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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 29, 2005
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ASUA conference funding for a worthy cause

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona Senate has come under fire recently because of a decision to fund $1,200 toward a Denver leadership conference, and I would like the opportunity to defend my personal vote in favor of the funding.

I believe it is vital that we have representation at this conference in order to develop leadership skills, network with student leaders at similar institutions and bring back new ideas to campus. Workshops at this conference include Lobbying 101: Organizing and Fundraising for your issue, and Case Study: Affordable Textbooks Campaign, among others.

There are only two senators (not four) attending the conference with two advocates from the club resource center and two Arizona Students' Association directors. The senators attending the conference are younger members, so that they can contribute in future years.

Also, of the approximately $96,000 ASUA gives to clubs, a good portion goes toward funding travel to conferences. These clubs must attend conferences and bring back proof of attendance. ASUA leaders are held to a higher standard and must deliver a report to the senate on what they learned so that we can also gain knowledge from the conference. The approval of these funds did not go without debate from the senate, and I believe that this is a worthy investment for the student body.

Alex Dong

ASUA senator

Justices should respect Supreme Court precedent

Kara Karlson should be careful when comparing the "enigma" that is Judge (soon to be Justice) Roberts to her archetype of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas ("Appoint a chief justice, not an enigma"). Though I do agree with many of the Supreme Court's decisions that Thomas has joined, his tenure on the Supreme Court has been scrutinized for many reasons, most notably his near-absolute silence during oral arguments as other justices use sharp, logical questions to delve into the attorney's arguments.

Additionally, Thomas' personal opinions in cases before the Supreme Court have been criticized for mirroring those of fellow Justice Antonin Scalia, a zealous advocate for "original intent" and "plain meaning" arguments rather than a more progressive and adaptive meaning as encompassed by a "spirit of the constitution" interpretation (an argument that neither Scalia nor Thomas accepts or proposes, as Ms. Karlson states).

Perhaps the appeal of Roberts is that he is unpredictable, but not so enigmatic that conservatives should fear a Souter-esque liberal shift. Roberts' career in the U.S. Solicitor General's office, in private practice, and in the D.C. Court of Appeals demonstrates his conservative ideals and unwavering respect for the rule of law and stare decisis (the doctrine that past decisions should be upheld). This suggests that Roberts may be just the sort of justice that the Supreme Court needs - one who values judicial precedent yet is willing to depart from precedent when either doctrinal ambiguity or social conditions necessitate a change.

We should all hope that Roberts ultimately resembles neither Thomas nor Souter and instead distinguishes himself as a principled yet impartial justice, even if that impartiality at first seems "enigmatic."

Dan McGuire

UA alumnus

New basketball student section 'joyous news'

Isn't it wonderful how the UA solved the problem concerning the men's basketball tickets? Last year it was decided by certain individuals that the students should finally have a student section of their own. Hooray, our own student section! All of our problems are solved.

Thank you, UA, for giving us the lovely north side of McKale Center. I know that other schools' student sections are right on the sideline, but ours is way better than those.

On top of that joyous news, it was also decided that instead of selling students two season tickets for half of the games, they would sell us one season ticket for the whole year! That is such a brilliant idea! With this plan, instead of giving that other ticket to your greatest and best friend and going to only half of the games, now you can go to all of them by yourself. This new plan is great! Who would want to share their ticket with his or her best friend anyway? I mean, why would anyone want to go to the game with someone they know?

If the students went to the game with people they knew, wouldn't that just make them more rowdy and noisy? We surely don't want any noisy students at a basketball game, especially while those rich old folks are trying to watch the game they paid good money for. Thanks for the great new plan, UA. Go Cats!

Adam Townsend

pre-business sophomore

Men's great accomplishments more deserving of a plaza

As a strong and well-respected masculine member of this community, I am simply appalled by recent happenings ("Women's plaza to be dedicated Friday"). Despite the claims of liberal left-wing zealots, women have actually contributed very little to society. Men have been responsible for nearly every great accomplishment in modern history, including the drafting of the Magna Carta, the creation of this fine nation, and the construction of the Eiffel tower with steel and brawn.

Here is a brilliant idea for all of you out there: Let's erect a memorial in honor of all the strong male figures in this community. To fund this project, women will be asked to donate money by purchasing different items to be placed in the memorial. Examples could include $8,000 for a lawn chair, $14,000 for shrubbery or even $23,000 for a big rock! Please, ladies, your community needs you to put forth these donations. All this so that the male influences in your life, the true heroes, can finally be recognized for their unsung efforts to better the world.

Karl Kox

UA alumnus

UA students make lasting contributions to Tucson

I would like to say that Wendell Niemann is definitely a concerned citizen of this city, but we must look at these issues from all perspectives ("Tucson citizens tired of disruptive students"). First of all, not all students are partying and causing problems as claimed by many of our neighbors. Next, as a result of the having a university in a poor city like Tucson, many small businesses have started catering to students, faculty members and university staff member needs.

A great deal of revenue is generated each year when alumni choose to stay at various hotels, the unpaid athletes of our university create much-needed income for the university, various employees who sell UA apparel in sports shops around the town and various sports bars, etc.

Also, the UA is the largest employer in Southern Arizona. It is responsible for directly and indirectly generating business in the city. The IIF building and the new student union helped create jobs for various construction workers. Many real estate investors now depend on students and faculty for their rental income.

Many out-of-state students are volunteering for our various city soup kitchens and Campus Pals (university division of Big Brothers, Big Sisters), and even the fraternities and sororities spend a lot of time doing community service.

Many students choose to stay in Tucson after they graduate. Some alumni have started businesses in this city and thus are paying corporate and income taxes. The most notable would be, created by a UA hydrology student who loved biking. We need more entrepreneurs like him.

I would like to thank Wendell Niemann and all Arizona taxpayers who invest in our students. Whatever Arizona residents pay in taxes to cover educational expenses for the UA, Arizona State and Northern Arizona universities (as well as community colleges) is returned back to the state with a return on investment. Because of my education and experiences at the UA, I have started my own business.

Ahmad Saad Nasim

UA alumnus

Once again the UA has decided to build something useless on campus. Women on this campus should be outraged at the construction of the Women's Plaza near Centennial Hall. According to the Wildcat article on Tuesday ("Women's plaza to be dedicated Friday"), the construction of this project cost $818,000 and was funded by individual donors, foundations and some fundraising.

I understand that women alumni feel underappreciated because there are few buildings named after them, but do you really think that constructing some arches and benches was the best way to allocate that money toward the women on this campus now?

Instead of building another useless monument, why didn't the women who donated to this project spend their money on funding 34 female students with one-year scholarships to the university? Or how about retaining eight female faculty members who this university will lose when they cannot afford to pay them? Or better yet, donating to the department of women's studies so that it can expand its curriculum.

Granted I am not a woman, but I also do not think that female students' lives will be any more enriched by extra concrete laid down for this project. However, more funding toward education would help them get into classes they need, graduate sooner and help to continue to make strides for women all over the world.

How about the next thing that our school builds is a plaza dedicated toward classes? Because with the money this place wastes, we will need something to remember what it was like to get into them.

Dmitry Rashnitsov

journalism junior

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