Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 7, 2005

More effort needed to recruit Arizona's Hispanic students

Both the efforts and success of the UA and the College of Medicine as indicated in Ms. Blombaum's recent article point out the serious deficiency in the university's abysmal record for Latino/Hispanic recruitment ("UA, College of Medicine ranked at the top in Hispanic outreach").

I do not consider successful the UA's Hispanic enrollment. As stated by the article, the university's Hispanic undergraduate enrollment is 16 percent, and the University Medical School enrollment is between 10 and 13 percent. Our local Latino population of documented Hispanic residents is at 29.3 percent of Pima County's population.

Why is the Hispanic undergraduate enrollment 46 percent less and the College of Medicine 65 percent less than the primary communities they serve? It saddens me that after decades of neglect and lack of caring, the UA is still not embraced as a major service entity and option for our Hispanic community. Tokenism will always preclude success. A sincere campus wide effort to break down the barriers (be they human or other institutional practices) is essential if any significant changes are to be realized.

I do commend the Wildcat for bringing up issues that induce dialogue and a diversity of views.

Larry Toledo
UA alumnus

Leal, Tucson Democrats working to clean up city

This letter is in response to Michael Huston's Wednesday column ("Leal should give city refund"). How can Tucson City Councilman Steve Leal give the city a refund of funds he would receive through the voter-passed clean elections program when he has not accepted them? Mr. Huston needs to review the facts before making baseless claims, though his actions are not surprising seeing as he is the executive director of the Arizona College Republicans.

In fact, Councilman Steve Leal has proudly served his constituents of Ward 5 and Tucson for four terms and him running uncontested is a testament to their thoughts on him. Tucson should be proud that Leal will be re-elected to a fifth term on the City Council.

Tucson, on the other hand, should be concerned that two Republicans running aren't running under the clean elections program. Rather than partaking in the voter-approved system, Fred Ronstadt and Kathleen Dunbar are reaching into the pockets of special interests that have driven their agenda since they were elected. Ironically, to get the seats they now hold, the two ran under the same clean elections system they are now bashing.

Democratic candidates Karin Uhlich and Nina Trasoff will join Leal to continue the fight to rid the City Council of special interests and continue to talk with Tucsonans about real issues - irresponsible growth, the regressive garbage tax and the cutting of after-school programs.

David Martinez III
secondary education junior

Stricter penalties needed to regulate unproductive 'stoners'

The Tuesday mailbag had many insightful ideas about marijuana legalization. Unfortunately, not a single one of them gives a shred of hope for escaping the age of societal decadence by which we've all become disillusioned. The fact is that marijuana is not the real issue in this debate at all. The issue is the effect that marijuana has on its users, who have an effect on society, which has an effect on everyone.

At this point, I could rattle off about 15 to 20 conclusive statistics to prove this point, but that would both bore you and deter from my point. (If you are interested, a simple Google search for something like "drug use" will yield thousands of viable results.) Violent crime, poverty, abuse, addictions, depression and anger are among the many direct negative ramifications of illicit drug use, especially marijuana. The facts don't lie.

The only solution to break the cycle that we're in is not to become less regulatory but to become more regulatory. In fact, if the penalty of being caught with marijuana or any illicit substance just one time warranted say, three years in federal prison and carried a three-strikes-and-you're-out law, that "high" everyone is looking for wouldn't seem like so much of a high when they saw the risk and knew the consequences.

Yeah, maybe we'd have to build a lot more prisons and my taxes might increase, but I'm willing to part with a little bit of money if it means that the future of America might have fewer drug addicts and broken homes than educated workers and responsible mothers and fathers.

Does this solution solve the problem? No, but it's not a quick fix like legalization is and though it may take generations to have an impact on our lives, it may just save us from the downward spiral we're in. Besides, if nothing else, I might finally be able to get into the classes that I need to graduate that are filled up by the stoners who don't go to class anyway.

Jeff Beran
engineering management junior

Supreme Court not the place for on-the-job training

Can we just talk about Harriet Miers for a second? Come on, Wildcat opinions pages. Give ASUA a rest for a day or so and focus on the fact that a woman who's never been a judge was just nominated for the highest court in the land.

Not only has she never been a judge, but she's never been involved in any landmark cases. She's got a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Southern Methodist College. The only thing that makes her even remotely qualified for this position is the fact that she has a law degree, and she spent one year as the head of the State Bar of Texas.

Oh, excuse me; she's got another year as the president of the Dallas Bar Association, too. But that's nothing next to her six years as chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission or the two years as a staff secretary at the White House.

Bush didn't even make her a lawyer in his own administration until last year. Oh, but she did represent him personally in a case involving his

fishing cabin. Surely that qualifies her. How could the woman possibly be nominated to the Supreme Court?

Could it possibly be because she owes her whole career to Bush, and she is "a good conservative," according to an anonymous source in his own administration? As we've seen with John Roberts, no senator is going to get away with asking her for her legal opinion because then she can't judge each case on the merits. So not only can we not ask her what her judicial philosophy is, but we can't read any of her previous decisions because she hasn't had any.

How can we possibly allow a woman who's never been a judge to be on the bench in the highest court in the land? Is the Supreme Court really the best place for on-the-job training?

Katie Mann
junior majoring in English

Harmfulness not the reason for illegal marijuana

This is in response to Allison Villa, who claims that marijuana should be illegal because of its harmful effects to your health. Then could she explain to me why alcohol, which destroys your liver and brain cells and can eventually lead to blindness, is legal? Or why tobacco, which, whether it's chewed or smoked, causes mouth, throat and lung cancer, stains your teeth and fingers (and not to mention horrible breath) is still legal? Or why so many prescription drugs that include stomach pains, diarrhea, nosebleeds, headaches and sudden death (see Allegra) as their side effects are more than perfectly legal?

