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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, December 5, 2005
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Bernsen story, Wildcat ads collide in a flash of irony

I have found a disturbing irony in reading the articles of late covering the alleged actions of ASUA President Cade Bernsen. Wednesday's Wildcat listed "nice rack" as being one of Mr. Bernsen's unwelcome sexual comments. Understandably, that is an inappropriate and offensive comment.

The irony is that Page 11 of the Dec. 2 Wildcat featured a half-page advertisement with a down-blouse photo of a young woman and in large bold font the words "nice rack." Compared to the strip-bar ads, this one was pretty tame. Let's not kid ourselves into thinking we can send a clear message regarding the seriousness of sexual harassment when sexist messages in the school newspaper are so easily justified by advertising revenue.

Colby Henley
UA alumnus and parent

Napolitano criticism riddled with errors

While reading Michael Huston's column ("Where have the candidates gone?"), I was frustrated to find so many factual errors. Call me crazy, but I thought journalists were supposed to check their facts.

Perhaps Mr. Huston didn't find it important to research his subject matter, writing that Janet Napolitano has vetoed "restrictions" on abortion, like parental consent for minors. This is completely incorrect. The Arizona Legislature passed a law requiring minors to have the consent of a parent to have an abortion in 1999, before Janet Napolitano was even in office. The column also incorrectly states the governor has vetoed a ban on partial-birth abortion. The federal Legislature passed a ban on partial birth abortion in 2003. So it would have been hard for Napolitano to veto it, as she isn't the president.

Additionally, Mr. Huston writes that Napolitano has used veto to "overrule the decisions of the people's democratically elected representatives." Well, maybe it's easy to forget, but the governor is also democratically elected.

I understand the writer's point; he critiques the Republicans for not getting it together and finding a good opponent in the gubernatorial race. However, his gross errors completely discredit his opinion of Napolitano. It just seems a tad hypocritical to criticize others when he can't get it together himself and use actual facts in his column.

Allison Dumka
political science junior

'Out of Water' comic not worth complaining about

Thank you for the removal of "Out of Water" from the Wildcat. The comic was poorly executed, redundant and never funny. If Michael Irish wishes to continue his involvement with the Wildcat, and for the two people on campus who actually liked the tired comic, I suggest writing to the Mailbag daily. That's where the complaining takes place anyway.

Stephen Weid
visual communication sophomore

Time for Olson to step down

Going against popular sentiment, I feel the time has come for Arizona basketball fans to realize that Lute Olson should step down as head coach. Recent years have seen a rise in sloppy play and lack of discipline within the program. I realize that Olson has been instrumental in establishing Arizona as a perennial power in college basketball. In recent years his coaching and game management has been shaky and, at times, delirious. Arizona basketball fans seem to have given Lute a free pass for engineering one of the greatest collapses in the history of sports last year versus Illinois.

The undisciplined play demonstrated by the team so far this year further elucidates the downturn in the performance of our program. Despite top recruiting classes each year (due mainly to the outstanding efforts of Josh Pastner and Greg Rosborough), Arizona seems to be able to self-destruct at the most inopportune times, including during both the Pac-10 and NCAA tournaments. I think it's time we all took a moment to collect ourselves and prepare for the next chapter in Arizona basketball.

If I may be so bold, I would propose the UA make an aggressive effort to secure Bob Knight as the immediate successor to Lute Olson. Undoubtedly one of the greatest coaches ever to grace the hardwood, Mr. Knight will restore honor and discipline to our basketball team. No longer will our roster be full of NBA lottery picks, only to bow out to No. 15 Santa Clara in the first round of the NCAA.

Knight's success has been based on his ability to instill quality fundamentals in his players, rarely making a bad pass or taking an ill-advised shot. Knight is truly a legend. Let's bring Arizona basketball to an unmatched level of greatness; let's hire Bobby Knight.

Michael Neish
chemistry senior

Gay couples still the 'pink elephant' in the room

I thoroughly enjoyed David Schultz's column ("Gay PDA at the UA OK?"). I commend Schultz for pointing out some of the difficulties that gay men have to endure when they are out with their boyfriends. I think that what he encountered on his walk holding another male's hand is only a microcosm of the awkwardness that gay partners have to go through in public. A gay couple in public is still a pink elephant in the room, and considering that most people just want to fit in, this makes gay couples very conscientious about their behavior.

As a gay man, I know that when I am out with my boyfriend, I continually have to watch our behaviors and our audience. There was a time when my ex-boyfriend and I were verbally harassed because he put his hand on my back and looked at a gay magazine.

