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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, November 3, 2005
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Homecoming hardly an event solely for greeks

As alumni who are eagerly awaiting this year’s Homecoming (and participated in the past as royalty and a member of planning groups), we were dismayed by your recent editorial “Homecoming: It’s all greek to us.”

To make blanket statements like you do in your editorial does a disservice to students who are new to campus and place any value in what the Wildcat publishes. You convey a huge generalization that has many holes in it.

Taking last year as  one of many  examples on the contrary: A Homecoming court made up of  five nongreek men, a nongreek woman and four other heavily involved greek women, from which an openly gay man and member of the marching band were crowned king and queen. Oh, staff of the Wildcat, how quickly you forget.

Homecoming would not be possible without active participation from nongreek students, who are invited to and participate in many aspects of Homecoming: from the planning of the whole event (done by two nongreek student clubs) as well as nominating, representing and voting for royalty, entering floats in the parade and participating in the week’s UA Mall events. In fact, many of the largest groups participating are nongreek (minority student groups, departmental, and class honoraries and service organizations).

The reason greeks don’t take ownership of Homecoming is because they don’t own it. This is an event that, since its inception, has been by and for the student body to have yet another opportunity to interact with one another and with the thousands of alumni who return to campus each year. Homecoming goes beyond the parade and floats to include ceremonies, dinners and lunches for special groups of alumni, as well as fundraisers and class reunions. There are many ways we can each celebrate our UA pride.

Homecoming is for the UA community to celebrate what makes us all a part of campus. So, to the staff of the Wildcat and the student body — we hope to see you out on the Mall this weekend so we can have a great time and get to know our fellow Wildcats better!

Marc Viscardi and Alli Hirohata
UA alumni

Wildcat readers not showing sufficient outrage

In response to the article on the refusal of a pharmacist to sell emergency contraceptive to a woman who had been raped (“Protesters decry pill refusal to rape victim”), I would like to ask each and every one of your readers: Why aren’t you doing something about this?

It is never the right of a pharmacist to decide for me what prescription I should be allowed to ingest. That is between me and my physician and no one else. If pharmacists are permitted to refuse sale of drugs on religious grounds, where does this all end? Next it will be painkillers, then asthma medication, then anti-depressants, then sleeping pills, then allergy drugs.

This law is targeted at the poor and the weak, who do not have the means to travel long distances in search of a pharmacist who sells the prescriptions they need. It targets women, who are supposed to have equal rights in this country. It puts the rights of the pharmacist over the rights of the patient. If pharmacists choose not to sell certain drugs, then they should seek work at a religious facility, not a pharmacy that is open to the public.

Patients, I encourage you to fight back. Demand your legally prescribed medication, write letters in protest of this unfair law, and insist that your rights be protected.

Lucy Blaney
Latin American studies graduate student

‘Shame of a nation’ is truly a shame

Matt Stone’s opinion column “Shame of a nation,” is exactly that — an opinion. It’s a piece of writing which commits several errors that are usual in today’s society. For example, he lists the First Amendment under things that are gone, yet have Americans lost the right to peaceful assembly or freedom of religion? Is the press told what they can and cannot print? Have Americans truly lost the freedom of speech? I think “no” is an answer to all of these.

Also, how has America lost its global stature?

Mr. Stone lists many things that are supposedly “gone” without arguing his case as to why they are gone. Moving on; every administration has its problems, yet it seems as though President Bush’s administration is by far under more scrutiny than any administration in the past.

I also pose an answer to the question of why our military does not have all the equipment and personnel that it needs — President Clinton. He cut funding and downsized the military during his administration so that Bush has had to rebuild in order to attempt to regain the excellence that used to be our armed forces.

Two thousand dead in Iraq. That’s the number Matt Stone kept harping upon. Leaving the misstatement associating Osama bin Laden with the deceased American troops, let’s look at other numbers: 9.8 million — that’s how many Iraqi voters participated in passing the new constitution, with a turnout of 63 percent of eligible voters. That is what our lost soldiers have helped to procure: freedom.

Let’s also look at things we do not have exact numbers for: The number of children tortured in Iraq to obtain adult confessions or the number of Kurds and Shiites killed, all happening under Saddam Hussein’s direction, all with his approval. Should we have allowed that to continue taking place?

In a time when it seems as though the freedom of speech of the First Amendment is guaranteed only to those who denounce the government, military and Bush, American society might be as bad as Mr. Stone let on, but only for different reasons.

Kelly McFall
political science sophomore

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