The government already allows millions of products harmful to one's health; one more wouldn't kill it (pun intended). It all comes down to the money the U.S. makes thanks to it being illegal. People can blame Latin American suppliers all they want, but someone is letting them across the border for a price.

Angel del Valle
religious studies sophomore

Leal campaign money has better uses elsewhere

The column about City Councilman Steve Leal ("Leal should give city refund") is absolutely right. The election is uncontested, so why does he need so much money to run a campaign he is guaranteed to win? The money that he will receive in matching funds could be used on a host of other problems.

Alex Hoogasian
political science junior

Leal unresponsive to college students, Tucson citizens

Mike Huston has hit the nail right on the head with his column on Councilman Steve Leal ("Leal should give city refund").

I was among the group of UA students that attended the City Council meeting last week to address Leal, and the response we received from him was quite disappointing. Never have I seen a man bolt out of a room so fast. When asked by Mayor Bob Walkup if he would like to reply to the questions given by us, as well as to other members of the Tucson community, Leal addressed one lady by informing her that he would personally talk to her and said nothing to us UA students. As soon as the meeting ended, Leal dashed out of the room before any of us could talk to him.

You figure that a man who has already served four terms on the City Council would be able to talk to a group of undergraduate college students, but no, he fled. But do I blame him for hightailing it out of that room so fast? No, not really. I would do the same thing if I were robbing tax-paying citizens of $42,000.

political science sophomore

Serious students of Machiavelli far from immoral

I was deeply wounded by comments made by one Rachael Poe in Tuesday's Wildcat ("Wildcat deeply offensive to broad swaths of students"). In her letter, Rachael Poe suggests that the "Machiavellian among us" have no morals and would particularly enjoy reading the "Daily Playboy." I wish to give Rachael Poe the benefit of the doubt, so I will assume that these startlingly derogatory remarks are the result of an uninformed opinion.

Those of us who have studied Machiavelli and even tried to pattern our actions after his writings are in fact not immoral. We have plenty of morals. For example, did you ever read Shakespeare's "Hamlet?" The moral of that story: Always kill the prince before sleeping with his mom. How about "Goldilocks and the Three Bears?" Moral: Eat the porridge and run, or at least set out bear traps.

I could provide a nearly endless list of such morals that we hold dear. It is the very nature of Machiavellianism to learn such morals quickly and apply them effectively. Furthermore, I'm sure we'd only read the "Daily Playboy" for the articles.

It is my most profound hope that from now on we can work past this prejudice against Machiavelli and his following.

Tyler Coles
computer engineering seniorScience can't explain many wonders of marijuana

This letter is in response to Blake Rebling's letter ("Cannabis scientifically proven to be a 'gateway drug'") concerning the scientific proof behind the effects of marijuana. I believe there are some things that science simply cannot explain. While he makes a somewhat valid point on the effects of marijuana on twins, he negates the fact that marijuana could very well be the reason those twins are here in the first place.

There should be a study done on the parents of those twins, which examines that magical night. Mr. Rebling's second fatal mistake is that he attempts to separate alcohol, tobacco and marijuana as if they were substitutes for one another. Anybody in Economics 100 can tell you that they are perfect complements.

Can science explain why, after 12 beers, a person is just "jonesing for a J?" I don't think so. My main point to Mr. Rebling is that science can't explain everything, and in some cases (such as this one), it is just plain dumb. Can science explain why art is pretty, why Bob Marley is awesome or how an infomercial at 5 in the morning can be the funniest thing you've ever watched? I think not. Good luck and godspeed, Mr. Rebling. You have a lot of learning to do.

Dustin Rhodes
UA alumnus

Popped collar evolutionary trait, not cliché

The audacity of a popped collar comes more from an individual's right to express a need for change, rather than a materialistic ideology of "fashion." In itself, the orthodox collar is little more than an exacerbated excuse to formalize men's dress and presentation. This uncontrollable desire to define perfection in men has inexcusably allowed us to conform to the evolutionary traits that Darwin and Mendel could have predicted years ago.

The popped collar first started as a means of individualization, but now, we must look to the collar as guidance into a new era of ever-changing fashion and an ever-increasing demand for the opposite sex. As such, men and women alike have embraced collar popping, not for its appeal toward personal style, but rather for its unparalleled medicinal, psychological and martial (or pre-martial) characteristics.

Regardless of the cockiness and pride generally associated with the trait, students abroad have enjoyed the scientific, intimate and oftentimes anti-depressive state that encompasses the expanses of the popped collar. However, popped collars offer more than a generic, overall ecstasy. Popped collars offer reprieve from the jocks who are too bulky to look cool with a popped collar (it really doesn't work for you jocks, sorry). Popped collars are giving the little guy a chance. Popped collars are offering much more than style; they offer equality.

Being a current collar popper myself, there truly can be something to be said when a man can break convention and behold the popped collar within. Each man has the ability to evolve and acknowledge societal change in order to continue in the ranks toward indefinite status as the one and only alpha male.

Today, it is no longer necessary to promote how much you can bench or how sweet your ride is, because it only takes a few muscles to change a man. It only takes a popped collar to spark dramatic evolution through such an infinitesimal medium. Try it for yourself - I'd lay down half of my polos so that you too will feel its power and heed its warmth.

Vijay Patel
molecular and cellular biology sophomore