Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Opinions section lacks relevant content

Last week, the number of US soldiers who died in Iraq passed 1,000.

(Also tens of thousands of Iraqis, but let's forget them, after all so do CNN, Fox News, and NBC).

One might expect outrage, or at least discussion, in the Wildcat opinions pages. Tough luck. The outrage was reserved for the cancellation of a graduation ceremony. The issue of the week was "What's overrated at the UA," with impassioned discussion on such life-and death issues as butt shorts and the monotony of eating burritos every day.

And the only editorial remotely relevant to the topic was last Tuesday's "In defense of corporate media", with pearls such as "There are times when it is beneficial for the government to hide things from its citizenry," garnishing a passionate defense of Fox News and CNN, which unlike the Russian media (also corporate, and partly co-owned by the Turner family, just like CNN, by the way) isn't afraid to take the lies of the government to task, with Iraq being a timely and wonderful example of that.

It is nice to know that the Wildcat, and the UA in general, remain as informed and civic-minded as in the glorious days of the start of the Iraq war, when news of campus debates and demonstrations were often eclipsed by scoops such as frat parties, football games and slip-and-slides on the mall.

After all, we are the Britney Spears generation. And, as Britney Spears said, "Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that."

G. Torrieri

Comparison to Stalin insulting to women

I am responding to Mr. Naqvi's September 10th article, "Women, criminals in disguise." First of all, I am not going to address the sexist and biased nature of your piece because I am under the impression you think you are being funny. I can also see through your attempt to make a name for yourself by writing a polarized and sensational article that is neither valid nor well researched.

Do you know who exactly Josef Stalin is? Do know that he sentenced millions of his own countrymen to death, including my grandparents? I understand your making a hyperbolic comparison, but to any educated individual you are not making any sense.

By claiming that women are at fault for their objectification because of their actions, you are completely ignoring the responsibility of their male counterparts. Anyone, male or female, has a choice to make about his or her behavior. The union employee could have easily and should have said no.

By declaring that guys just cannot help themselves when a beautiful girl asks for something, you are dismissing your sex to brainless, hormone-driven vessels. Although you may believe this is true for yourself, I really doubt many males will agree with you.

No one is immune to the influence of hormones in our bodies, but in case you did not know, the brain and its counterparts control all hormone activity and, in many of us, critical thinking skills.

If it is your goal to become editor in chief by your senior year, here is some advice. I remember reading Caitlin Hall's articles through my four years at the UA. Some of them were controversial, but all were very well written, researched, and made valid points. You may want to speak with her about revising your four year plan and look up the definitions for controversial versus sensational.

Ela Cudilo
executive director of the ASUA's Women's Resource Center

Students not at higher risk for committing voter fraud

Contrary to Bryan Thaxton's uninformed and patently false assertion that some students aren't allowed to vote in Arizona, every student who lives in Arizona 29 days before the election has a legal right to register and vote here (in the case of the upcoming presidential election, a student must reside here before Oct. 4, 2004).

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that the standards in place for voting purposes are specifically lower than those for establishing other forms of residency. In LeRoy Symm v. United States (January 15, 1979), the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the judgment of the United States District Court S.D. Texas.

This case involved a County Tax Assessor, in charge of voter registration, who routinely denied students the right to register to vote where they live because they had not established a) that they would stay there after graduation and b) that they met residency requirements prior to attending college there. The District Court decided that, "Symm's position is inconsistent with both the 26th Amendment ... and also with the relevant Texas Cases."

In other words, it is illegal and unconstitutional to place undue registration requirements on students, including asking them to say that they will live in the place of registration beyond graduation.

No one is saying that students should register here, vote here and vote in another state. That is, very obviously, illegal. What we are saying is that students can vote here if they choose to do so. Period.

I must point out that standards of residency also apply to non-students, yet no one is asking the winter visitors to declare that they will live here after the election.

Mr. Thaxton's argument regarding voter fraud is completely irrelevant to the issue at hand. Just because we are students doesn't mean that we are any greater risk of committing voter fraud. In fact, students have such a hard time getting absentee ballots that it is unlikely that they would succeed even if they did hatch a diabolical plot to vote in two places.

Jonna Lopez
women's studies graduate student