Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, April 12, 2004

RA shouldn't have been fired for minor offense

Here we go with another case of hypersensitivity. After reading the article about Pima resident assistant Phillip Chavira's wrongful termination, I was so irritated that I ran to the Integrated Learning Center to sign the online petition. I can't believe that Residence Life Director Jim Van Arsdel could be so illogically heavy-handed in dealing with this situation. The act of tin-foiling a friend's room on April Fools' Day in retaliation to a toilet-papering incident hardly warrants taking away someone's job, home and income - especially because the end of the semester is so near. I believe that a compromise can be made that would satisfy both the irrational victim spurring this mess and Chavira. He should be allowed to keep his job for the remainder of the semester and, to satisfy the other party, also be ineligible to be an RA next year. There was no real crime committed here - just someone who couldn't take what she dished out. Let the punishment fit the crime.

Lyndsay Edwards

psychology senior

Voting down activity fee right move for students

I loved reading the Wildcat one day and seeing J.P. Benedict telling everyone that there will be enough time to "educate" the student body about his activity fee. Then a few days later, after the students rightfully voted the proposal down, he claimed there wasn't enough time to "educate" everyone. It seems to me that the definition of "educate" that the ASUA leaders are using is different than the one I use. To them, educate means people agreeing with them. You are educated when you vote for the fee; I disagree. I believe that the students were aware of what this fee really was and don't want it or need it.

You see, I think our student government leaders in ASUA have good intentions but the wrong methods. First of all, a student activity fee is nothing more than a tax on the students. President Likins' tuition increase is quite enough for me to pay each year. I don't want to add another fee to the Student Recreation Center fee, the KAMP fee, etc. Also, there is a budget for speakers already. Why should we give ASUA over $1 million to play with?

I applaud all my fellow students who voted a big, fat no on this proposal. Good job! Remember, if it comes up again, vote no again! Don't get "educated." Pete Seat

theatre arts junior

Plans for comedy event show conflict of interest

I read in Friday's Wildcat that Sarah Calvert, ASUA's special events coordinator, was able to leech $6,100 from ASUA to fund a visit from the Second City improv comedy troupe. This is disconcerting to me for a few reasons, the first of which involves Calvert's horribly disfigured past with comedy at the UA. As some students - and certainly most ASUA senators - know, Calvert was personally responsible for the disastrous ASUA Comedy Festival last year, which featured Andy Dick and Second City. It lost ASUA over $30,000 when Calvert was forced to give the tickets away due to the lazy advertising and poor planning that resulted in pathetic ticket sales. If Calvert wasted over $30,000 on a single event last year, then why was she given permission to do it again this year? This is like giving the captain of the Titanic another boat. Furthermore, the Second City performance is scheduled for May 4, a Tuesday. Again, some students and most ASUA senators will know that Calvert is a member of an improv comedy club on campus that performs every Tuesday night. Is this just a horrible coincidence, or is it possible that (in these times of intense budget crisis) Calvert is planning to use $6,100 in ASUA funds to bring Second City to perform at her own comedy club's last show of the semester? If that is the case, that means Calvert is misappropriating funds toward an event that will only benefit one campus club, of which she is a member. Doesn't that qualify as a gross conflict of interest? Why was Calvert's proposal passed through ASUA without drawing any questions besides "Why is it in the ballroom?"

Justin Thomas

media arts junior

Greek system not just for 'silver spooners'

After reading Sabrina Noble's column in last Friday's issue of the Wildcat and Doug Dislik's letter in Wednesday's paper, I find myself pondering once again why I made the decision to read such a blatantly anti-greek publication.

As a freshman, I have been reading the Wildcat since my first week at the UA, and never once have I seen a genuinely positive article regarding the greek system. Perhaps the writers have forgotten that many of their dedicated readers are members of sororities and fraternities and would appreciate having their morning coffee without having to read the spiteful remarks made against them. I would like to think that if either Sabrina or Doug did any research on greek life, they would find that we are much more than "beer and condoms," and that in fact we do many great philanthropic events throughout the year with little to no recognition. Perhaps if they had made the decision to rush and had joined a house, they would see that the sisterhood and brotherhood of every chapter is both unique and special. It is not simply based upon money and parties, as is so commonly thought. Therefore, I say this to you, Doug: Keep thinking we are nothing but "silver spooners and wannabes," and we'll keep thinking that you are nothing but an uninformed, judgmental alumnus. And this to you, Sabrina: Keep mocking our actions, and we'll keep mocking your columns.

Elyse Fune

undeclared freshman

Struggles real, ongoing for women in engineering

Foolish columnists: collaborating on the Issue of the Week, all the while being fooled into thinking it was a joke. For anyone old enough to remember the trials of women in engineering when there were but two or three in an entire class, and the efforts to open the career to women, your participation in the Wildcat's April Fools' issue was not funny, but tragically shortsighted. What makes you think the open doors couldn't be closed again? Even with "open doors," real attitudes posed as jokes in the April Fools' issue contribute to the hostile climate that many women face daily in fields like electrical and mechanical engineering. Lest you think this is a feminist's overreaction, listen to the guys in engineering who think the issue was "funny" and the young former engineering major who knows that for her the article was too real to be a joke.

Wake up, University of Arizona. Cal Tech has 30 percent woman students (and women are overrepresented among its top performers) and MIT has 45 percent woman students.

Marie-Elena Reyes

graduate student in English