UA's commitment to diversity rings hollow
I enjoyed your recent article on diversity at the UA ("Diversity not about the numbers").
My observation is similar to Ms. Bonner's, with the subtleties of separation still very evident.
The university's commitment to diversity in its student makeup and faculty rings rather hollow when outstanding prospective minority faculty are actively recruited but seldom employed. It appears the motivation for this dynamic is for the institution to be able to boast of the effort when in reality it is a muse or a token policy.
There is a direct relationship between a diverse faculty and a diverse student body and campus experience. I am curious what the faculty demographics are when non-professional minority staff are not a part of this count.
UA offers many resources to foreign TAs
In response to the column "Students, TAs should speak on same page," I am sure that the Wildcat community will appreciate learning more about all of the resources that are in place for International Teaching Assistants at the University of Arizona.
The Graduate College and the University Teaching Center work collaboratively to ensure that ITAs have the needed support they deserve and that our UA students have qualified TAs in their classes. The Wildcat article only cites the newest resources we have been working on, but it does not do justice to all of the ITA resources we have in place for our ITAs.
Among those available to our ITAs: 1) the SPEAK test, a two-part test that combines a one-on-one interview and a mini-teaching demo with a 20-minute audiotaped test; 2) GATO (Board of Regents mandated teaching orientation for all TAs), with a half-day session devoted to international students only; 3) international student orientation; 4) two sections of College Teaching Classes for ITAs; 5) an interactive website for ITAs where they can learn more about various aspects of College Teaching in the USA; 6) microteaching auditions for ITAs; 7) Certificate in College Teaching Program; 8) Workshops especially designed for ITAs (delivered at the various depts. across campus throughout the year); and 9) one-on-one consultation for ITAs. Students and parents can check out these resources at http://www.utc.arizona.edu/tas/ita/index.html.
ITA/TA/faculty development specialist
University Teaching Center
Proposed smoking ban should go up in smoke
In response to Dan Post's column ("Smoking ban a breath of fresh air") about the idea of a smoking ban on campus, I have to say that is ridiculous. People who think that second-hand smoke out in the open air is so dangerous to the public health should take a reality check.
Have you ever known anybody that has died from lung cancer because of secondhand smoke? I certainly have not. I know my fourth grade DARE officer always told me they are out there but I have yet to meet one.
We all know smoking is bad for your health but so is unreleased stress and many choose to let out that stress with a quick cigarette in between classes. Should they have to walk all the way off campus just for several minutes of smoking then walk all the way back? This isn't the Soviet Union, and the school should never have the right to make those kind of personal choices for people.
What would be next in the name of public health? Mandatory jogging for everybody? Campus-wide drug testing? If you are outside and nearby cigarette smoke is somehow so concentrated in one plume that it disturbs you, why don't you just take some initiative and politely ask them to smoke a little further away? Or, heaven forbid, go somewhere more comfortable for yourself. Yes, you have feelings and rights to personal comfort to consider, but so does that person smoking next to you.