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Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 8, 2005
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Rehnquist kind, but no great jurist

Alan Eder writes correctly that the legacy of the Rehnquist era, while full of candor, was ultimately indecisive ("Rehnquist: Consistent decision-making?"). As a 26-year-old gay man, I look at Bowers v. Hardwick in 1986, the majority of which Rehnquist was a part of just before his elevation to chief, as the prime example of the curious approach taken by conservatives with the court toward privacy and the Constitution.

With its overturning 17 years later, he still maintained his approach that the Constitution, as a whole, does not provide for any privacy. Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992, which eliminated some of the force of Roe, kept the right to personal responsibility over the objections of the recently departed chief. It amazes and saddens me that there are some (more like many) who believe that if the Constitution does not actually spell out in writing a certain right, it does not exist in our land.

Chief Justice Rehnquist was a kind man, surely, but no great addition to our history of jurisprudence. He was nominated by President Nixon to serve as a conservative reactionary, to attempt to overturn so much work that had been done to correct social wrongs of the past. His replacement will unfortunately follow this trend.

Michael Brown

Royal Oak, Mich.

UA students should be first priority

While I applaud the sympathy shown towards victims of Hurricane Katrina by the university community, I cannot understand how students from affected schools are being allowed to transfer and get into the classes they need to take two weeks into the semester.

Where are the open seats in these classes coming from? With class availability receiving a barely passing grade from many students, how can the university reach out to hurricane victims when it can't even take care of its own students' needs? If university students were able to get into classes, I would wholeheartedly welcome students from the South who have suffered so much, but the fact is that too many students on the UA campus have already gone without the classes they need and that issue needs to be addressed first.

Dan Martin

ecology and evolutionary biology sophomore

UA should be more sensitive to Katrina evacuees

I'm sorry, but I can't believe what I'm seeing in your article about the UA taking refugee students ("UA takes refugee students"). My child attends the UA and I grew up in Arizona, and I'm embarrassed by the seeming insensitivity of the UA administrators in the article.

Hurricane Katrina was and continues to be a monumental disaster. What more horrific circumstances would it take for the university to give these students a break? What the students who are coming to UA need is compassion, understanding, hospitality, and assistance. Even if they are originally from Arizona, and their families and homes are intact, they have probably lost all of the possessions that they had at school and have no way to recover the tuition already paid to the Louisiana universities.

I've lived in Houston for 15 years now and I would recommend that the UA look to the University of Houston as an example to follow. They have admitted 534 undergraduate students from the disaster area and have 100 more on a waiting list. They may end up with 1,000 extra students.

Graduate students have been admitted, and faculty, administrators and staff from affected universities are being provided with space as well. UH may add a compressed semester to accommodate the students who continue to arrive, as well as distance learning and online courses. They have set up a Katrina Students Assistance Fund to help defray the costs. They're not the only university in the area taking similar action.

I would suggest that UA administration stop looking at problems as insurmountable obstacles and start finding solutions to help these students.

Susan Jackson-Kemp

UA parent

Request a refund for ASA fee

Last week, Brian Collier, a former ASU graduate student body president and Arizona Students' Association director, launched a Web site that allows Arizona university students to make an online request for a refund of the $1 per semester fee that we all pay to the ASA.

Collier's complaint against the ASA concerns its ineffectiveness in curbing tuition increases at Arizona's state universities. I share Collier's concerns for the effectiveness of the ASA, but I am also unhappy with the fact that the ASA doesn't include proper graduate student representation from the UA.

All UA appointments to the ASA are currently made by the ASUA president. But in the face of mounting pressure, last year's ASUA president, Alistair Chapman, agreed to create an ASA UA graduate seat (the fifth seat for the UA). However, Chapman would not agree to open up the position to a general election of the graduate student body or agree to allow the seat to be appointed by the Graduate and Professional Student Council, the recognized representative body for graduate students at the UA.

Moreover, Cade Bernsen, the current ASUA president, selected a former ASUA executive for the position over three GPSC representatives who also applied. The GPSC applicants included Amanda Brobbel, who received six times as many votes from graduate students in last spring's GPSC election, as voted in ASUA's elections.

While the present issue may seem to be one that only affects UA graduate students, there are issues of justice here that should appeal to all UA students. Moreover, the competing interests are not those of grads and undergrads, but of grads and ASUA. So I encourage all UA students to protest to the ASA, and the actions of the ASUA president, by requesting a refund of their ASA dollar.

Paul Thorn

GPSC external affairs vice president

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