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OPINIONS
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Mailbag

Misquotes undermine integrity of the Wildcat

I am disappointed in the journalistic practices that went into Monday's article "Students writing own letters of reference." I was "interviewed" for and "quoted" in the article, and my experience led me to understand the lack of journalistic integrity on the Daily Wildcat staff. My "interview" consisted of a Wildcat reporter approaching me as I sat down to lunch on Friday. She proceeded to explain that some students were writing their own letters of recommendation to be sent to graduate schools for admission. She explained that graduate schools don't have a problem with it, and most professors don't mind signing their name to a letter they didn't write. She then asked, "What do you think?" She did not mention that, "Joe Ford, the assistant director of admissions for Michigan State University's school of business, said he highly discourages students writing their own letters." In short, I was presented with a one-sided view of the story, and asked to comment. I answered with, "It seems like that defeats the purpose of a letter of recommendation, but if the schools are OK with it, and the students and their professors are OK with it, then what are you going to do?" I was quoted as saying, "In a sense, it defeats the purpose of a letter of recommendation, but if everyone is OK with it, it is not a problem." Now, I don't feel like I was misrepresented in the quote; it got across the basic idea of what I said. However, if my one-sentence quote given in a two-minute interview is changed for this article, how many interviews of much greater significance with much more content will be misrepresented in articles in the future? Or, perhaps more importantly, how many people have been misrepresented in the Daily Wildcat in the past? Wildcat reporters and writers, please keep this in mind as you seek to present the news to the UA student body: Interviews should be conducted with integrity and professionalism, and quotes should be just that, not a representation of the basic idea you think the person has communicated. [Read article]

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photo Talking back: Affirmative action isn't ideal, but is necessary

If you've been following the news lately, you've seen some renewed interest in the controversial topic of affirmative action and its place in today's colleges and universities.

Conservative student groups across the country are trying to push the issue back to the forefront of national discussion. They have spent too many generations fighting to survive in this minority-controlled world; they have begun to rise against their minority oppressors! [Read article]

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Connecting the Dots: ASUA presidential race: a crowded but colorful field

"Communication" is a word politicians love to throw around, whether on the national stage or right here on campus.

"We need to communicate more," they say, with voters, students, each other, whomever.

Close examination of UATV's coverage of yesterday's Associated Students of the University of Arizona presidential debate will clue you into exactly how many times the word "communication" was used, but there is no debate about it: All the candidates are in favor of communicating more with students. [Read article]

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Editorial: Put the ╬ed' in ╬gen ed'

This semester, Jerry Hogle, the new vice provost for instruction, will re-evaluate the general education system as part of a routine review. However, the results of the review could be anything but routine ¸ if a committee recommends amending the 7-year-old program, students could see substantial changes starting next spring.

Administrators should see this as an opportunity to revamp a system that has fallen short of what it was originally intended to do, rather than a chance to dismantle a valuable educational tool. [Read article]

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