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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 2, 2003

Letters reflect student's political motives

Jered Mansell has contributed two letters in the past three Wildcats under the veil that they were written for the interest of the student body. But the true intention behind the letters is obvious: to conduct personal attacks against members of the current ASUA administration. Mansell writes that he is just trying to mend the relationship between the student body and ASUA with these letters, but in his letter on Friday, he fails to even implicitly express this.

This particular letter's sole purpose was to personally attack Melanie Rainer, J.P. Benedict and Benedict's cabinet members, accusing them of fixing the Club of the Month selection so that Chain Gang would win. The only justification or "evidence" Mansell uses for this accusation is that Rainer and Benedict were former members. Then he continues his letter by mentioning Chain Gang's hazing and alcohol violations and covertly expressing that Rainer and Benedict were responsible for these violations.

Then in Tuesday's letter, he alleges Mathew Miller is trying to oppress the opinions of students and asks for his resignation since Miller "lacks the tact for public office." It is ironic to hear Mansell criticize someone for being tactless while during last spring's Presidential campaign he resorted to negative attacks against Benedict during the first candidate forum ¸ comments that he would later apologize for and admit were unjust and unwarranted.

So Mansell should stop masking his petty and personal grievances toward current ASUA members as efforts to unite the student body and ASUA. If he really wants to help, he should start contributing legitimate opinions to this forum and not use these issues for his own political motives.

Ryan Calkins
finance senior


Buyout pay exceeds career pay for lecturer

When Coach Tomey was fired, I had a letter published in the Wildcat that compared his "retirement" package of more than $600,000 to the amount of money that I had then earned working at the university. My total compensation for 15 years of service turned out to be about $17,000 less than he was going to get. I have now done a similar calculation to compare my career earnings here to the amount Coach Mackovic will receive. My total compensation from 1986 to the present, including my regular salary, money for teaching summer and winter courses, faculty fellows compensation, extra pay for running the university's forensics program back in the '80s and the $1,000 I received as winner of the Five Star Teaching Award, comes to approximately $760,000, which is $149,000 less than Coach Mackovic will be getting for doing nothing next year. Obviously I'm paying an increasingly high price for my decision years ago not to become an unsuccessful football coach. Jim Todd
department of political science
senior lecturer and faculty fellow


Noble's hazing ideas contradictory

I find it interesting that Sabrina Noble spent a long column crying out against hazing in all it's forms, then thinks that covering freshmen in paint, or "smurfing," as she called it, is innocent fun. Am I the only one that sees a bit of a double standard here? What's next, is she going to paint the ╬A' with the freshmen girls' hair?

Phillip Denton
microbiology senior


Don't consider potential coach's morality

On Tuesday, President Likins stated that he wanted the next coach of the UA football team to be someone that has been "squeaky clean, in regards to the NCAA, in regards to compliance." Because of this, he said, Mike Price will not be considered for the position. First off, Price never signed the Alabama contract and was not coaching at Wazzu on the night when he went to the Florida strip club. Even though he did agree to the contract, Price was technically not employed, meaning that although he did go to a strip club and drink a little too much, he was not under any sort of jurisdiction of the NCAA. Looks like President Likins is going to have to come up with a better excuse for not even considering Price. I'm not saying that he is by far the best man for the job, but he does have some pretty impressive credentials. Instead of judging possible candidates by tabloid-like Sports Illustrated columns, maybe the 11-member panel should look at their coaching ability. Price is a proven Pac-10 winner. I really doubt that the fans would care if he spends his nights at Ten's if he produces wins. When all is said and done, coaches are judged by wins and losses, not moral character, period.

Matt Bachmann
plant sciences senior


Student should be new UA football coach

So, John Mackovic is finally fired and our school now has about a dozen people looking high and low for a replacement. Perhaps they should stop. Paying people big bucks to coach seems to only work for UA basketball. I think our school should be more innovative ¸ see also: "fresh," "hip," "trendy."

Would it be irrational to think that a decent football coach could come from within our student body? Think of it, a couple of years of game study, then some lucky seniors have the chance to be part of the Wildcat football coaching team (senior capstone project?). The idea alone would help sell some more UA television airtime. Cost for another mediocre (maybe great!) coach: $0.

I don't think we could do much worse.

Billy Heidt
mechanical engineering senior


Israeli leader indicative of his country's stance

This letter is in response to Silas Montgomery's letter yesterday ("Israel has outstanding human rights record"). It is enough for me to say this: Sharon (who is the current Prime Minister of Israel) was Israel's Defense Minister at the time of the killings at Sabra and Shatila in 1982. An Israeli investigation found Sharon indirectly responsible for killing about 2,000 Palestinian refugees (kids and elders). Sharon was forced to resign from government, but never faced charges over the incident. So I wonder how Mr. Montgomery considers killing 2,000 refugees to be an "outstanding" human rights record.

I really cannot understand the hypocrisy and adherence to double standards that is becoming the norm in the United States. President Bush called Sharon "a man of peace." Maybe "peace" means something else for Mr. Bush, but it's very hard for me to understand how a man like Sharon ¸ who was found guilty by his own people ¸ can be called "a man of peace."

