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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, December 8, 2003
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Undergrads should pass up La Aldea

I would like to respond to Friday's article, "La Aldea not just for grad students." I am a graduate student and a resident of La Aldea. I was not surprised to hear that La Aldea would be opening its doors to undergraduate students. However, I would be surprised if any student chose to live at La Aldea. While it may look nice from the outside, inside it has been a complete nightmare. Since August, I have experienced numerous power outages (often for eight hours or more), water disconnection, constant construction noise and multiple problems with the construction of the building. In my opinion, La Aldea was constructed too fast and too carelessly. I strongly urge any student who is considering living at La Aldea to speak with some of its residents before making their decision.

Unfortunately, I did not have that option.

Gregory Aloia
finance graduate student


╬Crucifixion' part may not be ╬blasphemy'

This is in response to Tyler Mott's letter about the so-called "crucifixion" scene in the Disney movie "Haunted Mansion."

Such a relation between that scene and the crucifixion of Jesus did not occur to me. Of course, that's not saying that no one would make the connection; obviously you and your movie critic friend did. But let's not forget that just because you made the connection and consider such a connection to be blasphemy, that doesn't mean that it is considered by everyone else to be blasphemy. And even if it were, I find it hard to believe that this is the only movie in history to ever contain such a scene. I am sure the folks at Disney did not intentionally wish to offend you or any other Christians, but realize that it is impossible to never offend anyone ¸ whether it be Christians, Jews, Muslims or any other religion out there.

Movies, like all other forms of art and expression, convey different messages to different people. It is important to keep that in mind. It is also important to keep in mind that by having certain freedoms, as Americans, we might be exposed to things offensive to us, but not to others. We must respect those freedoms.

Abe Rahey
computer science senior


Diversity efforts start in families' homes

In regard to the Nov. 25 letter by Grant Harrison, "Plans to diversify campus an ╬openly racist agenda'": I agree with Mr. Harrison when he said, "One cannot simultaneously teach students that their identity is determined by skin color and then expect them to become colorblind." I often find myself sickened by how the UA can't live up to its own rhetoric on creating a campus where anyone is accepted by everyone else while being blind to all differences. One would think with all of the facts and knowledge held at a place of higher learning, all of the stereotypes and shortcomings in the real world would be debunked and everyone in the real world wouldn't segregate themselves from every difference possible. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

However, Mr. Harrison, even if the university tried to live up to the idea of being blind to all differences in both admission and the college life experience, the university would only convince so many students and faculty to be accepting of others regardless of how different other people are. Four or more years of the college life experience isn't going to change the minds of those who were raised on racist and prejudiced ideas. If there's any chance of having Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream become reality at the UA, the dream must spread outside the campus and into the homes of current and future families. After all, the root of all racism and prejudice is within the home!

In my opinion, the way to bring fairness and equality into the UA and American society is to eliminate political correctness from the mainstream ¸ doing so by enforcing the idea that anyone can be racist and prejudiced and still be attacked by racism and prejudice at the same time, regardless of color, sex, race, body size, socio-economic status, etc. Also, to put fairness and equality into practice is to teach common-sense morals ¸ morals like, "Treat others as you want to be treated" and "Do unto others as you'd want done unto you." What goes around comes around.

Donald Wilson
sociology senior


Patriot Act permits violations of liberty

About three months ago, a 20-year-old man named Sherman Austin was sent to prison for 12 months, which was to be followed by three years of strict probation. What crime did he commit that justified the immutable tarnish put on his name and life? He wrote a few essays on socialism and communism and voiced his opinions on an anarchist Web site (www.RaiseTheFist.com). This may sound clichÄ, but doesn't this border on thought-crime? Unbeknownst to him, a Web site which he linked to contained information regarding assumedly minor explosives ¸ the anarchist cookbook kids love it, but I haven't yet met one who's violent. The information? Nothing that you can't find at the UA library. Austin, 18 at the time, petitioned the government for a redress of grievances and was rewarded with two years of harassment and red tape, a year in prison and three of probation. The judge who sentenced him wanted to "make an example" for any other "revolutionaries."

What's worse is, due to counterterrorism laws, if Austin were to refuse a plea bargain and fight for his God-given innocence in this case, he could face an extra 20 years in prison. This was all made possible by the Patriot Act, paid for by our tax dollars. The government now has unlimited power to violate our Bill of Rights in any way seen fit by slapping the label "terrorist" on anyone who speaks out against it.

If Bill Hicks were here, he would say, "Go back to bed, America, your government is in control again. Here's 56 channels of ╬American Idol'; you are free to do as we tell you." If this court decision stands uncontested, everything that is right and good about our country will be dead. There is nothing patriotic about defying our Bill of Rights and silencing peaceful "revolutionaries." I'm not saying I agree with anarchy or anything else, but freedom of speech is what we once stood for. Please, for the love of God, turn off your TV and read "1984" or "Brave New World." Then stand up and say something, because if our Bill of Rights is allowed to be used as toilet paper in court, then the only way to be patriotic anymore is to speak out; that is the only way America can save its soul.

Joel Reuter
pre-computer science sophomore



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