Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, March 11, 2005

Losing candidates can still be involved

This year Associated Students of the University of Arizona elections were really intense. Obviously, not everyone got what they wanted. I really encourage candidates who didn't make it to apply for ASUA appointed positions. Amanda Meaker and Fernando Ascensio as directors of Spring Fling and Speakers Board respectively have been doing praiseworthy work though they lost the election last year.

Bear Down!

Prashant Raj
engineering management seniorElection coverage truthful, fair

Quick! What do The Washington Post, The New York Times and Boston Globe all have in common? Besides being some of the nation's most respected newspapers, they all endorse presidential candidates. In fact, all of them endorsed John Kerry this fall. While they endorsed him, they reported on all the messes that President Bush has faced during his term, namely the war in Iraq and the abysmal economic decline. They seemingly had no qualms with implying he was to blame, too. It seems to me like Bush faced a pretty stacked deck in those markets. My question is where were these media critics that have emerged on campus recently during that election? Where were the cries of unprofessionalism and unfairness then?

Sorry, but the Reuben supporters have no real argument against the Wildcat here. Brad Martin says that Jennifer Amsler's Tuesday article is incorrect because the people quoted were not superiors of Reuben's when he was working for Spring Fling. Unfortunately for Mr. Martin's argument, Ms. Amsler never claimed nor implied that they were. Because Mr. Martin, an Associated Students of the University of Arizona insider, did not dispute the issue at hand (Reuben's firing), we can only assume that Amsler's statements were correct and the Wildcat was correct. So the Wildcat reported a true story and there's outrage? Unbelievable.

The Wildcat did a terrific job covering this election. It is the media's job to inform the public of issues that face them in their everyday lives. I, for one, would be more outraged if the Wildcat had not published that a possible ASUA president had been fired from his ASUA job and was lying about it. The Reuben camp could have avoided this whole thing by admitting this negative point at the start of the campaign and doing some damage control instead of apparently deceiving the very people he hopes to represent throughout the election, hoping to not get caught.

The Wildcat simply acted as any good media outlet should and brought to the public eye some very important information. The Reuben camp needs to stop decrying and blaming the Wildcat and explore other possible targets for its finger of blame. Namely itself.

John Gregory
journalism junior

Wildcat coverage unfair, biased

I was absolutely astonished by Tuesday's paper. I was under the impression that the Daily Wildcat is to be unbiased and represent all sides of the school. By running a negative article about Jacob Reuben, former Associated Students of the University of Arizona presidential candidate without all the facts, you presented him in an unfair light. Reuben was not the only candidate that has history. The fact that a similar article was not run about Cade Bernsen is unfair and is tangling with the election process. You are the paper for the UA, not just for part of the school. It is your job to present all viewpoints so students have a choice, not just a given. I am extremely disappointed in the choices made by this paper regarding the ASUA presidential election and I would strongly consider altering how you handle the election next year.

Lauren Levin
communications freshman

Wildcat lost integrity for endorsements

I would like to express my extreme disappointment in the Wildcat national campaign coverage - specifically the endorsement section published this past Tuesday. Of course, I use the term "endorsement" somewhat liberally here as it is my opinion that support of Cade Bernsen seemed to be merely a side effect of the Wildcat actions; its true intent to blatantly discredit Jacob Reuben. It is one thing to throw support to a candidate encouraging votes by highlighting that person's positive attributes, but it is quite another to attempt to destroy his opponent's chances by misrepresenting facts and dragging the opposition's name through the proverbial mud. I was sorry to see that the Wildcat took the second option.

Not only did the Wildcat distort facts relating to Jacob Reuben's previous involvement with Associated Students of the University of Arizona and his fraternity, but it went a step further personally attacking his physical appearance. As a voter, I ask you - what relevance does such a claim hold on an election? Shouldn't students be encouraged to vote based on who is best qualified to assume the position in question? I would expect such juvenile claims written on the side of a bathroom stall but not in a university newspaper. The attacks on Jacob Reuben were immature, unnecessary, inappropriate and as I stated above, incredibly disappointing.

The Wildcat must be aware of its immense influence over these elections and as such should engage in more responsible journalism. I am well aware that I am not the only person to write in expressing such opinions and perhaps that in itself should serve as a signal to your paper that you are doing something wrong.

