say it's no big deal, no more than we should call the deaths in Iraq "insignificant." I commend any and every effort to educate students on the hazards of alcohol, but to judge from the discarded bottles, alcohol-related accidents and crime around UA and the responses of interviewed students, I don't see much hope. Alcohol promotion is more than a match for any rational attack on the problem.

David Ray
professor emeritus

Administrators pick wrong time for pay increases

It seems that the priorities of UA President Pete Likins, along with his fellow administrators, are out of line. A Wednesday article in the Wildcat regarding administrative pay hikes of 6.9% in the middle of a budget crisis is enough to make one wonder. Furthermore, construction on the UA Campus never ceased during recent years. So how do they come up with this money? Well, they decided to increase tuition for the student body by 50 percent.

So what benefit has the student body on campus gained from the hike? Realistically, there has not been any. First, the student body has had to face an elimination of classes necessary for graduation, or outright elimination of the departments in which they reside. Second, departments are losing tenured professors to better universities because of the low pay in the staff itself. Third, the student body has not gained any serious benefits from the new buildings that are being put up. These in and of themselves should make all involved hold UA President Likins accountable for the lack of benefits seen during his tenure.

As such, is the pay increase for the administrators really beneficial to the student body? No, when you consider that a pay increase for each Administrator could total $6,900 each. Are the new buildings beneficial to the student body? No, when you consider that each new building may not be filled because of the lack of money available for the classes for which they were built. So when it comes down to it, the situation has gotten worse, and the administrators saw fit to give themselves a pay hike in the process. This is an outrage and an obvious demonstration of a lapse in good judgment.

Stephen W. Bieda, III
'03 alumni

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