Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Attacks on campus greek system petty, unfounded

This letter is in response to John Lepore's letter to Elyse Fune that was featured in Tuesday's Wildcat. Look here John, waste none of your oh-so-precious time assuming my status in the greek community: I am a fraternity man and I say it proudly. I want to thank you. Your criticism inspired me, each pathetic condemnation and righteous call for individualism produced an ironic nostalgia - you sound just like I did one year ago. You've reminded me how far I've come.

'Tis a shame we only cross paths now because I think we could have had a beautiful friendship. But you have brashly chosen to make enemies with me and every other greek. It was so exceedingly witty of you to attack the semantic aspect of what it means to be greek; needless to say, it debases your argument, and clearly your intelligence. Do you honestly think that fraternity and sorority life in its creation was modeled after actual Greek culture? You say history is your major? I think it's time to consider something else. You have condemned something that you know nothing about, and I'm calling you out.

To claim that greeks "demand" recognition for community service is egregious. You make a good point that there are many people who contribute positively to the university and the community every day. Of course, I would not expect you too realize that those who are greeks, were they not associated with a greek organization, would still continue a legacy of community service that probably began way before college. If you were intelligent (I stress, if), it might occur to you to research the origins of sororities and fraternities that were established on the principle of charity. You'll find many. I pledged myself to a fraternity established on the great joy of serving others, and believe you me, John, the joy will be there for us even if no one knows we're helping. We're not looking for praise, and as for what to do with "mommy and daddy's money," I would forego the Von Dutch and invest in the education of America's youth (we don't want anymore growing up like you).

Danny Duran
pre-business freshman

Competition received inadequate news coverage

It is appalling that the Daily Wildcat did not cover a recent international micro-air vehicle competition that was hosted by the University of Arizona. While the editors, or whoever it is that decides what goes to print, allotted some space in the Wildcat datebook before the competition, there was a complete news black-out on the real event. What is newsworthy to the Wildcat these days?

For your information, and for the benefit of your readers, the eighth annual competition of small radio-controlled airplanes was hosted by the UA's Micro-Air Vehicle Club Friday through Sunday. The contest attracted 13 colleges, including two international universities from Germany and Korea. Overall, the UA came in second in the competition.

Micro-air vehicle design is at the leading edge of aerospace research. It aims at making breakthroughs in tiny camera-mounted pilotless planes that could find uses in geological and military surveys, improved technology for the police, rescue missions, pseudo-satellites and many other human advances.

I wonder where else one should turn if the Daily Wildcat cannot be depended on to report such a rare campus activity. Ignoring the event confirms your continued biased coverage in favor of values like lewd front-page photos.

Mosenge Nyaribo
aerospace engineering junior

'Urinetown' a palatable alternative to econ classes

I just came from seeing the UApresents production of "Urinetown," and would like to encourage all students and staff to go see it this week.

As a student and instructor of economics, I am well aware of the difficulty many people have in understanding how economics relates to them. Too often, we in the field resort to dry and difficult-to-understand examples using the proverbial widget. For anyone who has ever been put off by this or economics in general, I wholeheartedly suggest "Urinetown." In a funny and extremely entertaining way, this musical explains the most fundamental and important aspect of economics and life.

As they say in the production, "Hail Malthus!"

Todd Neumann
economics graduate student

Unions should feature more local businesses

After reading the article about less-than-delightful profits at both student unions, I must say I'm not surprised. In fact, you might even say I'm hopeful. To me, this is solid proof that UA students do not in fact enjoy wolfing down Mickey D's and cafeteria food day after day. Both unions (as I am led to believe, at least) contain only restaurants that are either homogenized multinational chains or are owned by the university. And not many students seem to be

particularly happy with that. As an article sometime last semester pointed out, perhaps the unions would be more successful if the university strove to fill them with unique, Tucson-based eateries ... Personally, I'm just waiting for the day that I can get a Xoom Juice on campus. I hope you administrators take this $3 million disappointment to heart - a lot of us don't want a brand-name campus!

Alyson Hill
sophomore majoring in history and Latin

U.S. contractors in Iraq were not 'hired killers'

In Friday's Wildcat, Mark Sousa made a series of offensive comments regarding the American workers who were brutally murdered in Iraq. He first claimed that it was wrong for the media not to show us the images of the burnt and disfigured bodies of our fellow Americans and that the media treated us like "sheltered children." The reality is the media was roundly criticized during the war for showing dead Iraqis. So, out of respect for the families, the media stopped broadcasting images of dead Americans or dead Iraqis. Why is it that people like Mr. Sousa always protest when even an Iraqi prisoner is shown on TV, but they are always so happy to see the disgraceful image of a dead American whose family has not even been informed of his fate?

The second offensive claim that Mr. Sousa makes is that the murdered Americans were "hired killers." This is blatantly false. The names of the Americans killed were Scott Helvenston, Jerko Sovko and Michael Teague. They were all employed by Blackwater USA, a company that specializes in security that recently released the names of three of its murdered employees. These men were all in their 30s, and were too young to have ever been involved as mercenaries in South Africa, which Mr. Sousa claimed when he said they "hail from the South African apartheid, recently out of work." This is the typical defamation used to spread false rumors about people that were innocent civilian contractors and never even set foot in South Africa. The truth is that people like Mr. Sousa should condemn the Iraqis who first firebombed the American vehicles, then dragged the bodies hundreds of feet, burned them and hung them from a bridge. It was the Iraqis who acted like bloodthirsty killers as the news channel footage available on the Web clearly shows. Instead of accusing America of hiring "killers," we should condemn bin Laden and the terrorists who hired martyrs to attack us on Sept. 11, 2001.

Seth Frantzman
UA alumnus