Until your paper proves that it can conduct its reporting in a professional, mature and accurate manner, you have not only lost a reader but my respect as well.

Elizabeth Mascot
marketing junior

Why would grad students vote ASUA?

I have never voted in the Associated Students of the University of Arizona elections. In past years, I didn't know what the ASUA was, and so the thought of voting never crossed my mind. This year, as a GPSC representative for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, I did have the opportunity to learn about the ASUA. Based on what I learned, I decided that I would not vote in ASUA elections.

In general, I would say that it is not in the interest of graduate or professional students to vote in ASUA elections. Graduate and professional students should not lend legitimacy to an undergraduate-run organization that tries to usurp the prerogative of graduate and professional students to represent themselves.

Although ASUA representatives purport to like graduate and professional students, the ASUA is an organization that would prefer that graduate and professional students not represent themselves. As a GPSC representative, I found ASUA officers, such as ASUA President Alistair Chapman, to be disrespectful to me personally and to the Graduate and Professional Student Council. In meetings that I participated in, Chapman argued that it was necessary for the ASUA president to speak on behalf of graduate and professional students, since, in general, the ASUA president will be a better judge of graduate and professional student interests than the Graduate and Professional Student Council. To boot, the ASUA soaks up university resources that are intended for the benefit of all students, and decides how those resources will be used with virtually no consultation from graduate or professional students.

In case you are curious: Only 184 graduate and professional students voted in last year's ASUA elections.

Paul Thorn
philosophy graduate student

Let Wildcat off hook for endorsements

Contrary to what many of the letters in yesterday's Wildcat state, I believe that the Wildcat made the correct decision to endorse Cade Bernsen for the ASUA presidency. Sure, maybe it would be more "fair" had the Wildcat remained impartial, however it could be said that if the newspaper was impartial it wouldn't be doing its job of getting the message out to students on who it believes would be the best candidate. Furthermore, I believe that the final outcome of the election was not decided on the Wildcat endorsement, but rather on the differing styles of the two men's campaigns. As a freshman during the 2003-2004 academic year, I do not recall ASUA doing much, if anything, significant during this period, a period in which Mr. Reuben was a senator. This year, ASUA has saved graduation, fought hard to protect students against further tuition increases, lobbied for a student section at McKale, and brought many prominent speakers to campus. This year's ASUA administration is willing to "think outside the box" in a way. Students, this year, actually know what ASUA is and what it does on campus, something that the ASUA administration during the 2003-2004 year, the year Mr. Reuben served as a senator, did not do. Mr. Bernsen, on the other hand, has previous experience working with a state legislature to secure new sources of funding for colleges and has a bold and colorful personality as well as the enthusiasm to fight for the best interests of the students and continue to make ASUA visible in students' eyes. Therefore, it was not bias but rather honesty that caused the Wildcat to endorse Mr. Bernsen.

Anthony Genovese
public management and policy sophomore

Moore's campus visit shouldn't be an issue

The alumni who refuse to donate to the UA because Michael Moore spoke at the university are using inaccurate logic and in doing so, hurt the university. Pete Seat claims that ASUA made a mistake not finding a conservative speaker. If I remember correctly, ASUA brought David Hardy to campus. He is not only conservative, but also rather anti-Moore. Ann Coulter also came to campus, although not sponsored by ASUA, however the university allowed use of Centennial Hall. ASUA also asked Bill O'Reilly to come to campus, a speaker with a higher profile than Moore; however he wanted too much money. Did the alumni overlook this? The fact is there were more conservative speakers on campus than liberal last year.

Seat also says that ASUA made a mistake bringing Moore to campus. Imagine if positions were reversed, and ASUA brought a higher profile conservative speaker. The liberal alumni would withhold their donations. The alumni who donate shouldn't be swayed by the speakers that come to campus. No alumni funds were used to bring Moore to campus. That detail is more important than some people lead on. When alumni pull out their wallets to give money, they should be thinking about education, not political beliefs. A university setting should foster the views of many individuals, and this is what ASUA was trying to achieve by bringing Moore to campus, just as they tried to bring O'Reilly and did bring several other conservative speakers. The alumni are doing a disservice to the university and damaging educational potential with petty political views.

Alan Fullmer
journalism sophomore