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Issue of the Week: A man-only major

Illustration By Arnie Bermudez
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, April 1, 2004
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In a closed meeting last week, the executive committee of the College of Engineering voted by a two-thirds majority to exclude women from future enrollment. Committee members defended the decision by citing low female enrollment in the college and the need to "distinguish" the college from others around the nation in an increasingly competitive market. However, the decision has encountered unprecedented opposition from bra-burning feminazis, lesbians and the women's studies department. We asked our columnists, "Did the College of Engineering go too far? Or do these chicks just have their panties on a little too tight?"

Sabrina Noble

Engineering a 'silly' choice for girls

I'd initially assumed the College of Engineering's decision to accept only men would fill the school with angry students, so I set off to gather ammunition. But to my amazement, I found that engineering students are calling the change long overdue.

"This has been a long time coming," said associate professor Tom Nyugen. "It's a simple biological fact that ovaries drastically reduce performance. Women aren't equipped, if you know what I mean." He then snickered and nudged his male colleagues.

Civil engineering professor Gary Testo agreed. "Just as little girls knock over toy blocks, women have no business designing - or even thinking about designing - cities."

"It's true," engineering senior Mike Stegoist added. "When it comes to building or fixing things, girls never get it. Whether it's because they have smaller fingers or because they're dumber doesn't make a lot of difference, practically speaking."

Prior to the decision, both faculty and students were surveyed to gauge the necessity of removing women from the program. They found that the greatest source of classroom disruption was consistently from female student complaints that homework "made them weepy" and test anxiety made them "skip their periods."

So it's no surprise that female students are equally excited by the change.

"Frankly, I'm relieved," said junior Mina Trautmann. "Numbers hurt my girl brain!"

But perhaps the logic behind the admissions overhaul was summed up best by engineering sophomore Molly Arthurs. "I enrolled thinking I'd develop microchips that revolutionized our world. Those were lofty goals silly for a girl to make. Now I see change must start at home, by rearranging the furniture and having lots of babies."

In this case, says engineering, if you can't stand the heat, get into the kitchen. Now we'll have to wait to see if other colleges follow its lead.

Sabrina Noble is a senior majoring in English and creative writing. She can be reached at

Tim Belshe

Put women back where they belong

Thank God! For the first time in a long while, this school did something that actually makes sense.

It's well-known that women are entirely incompetent when it comes to anything technical. There's no point in pretending that there may be some potential hiding in those pretty pink purses. I can't tell you how many times I've tried in desperation to help a girl understand even the simplest engineering concepts.

Besides, women usually just don't have the organizational skills needed in a field like engineering, where keeping a project on schedule is a constant concern. Just last semester I was in a group with a young lady for an engineering class. She spent the whole weekend before the project was due playing video games with her boyfriend. Then, the night before we had to turn in the project, she was upset because we had to pull a late night to get everything done.

Engineering can be a demanding mistress. Those who choose to take up this profession have to be willing to make sacrifices and take on the responsibilities of the job. The fact is that most women simply aren't up to the challenge.

Besides, by not allowing women into the engineering college, we're actually helping them play to their strengths: baking and typing.

Tim Belshe will probably be forced to leave the College of Engineering in the near future. He can be reached at

Daniel Scarpinato

Maybe the college is stupid

One can't help but be sympathetic with the College of Engineering. In this politically correct era, bleeding liberals have infiltrated equality movements with policies that make white men out to be criminals.

It is understandable why the guys in charge would want to put women back in their place; they've moved into the workplace and out of the kitchen much too rapidly.

Nevertheless, this policy goes too far. Rather than exclude women altogether, the college should be slicker in its efforts to keep women out.

Raising the entrance requirements would do just that, since the handful of women who make it in now would probably not make the grade with tougher standards.

Men do and should dominate this difficult trade, but putting that in a written policy would be bad politics. The school's executive committee should take a few lessons from President Bush's political maestro Karl Rove on the art of deceiving the public. He's done a lot of that these past few months.