Alaa Muqattash
electrical and computer engineering graduate student


Montgomery wrong to categorize Israel

Silas Montgomery doesn't seem to believe that forcing a society into 24 hour-a-day curfews is a violation of human rights. Nor does he seem to understand that driving bulldozers over civilian homes while there are still people inside is both murderous and sick. He also seems to have a skewed concept of the word "smart," as he uses it to describe the firing of missiles at inhabited apartment complexes and crowded streets with the objective of only killing one or two people. Both Amnesty International and the U.N. General Assembly have condemned these and other Israeli actions as human rights violations. Surely the Palestinian extremists who murder Israeli civilians are just as guilty, but two wrongs don't make a right.

As for the disputed land belonging to the Israelis "from antiquity," Arizona was a part of Mexico at one point. If the Mexicans invaded Arizona, would Montgomery support them on the basis of this being their land "from antiquity?"

Montgomery shows his true ignorance on the issue when he claims that the Palestinians moved to the disputed territories in the years after the Balfour declaration in order to oppose the formation of Israel. The Palestinians had been inhabiting that land for over 1,000 years under Turkish rule (though with limited self-government). They had a unique culture and particularly valued education. Now, under Israeli occupation, their children are often not permitted to attend school.

Admittedly, injustices such as these occur all over the globe and often there's not much we can do about them. However, I have the right to ask that my tax dollars be used to solve problems at home rather than cause them abroad.

Kris Brown
electrical engineering senior


Union should accept debit and credit cards

It is high time that all vendors in the student union be required to accept debit and credit cards. The current cash- and CatCard-only policy must be stopped. As a commuter, I do not use my CatCard to purchase food and I prefer to use my debit card to cash. This has been an ongoing problem for the four years I have attended the UA. I do not know if the school does not want to pay the small credit/debit card transaction fees, or if that is left up to the individual vendor. It is time for a change ¸ I will not go hungry anymore!

Thomas Vincent
political science senior


File sharing logical response to greed

The music industry is a multi-billion dollar rip-off. It costs a little less than five cents to make 50 CDs. The cases and labels that a CD comes with usually cost the manufacturer about two cents per CD.

What we are looking at is a total cost, per CD from the manufacturer, of less than three cents. The record company, the artist, and the music store still need to make a profit, right? Of course they do. But is $19.97 per CD too much profit for each corporation? Hell yes, it is!

I am a prominent member of the KaZaA music community. I own more than 10 gigabytes of files, all of which I share 24 hours a day with the rest of the world ¸ and they are not just songs.

I participate in illegal downloads because I feel what corporate America is doing to us should be illegal.

Until CDs drop significantly in price, I will be at my computer downloading illegal songs for free and making my own CDs for about $1 each. Let's run some more numbers to date: On KaZaA alone, there are more than 15 million registered users and 2.1 billion files available for download.

Of those 2.1 billion, a little more than 700 million are available at any given time. Does the industry think it can stop 15 million angry music and video lovers? I think not. Remember the collapse of Napster? I do. KaZaA went up as soon as the Napster empire went down, and when the KaZaA empire falls, another program will be created. The music industry needs to reform.

If artists are only in it for the money, then we have lost the meaning of music. A simple solution for the greedy corporate pigs: Lower the price of CDs and in turn, the use of illegal downloading will go down.

Dan Pittenger
undeclared freshman


Hazing column misses point

After reading Sabrina Noble's column on hazing, I fail to see whether she made any real point on the issue of hazing and institutional activities and believe she missed the entire point behind the debate regarding hazing.

First of all, she failed to define what hazing is. This of course, is the entire point. The definition of hazing is quite subjective depending on whom you talk to ¸ the university administration, or greek and social organizations.

What should be looked at is the purpose behind anti-hazing efforts. They should be to ensure the safety of and dissuade the institutionalized self-deprecation of the individuals taking part in organized activities. Anti-hazing efforts should not go so far as the abolishment of rituals and camaraderie-building activities that do not endanger the safety or esteem of their participants.

As a non-greek alumnus, I see what has happened to the greek system and I fear that the administration has gone too far and will continue its crusade against the UA club system. A once-vibrant greek system has suffered from numerous sanctions for legitimate purposes ¸ i.e. intra-fraternity fighting or syrupy ravioli ¸ but there have been other sanctions that do not stack up to the aforementioned criteria.

It now appears that simple social clubs like Chain Gang or Arizona Ambassadors ¸ both of which I have been a part of ¸ will continue to suffer under the same guidelines as the greek system for simple activities like scavenger hunts.

Does this make sense to anyone? If someone is forced to drink shots ╬til they puke, perform the baby elephant walk or get paddled until they can't walk straight, sanctioning should be implemented with full force. But does a scavenger hunt endanger the property or persons involved? No.

The onus is not even on the administration to prove something happened. All that has to occur is that "someone" needs to anonymously tip the hotline for formal procedures to begin. Who agreed to this? The same people that agreed to the Louisiana Purchase?

The administration needs to be called to task on this issue by both greek and non-greek organizations before all vestiges of student-led social activities disappear. A reasonable agreement needs to be reached where socializing activities can be condoned without the fear that an irrational and confrontational standard will be applied to them. Otherwise legitimate and illegitimate social activities will be driven underground.

Once that happens, the administration will find itself in the position of an opponent, not a partner. When this occurs, the purpose of such regulative mandates will become moot, and everyone will be the worse for it.

Bart Greer
UA alumnus

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