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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday October 1, 2003

Community knows about greek successes, failures

In response to Sarah Peeples' letter, "Greeks contribute greatly to the community:" Ms. Peeples writes her letter as though those who aren't greek do not understand what services greek members have contributed to. In reality, many of those who aren't greek do understand, Ms. Peeples. Every year, the Wildcat and other news outlets throughout Tucson have reported such community service events as Spring Fling, the AIDS walk, Ronald McDonald House, etc. where greek members have taken part. Though a non-member myself, I have friends who are fraternity members and have heard stories about how they take time out of their weekend to help support Tucson High School students in reaching their goals.

However, Ms. Peeples, the problem I have with your argument is that members like yourself are always quick to defend yourselves whenever an issue of somebody in the system doing stupid things has been exposed to the public and quickly blame the rest of the UA community for the negative image that has been brought to the greek system. No matter what a non-greek person's attitude is towards' greek life, they are not causing the problems in the system. Most of the members are! The stereotypes that exist throughout greek life are more based upon your members who keep validating them and not upon those who are not members.

Overall, Ms. Peeples, writing letters to the editor in defense of greek life and having the media report what services the greeks have done throughout the community is not going to change any of the negative attitudes people have toward greek life. Creating interactive relationships of all types ¸ at all levels ¸ between greek members and non-greek members is the only way non-members will truly understand what you guys and girls are about.

Donald Wilson
sociology senior

Football coach salary too high compared to lecturers

I know it's futile to beat this dead horse, but why does the football coach at this university get paid 20 times as much as a lecturer? I recognize that the supply of overbearing, failed NFL coaches is very limited, but why can't we draw from a larger pool? Obviously any number of high school coaches could have done as well as Mackovic, if not better. A state as tight-fisted as Arizona ought to be able to find a decent coach at some reasonable price.

Will Nelson
Institute for Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology staff

Israel has outstanding human rights record

This letter is in response to Kris Brown's letter yesterday ("Americans should question aid package"). It is hilarious when people decry America supporting the only true democracy in the Middle East because it fights against those that wish to destroy it. Those are not "human rights violations." The real human rights violations are being perpetrated by the Arab nations and the Palestinian Authority, which actively promote suicide bombing and wish to "push Israel into the sea." Those acts and driving ideologies are designed to destroy the lives of innocent civilians ¸ children and women. This is opposed to the rather smart and humane policy of killing militants that the Israeli government has adopted.

Furthermore, it is quite funny when people say that Israel and the Jews "stole" the land they now inhabit. That land was theirs from antiquity. The current "Palestinians" on that land were put there by the Arabs living in the Middle East after the Balfour declaration so as to be a thorn in the side of the Jews returning to their home. They have definitely fulfilled that role.

Finally, Israel is nowhere near the size of even a quarter of France. It is roughly the size of New Jersey. The drive between Tucson and Phoenix is the same distance between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. To say that the Jews "invaded" a land the size of half of France is a pitiful excuse for Mr. Brown to exaggerate his silly arguments.

Silas Montgomery
history sophomore

Right to work legislation ╬skewed' to help employers

Please, wake up! Nothing is going to stop the brain drain or get more money for faculty until Arizona changes the right to work statutes in the state constitution. Unlike other right to work states, Arizona's laws are so skewed to the employers' favor that potential employees have no choice except to low-bid themselves into bankruptcy to get a job. Instead of the most qualified, the least expensive to the payroll gets the job, and it does not matter a bit how many degrees someone has. Seniority and tenure mean nothing the way the laws are written now, nor do any labor union contracts; the state constitution is the penultimate decision-maker.

Since the state Legislature has no incentive to change the constitution ¸ quite the contrary, as they have every reason not to change it ¸ we can look forward to more and more of the finest minds on campus leaving. And now that the hiring freeze is over, you can look forward to the desperate applying for positions here; anyone else will probably just laugh and leave when salaries and tenure are discussed.

Right now we could probably get a new head football coach for minimum wage, if he were either over the hill and desperate or totally green and desperate, and considering how much the contract buyouts for the last two cost the university, maybe we should start looking harder in those two files. After all, looking for the big name, big school coach willing to move has not worked too well for the football program, now has it?

Margaret Palmer
anthropology senior

Anti-hazing efforts working, but need to be universal

I am writing in response to the absurdly unfair article written by Sabrina Noble about greeks and hazing. First of all, I completely agree that all forms of hazing should be punished, but I don't think the issue has anything to do with greeks wanting to hold on to ╬h' hazing. Here in the United States, we generally try to follow the concept of "let the punishment fit the crime." If someone is paddled to death, the chapter should lose its university recognition and criminal charges should ensue. I don't think the same punishment should apply to sprinkle sorting. Doing this trivializes the more serious incidents and I think this is the point people are trying to get at with the ╬h' vs. ╬H' distinction.

What upset me the most about Ms. Noble's article was her obvious disdain for greeks in general. Her ignorance on the issue of hazing clearly stems from a lack of experience with both greek and non-greek organizations, and perhaps if she avoided letting her own biases cloud the issue, she would write something worth reading. I've been here for five years and have been involved in both greek and non-greek organizations. For those like Ms. Noble who haven't seen both sides, first hand let me tell you that I found the pledging process for the non-greek organizations the worse of the two. I never went home crying from any ceremony my sorority performed, but I can't say the same for other ceremonies I've taken part in. I think I'd rather be beaten than deal with the psychological cruelty I experienced in non-greek organizations. I was astonished that they were allowed to do things that would have cost my sorority its charter. I think these other organizations are getting away with murder while all eyes are focused on the greek system. By the way, greeks have made a lot of progress in the five years I've been here. My guy friends used to come home to the dorms with bruises you wouldn't believe and now, as my little brother is pledging a fraternity, I don't feel like I have to worry about him. I think that speaks pretty loudly to the progress that has been made already.

I'm glad hazing is being attacked, but let's do it university-wide and stop demonizing the greek system. And Ms. Noble, if becoming a more confident, hard-working and caring person who can think critically in an unbiased manner, due in no small part to my greek experience, means that I've lost my sense of identity and integrity, then I'm glad for it. There's a lot more to the greek system than you will ever give it credit for, so maybe you should stick to writing about table space at the union and leave the more complex issues to responsible columnists.

Tiffany Fought
speech and hearing sciences senior

Letter unfairly generalizes in anti-Republican attack

I was stunned and dismayed after reading the letter titled "Young republicans don't deserve commendation." I found it very hard to comprehend what positive value was found in the letter. Mr. Matthews uses nothing but generalizations and ad hominem abusive attacks against a very large group of people classified as Republicans. His generalizations are extremely weak. He states that "Republicans have been causing the country to stagnate by sticking to their conservative issues." Is Mr. Matthews trying to say that all Republicans are to blame for the problems of today? Obviously this is an absurd and completely untrue accusation. I'm sure that Danielle Roberts wishes to cure the social problems of today just as much as you do, Mr. Matthews. Should her efforts and ideals be attacked and called "anything but positive" in a letter fraught with fallacies? As a person, I think that she deserves more respect than that. Furthermore, Mr. Matthews gives no evidence or proof to sustain his accusations. Instead of supplying the proof, he resorts to attacking "Republicans." Sadly, Mr. Matthews' ad hominem abusive attacks are quite obvious and transparent and the scrutinizing reader will see them as such. I just hope that in the future, Mr. Matthews will not resort to ad hominem abusive attacks as an argument in a letter.

John Snowberger
philosophy and physics freshman

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