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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
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ASUA works for good of whole student body

In his recent letter ("Child care shouldn't be an ASUA issue"), Jacob Levy criticizes the Associated Students of the University of Arizona as essentially incompetent and poses a question asking readers to name three programs that ASUA provides. He named SafeRide and concerts as two. I question how he knows that there are fewer than 1,000 student-parents or why he describes and discounts them as a remote and isolated group. I can, however, answer his question about ASUA accomplishments by pointing out that ASUA has devoted several years to elevating and strengthening academic advising services for undergraduate students.

Since the spring of 2001, ASUA has been involved in working with the administration and the advising community to improve the availability and quality of academic advising services on campus. The initial project, with the Academic Advising Task Force, included conducting a study in 2001-2002 and writing a report outlining a plan to improve advising services. We are now in the fourth year of implementing the 36 recommendations set forth by the AATF.

Each ASUA administration over the last five years has focused on this effort. I have been highly impressed and appreciative of the way this initiative has been continued by each newly elected student body government. Through the collaboration of ASUA and the university's administration we have been able to significantly bolster the level of advising services all across campus. Each college has benefited with additional resources to strengthen their advising services. To give one example, psychology majors (more than 1,700 of them) once had to compete for an appointment with one professional adviser. Over the last three years, the department has been able to add three additional advisers, thus significantly reducing the student-to-adviser ratio. Is this to suggest that we have reached the top of the mountain? Not at all.

Your student government under the leadership of Cade Bernsen is just as dedicated as his predecessors to this work in progress. Cade is serving students with the good of the whole in mind, while keeping the special needs of remote and isolated groups on the table as well.

Roxie Catts

director

Advising Resource Center

Defense of oil industry misleading at best

I am writing to respond to Niall O'Connor's defense of the oil industry ("Oil industry deserves more respect") because I fear there may be some who take her letter seriously.

First of all, if her father, who works for an oil company, is low on money, he might want to consider the greed and lack of respect for employees in big business. The oil industry is rolling in cash from a hot streak of record profits, but it would seem that they are not sharing the wealth.

Secondly, in what universe are gas sales weak? Ms. O'Connor blames hybrid vehicles for a supposed downturn in gas sales, apparently unaware that hybrid vehicles represent less than 1 percent of new automobile sales and thus far fewer of the cars actually on the road today. The average fuel economy of passenger vehicles sold in this country has actually fallen almost every year since 1988, from 22.1 miles per gallon then to 21.0 today (and, no, we aren't driving any less).

I wish I could muster some sympathy for Ms. O'Connor, who has been reduced to suffering the indignity of riding (gasp!) public transportation. As I ride my bike to work and school next week, I will be thinking of her.

Ryan Fagan

media arts senior

Columnist doesn't understand nuclear policy

I just read Scott Patterson's column "How new U.S. nuclear policy will ignite WWIII" and cannot help but shake my head. As a former ICBM missile combat crew commander, airborne operations commander, nuclear mission planner, squadron operations officer, Department of Defense staff planner and a retired Air Force Officer, I can tell you that President Bush is enacting a similar nuclear policy undertaken by all presidents (both Democrat and Republican) since Truman for a host of potential adversaries.

If you have any doubt - and because you are an international studies senior about to graduate - I recommend you read the brilliant works of Henry Kissinger or any of a number of books written by people on both sides of the issue on the Single Integrated Operational Plan throughout its evolution over the last four-plus decades. Hopefully, this will ensure you present a more balanced, cogent presentation of the facts.

Chip Smith

optical sciences graduate student

Nuclear policy needlessly endangers civilians

I would like to commend Scott Patterson for drawing attention to the ramifications of the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations ("How new U.S. nuclear policy will ignite WWIII"). This document, which can be viewed online at globalsecurity.org, represents an unprecedented threat toward national and global security.

In addition to allowing for the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons under ambiguous, subjective conditions, the doctrine makes assumptions that could prove deadly. For one, the United States in this case is not facing a centralized enemy. Since terror cells operate outside the context of states, it is impossible to target every possible threat, and it is likewise impossible to avoid massive, horrific civilian casualties.

The doctrine also allows for the use of nuclear weapons against conventional forces under circumstances that could be interpreted to mean almost anything, which due to the increasing role of urban combat, also means civilian casualties on a mass scale. Most importantly, a pre-emptive nuclear attack leaves enemies with the sense that there may be nothing left to lose, destroying any rationality that may prevent full-scale retaliation. It is crucial that the American people stay informed about this, because the consequences are profound.

Valerie Saturen

Near Eastern Studies graduate student

Sughead: Pornographic content detrimental to Wildcat

I just wanted to second Jeremy Palmer's comments on the pornographic nature of some of your pages ("Wildcat pornographic, does disservice to the UA"). I find it very uncomfortable to be sitting in class, trying to cultivate myself into an educated, intellectual woman, when the guy in the seat next to me is reading an article with a one-foot tall topless dancer sprawled across the opposite page.

I understand that strip club advertisements are a large source of income for the Arizona Daily Wildcat, so I'm not asking you to remove them altogether. But please require the graphic to be more tasteful (a pretty, seductive face) or only have text in the advertisement. I would very much appreciate not having a woman's crotch in the same line of sight as my daily news.

Grace Clark

political science sophomore

Sughead: Dalai Lama a symbol of hypocrisy

I find it troubling that the Wildcat has chosen to uncritically convey the Dalai Lama's "message of compassion" ("Dalai Lama delivers message of compassion to 8,000 at TCC") when he is undoubtedly one of the world's leading hypocrites.

As spiritual ruler of Tibet, the Dalai Lama presided over a brutal and feudalistic society, where women were viewed as property, the vast majority of people were kept illiterate and chattel slavery was a state supported institution. Still more, the Dalai Lama benefited directly from these horrors through vast landholdings and personal ownership of several hundred slaves. Life in Lhasa prior to the Chinese invasion in 1952 cannot and should not in anyway be characterized as enlightened, and though I do not support Sino-dominance of Tibet, the Dalai Lama has always shown willingness to be party to other nations' imperialism.

Members of the Tibetan exile community, including the Dalai Lama, are known to have worked with the CIA in their attempts to destabilize the Chinese government and were the driving force behind a brief counterinsurgency in the region, aimed at returning the religious hierarchy to power. Anyone who has even a cursory knowledge of history or international affairs knows that the CIA is not an organization whose goal is "inner disarmament," but rather one whose aim has always been to reinforce U.S. global hegemony by any means necessary.

That having been said, I do agree with him that young people need to be working for peace. The problem is that people like the Dalai Lama only want peace on their terms. It's the peace of the powerful.

Aaron Kappeler

UA alumnus



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