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OPINIONS
Mailbag

European travel provides culture, new experiences for students

I have enjoyed a variety of articles in your publication throughout my past two years at the U of A, including many well-reasoned columns that contradict my own opinions. I was very disappointed to read Sabrina Noble's column in Monday's paper regarding student travelers abroad. Ms. Noble notes, "the global community is leaving me behind," "I've never been overseas," and "assuming they have the funding for travel" right off the bat and continues her jealous fit throughout the article. Having actually been overseas, I find that Ms. Noble's observations could not be further from the truth. This summer, during my travels, I found myself staying with local families throughout Europe and engaging in as much local culture as possible. And I am certainly not alone 95 percent or more of the students I traveled with were submerged in similar experiences, contrary to the writer's confused and unsupported conclusion. I am also proud to say that I didn't once enter a McDonald's in order to "avoid the local food," nor bring back a single touristy souvenir. Additionally unresearched is Ms. Noble's claim to Europe's "legal marijuana," which is of course tolerated but certainly not "legal." I also found the vague comparison of Europeans to zoo animals, and the supposition that "people live there, however they can get by" particularly offensive. Many of the very human people I have met in my travels are obviously "getting by" much better than the uneducated author with her "American money" which is much inferior today to the strength of the European Union's euro. I can only hope that I never encounter such a sheltered American in my future travels. [Read article]

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Loss of top researchers means disaster for UA

Regardless of what we each get involved in, we all share a common thread: we are all here to further our education in some way. Whether it was a science, language or art, everyone came here to pursue an interest they hold dear. We all chose the UA for a variety of reasons ranging from the weather to the beautiful campus to the basketball team and everything in between. However, we came to the UA expecting competitive classes and solid academics that's why we spent so many hours taking the SAT, filling out applications and organizing all that paperwork back in high school when we all decided to go to college. Over the past year or so, with the mammoth budget cuts the university has had to take, some of this competitiveness has been sacrificed. [Read article]

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photo Issue of the Summer

From forest fires to terrorist threats, recall elections to gas shortages, UA students had a lot to talk about when they returned to school this week. We asked our columnists: What was the issue that ruled your world this summer?

Raging inferno was hot story this summer

It's amazing how a spectacle can be devastating and beautiful at the same time.

Nevertheless, the Aspen Fire that raged through the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson this summer was just that. Engulfing our treasured mountains in flames, this massive forest fire was the focus of all our attention for weeks. During the day, it covered our city with an eerie cloud of smoke. At night, the eastern end of the mountain sat behind Tucson like a giant volcano. [Read article]

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