Without a doubt, President Peter Likins will put a stop to this move. After all, the new policy would be in a direct clash with his hopes to diversify the UA.

Still, one wonders the ulterior motives of the college. Why are all these men so eager to exclude women? Perhaps it's the result of a "good old boys club" mentality. But it could be something deeper.

Maybe gay men have claimed a bit too much power this year.

Daniel Scarpinato is president of the Society of Jaded Journalists. He can be reached at

Jennifer Kursman

Kick 'em out, and step on it!

As the great philosopher Barbie once said, "Math is hard." I can attest to this claim. In some of the courses required for my biochemistry major, I have occasionally been asked to - gasp - solve a conversion factor problem or determine a chi-square distribution. I was quaking in my boots. But wait! Sitting in the seat behind me was a bona fide male specimen. All I had to do was bat my eyelids and look demure, and he solved the problem for me!

Girls have no place in science courses, least of all engineering. As for those renegade feminist characters - they must be insane. "All humans are endowed with unalienable rights?" What utter foolishness!

The UA should have limited College of Engineering admissions to males a long time ago. Let's face it - in order to make men truly equal to women in terms of intellect, "talent handicapping" a la Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron," would have to ensue ... and then society would degrade into a sci-fi dystopia ...

No, kicking out the women will increase the overall quality of engineering graduates - because everyone knows girls can't do math.

As a child, Jennifer Kursman instinctively decapitated any Barbie given to her as a gift - and that's not a lie. She is a biochemistry freshman and can be reached at

Jason Poreda

Goodbye eye candy, hello pocket protectors

Well, I just have one thing to say on this: This is stupid.

Yeah, that's right - I think this is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of. I could go on and on about how incredibly illegal this is or how politically incorrect it is to even suggest such a thing. No - instead, I am going to focus on a few of the smaller things that surround this issue, because I just can't fathom why on Earth the College of Engineering would think that it would benefit from not allowing women in.

Any guy who has a girlfriend - apparently nobody in the College of Engineering - knows that having a woman around is a really good thing for a lot of reasons. No offense ladies, but when the weather in Arizona gets warmer and the UA butt shorts make their first appearance, it's a great time to be on campus. And now the engineers are going to miss out. Perhaps they expect higher productivity with fewer distractions. Maybe they all decided that they want to be as nerdy as possible and didn't feel comfortable "letting loose" with all those pretty girls running around. I guess we'll never know, but what we do know is that the coed engineering fraternity has just become a lot less fun.

Jason Poreda is really glad he's in the Social and Behavioral Science College. He can be reached at

Susan Bonicillo

Lowering the glass ceiling

The College of Engineering's recent ban on women is wrong on so many levels.

Engineering is an extremely difficult major. It takes someone with the right temperament, someone who solves math problems for fun, someone who is willing to spend many a weekend night behind a desk accompanied only by the faint glow of fluorescent lighting and the force of his or her own ambition.

As a former aerospace engineering major, I knew I couldn't handle it. Though I lacked the ability to forego friends and fun in the name of scientific progress, it would be unfair to exclude others from this endeavor.

This ban serves as a crushing blow to all the efforts urging women to push past the barriers that say women aren't cut out for the scientific world. This decision makes tangible all the ugly face of chauvinism that still colors our society.

Also, this decision sets the precedent for other departments to curb membership because of lack of interest or enrollment in terms of any select group. Does this mean a department like College of Nursing or College of Education can exclude men for the same reason?

Obviously, this decision is colored by a disparaging attitude toward women and is fraught with potentially devastating consequences. The ban needs to retracted, if not for the principle of fairness and equity, then at least for the people who would be affected by it. How can any one of us trample on some young girl's dream of becoming a socially awkward yet highly skilled technician?

Susan Bonicillo is a journalism sophomore and has sympathy pains for anyone taking Physics 141. She can be reached at

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