Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Wildcat wrong to caricature hate crimes in CatPoll

Students should take pride in their school newspaper, but Wednesday I was downright ashamed of the Arizona Daily Wildcat's CatPoll. How is it that a university newspaper can take something as serious as hate crimes and portray them as frivolous occurrences? Students had the option of choosing statements like "Naw, I'm just too liked to be hated on," and "Of course, I'm being hated right now." Being "hated on" and knowing others may not like you is nothing compared to real hate crimes, like the dragging of James Byrd and the killing of homosexual Matthew Sheppard.

Hate crimes of this nature have happened in Tucson as well. In June 2002, a 24-year-old gay man was beaten to death. Similarly, the Arizona Daily Star reported, "A 20-year-old University of Arizona student was stabbed in the back in February 2000 as he stood outside a cafe that caters to gays and lesbians." These are true hate crimes. The Wildcat, in essence, made fun of these grave incidents and others with its CatPoll.

Lauren LePage
journalism sophomore

After UA student death, change needed in motorcycle laws

After somebody close to you passes away to go live with God, we always ask the same question: Why? Why did my friend Michelle, the laughing, beautiful, inspirational and dedicated young woman pass into the arms of God the night of Oct. 1? Why her, why now, why wasn't she wearing a helmet?

I can't imagine what her parents are feeling; I can't imagine what our politicians should be feeling, I only know what I'm feeling. What's with them, our Arizona politicians? Do they want us to all die? Arizona has some of the most lenient laws in the United States about wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle or bike. Haven't they read the statistics?

The fatalities in motorcycle accidents increase as much as 33.3 percent when a helmet is not being worn and severe brain damage is found to be 600 percent higher for riders not wearing helmets (based on an Oregon study). In a recent survey, it was found that only 45 percent to 55 percent of motorcyclists use helmets when mandatory laws are not in place, compared to more than 90 percent when they are. But nobody ever thinks it could happen to them. I'm just asking, Arizona, please keep us safe.

Jeffrey Gillingham
accounting junior

Only prepared Hispanic students should enroll at UA

Wow, it's obvious that a college degree does nothing for common sense. In a Friday letter to the editor ("More effort needed to recruit Arizona's Hispanic students"), UA alumnus Larry Toledo makes a complaint that the enrollment of Hispanics at the UA (16 percent undergrad) does not match Pima County's population of Hispanics (29.3 percent).

Well, in order to do that, Mr. Toledo, don't you think that every single Hispanic in Pima County would have to graduate high school and do so meeting all the admissions requirements at the UA? Or should we just admit all minorities because they're underrepresented?

Treyer Mason-Gale
UA alumnus

Minorities never going to be represented equally

This is in response to Larry Toledo's letter ("More effort needed to recruit Arizona's Hispanic students") and everyone else who whines about the supposed lack of minorities at the UA (and everywhere else, for that matter).

Minorities are never going to be equally represented anywhere - they are minorities. That means there are simply less of them. It's numbers. It's not racism or anything else you want to moan about. Don't get me wrong, I'm not encouraging minorities to continue to reproduce at their presently astounding rates to level off the numbers; I'm just clearing the air regarding enrollment percentages. Start analyzing facts before you cry out for help.

Rob Monteleone
media arts senior

Individual character more important than skin color

The UA's view of diversity is quite distorted. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that people should not be "judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Why should this be any different when it comes to selecting college faculty? Shouldn't we focus on their academic credentials rather than their ethnicity?

One's skin color does not create a Pulitzer Prize-winning author or a Nobel Peace Prize-winning scientist. Instead it is the individual who achieves these great accomplishments. It is imperative that we look beyond a person's skin color and focus on their character and overall contribution to the UA's learning community. This will truly create a diverse faculty at Arizona's first university.

Eric Campbell
molecular and cellular biology sophomore