I have no desire to make out with another guy in public, and I find it inappropriate when heterosexual couples do the same. But I do look forward to a time when my partner and I can go out in public together without being worried about the looks and threats of immature people.

Alex Cole Birdsill
psychology freshman

Wildcat should reconsider comic's ouster

I read the paper often, and it's been a frequent complaint of my friends and mine that the comic section lacks quality material. There are so many strips that either have no material worth reading or artistry so bad and confusing that it could be mistaken for that of a kindergartener's.

Recently it came to my attention that the "Out of Water" strip was no longer appearing alongside its rather lackluster compatriots. I for one am very disappointed. Michael Irish has a sense of humor that I enjoy, and I had found that on a daily basis his strip was really the only one worth reading. I can think of at least three strips that are far more worthy of being cut than Irish's. Please reconsider the removal of his comic. Since its disappearance, the Wildcat hasn't been the "great paper" we all know it can be.

Fletcher White
international studies junior

Greater caution needed in reporting Bernsen story

I am writing to express my outrage and disappointment in the Wildcat's reporting of the sexual harassment allegations being levied against ASUA President Cade Bernsen.

I have two grievances: First, that the Wildcat reported the year and major of the women making the allegations. Most places of business and organizations afford the highest level of protection against retaliation to those who filed sexual harassment suits. The university is one such organization. By publishing the year, major and position of those filing the complaints, the Wildcat has essentially published the names of those filing the complaints.

Couple that information with technology like, and the Wildcat has exposed the two women who have filed complaints to retaliation and further harassment. This violates university policy. Even if the women came to the Wildcat, the editors should have exercised greater caution when it came to publishing this information. I only hope that no one will take any action against the two who have filed complaints, as I have been approached about who the two women are by people smart enough to figure it out.

My second complaint is over the level of explicitness used in describing the allegations against Bernsen. While I am not stating my beliefs as to President Bernsen's guilt in the matter, the information published in yesterday's Wildcat may forever affect Bernsen's future, regardless of his guilt. That information is something that could come back to haunt him even in the case of his innocence, and in America, I always thought that the accused were innocent until proven guilty.

Also, when coupled with the fact that it is quite easy to figure out who has filed a claim against Bernsen, the Wildcat has afforded those who wish to harass the two women with the perfect ammunition: the exact details of their humiliation. This is the most disappointed I have felt with the Wildcat in my 2 1/2 years at the university because the right (of all parties involved) to privacy has been violated.

Michelle Gregory
ASUA club advocate
junior majoring in political science and history

Napolitano addresses the needs of the people

I am writing in response to Michael Huston's column ("Where have the candidates gone?"). Although Mr. Huston has let his political biases blind him, the people of Arizona are apparently more concerned with results than political ideologies. Janet Napolitano holds such a high approval rating because Arizonans remember the state of Arizona before she was elected. They remember the $1 billion deficit that Jane Hull left and have seen it replaced by a $300 million surplus without any increased taxes or extreme budget cuts. They remember the sluggish economy that Napolitano inherited and turned around with a current 4 percent growth.

The large senior citizen population of Arizona has seen their standard of life increased with Napolitano's Copper Card plan, which saves seniors $100,000 a week on prescription medication. Arizonans have seen these results and have given their approval.

Huston also attacks the governor for overruling the decisions of the state's democratically elected representatives. Excuse me, but Napolitano is also a democratically elected representative. She was elected by Arizonans with the understanding that she would do what she believes is in the best interest of Arizona. If the people wanted a governor that was going to appease the Republican legislature, they would have elected Salmon.

Janet Napolitano has done exactly what her electors asked of her. She has remained true to her campaign platform and has made a great deal of progress in the areas that are most important to the people of Arizona (health, education, jobs). Because of these accomplishments, Janet Napolitano will easily be re-elected by the voters of Arizona who are less concerned with political ideology and more concerned with actual results.

Justin Ervin
political science junior

Bernsen not afforded shield from public scrutiny

As a society that is quick to hand down judgment through the use of libel, we must be reminded that the accusations Cade Bernsen faces are just that: accusations. There are only three people who know the truth, but we owe him the right to innocence until proven otherwise.Our sexual conduct laws have been designed to shield the victim from public scrutiny, but unfortunately this right cannot be afforded both ways.If in the future the allegations prove to be false, let's hope the laws we've created work in the same manner to protect Bernsen, who would be the true victim.

Ryan Hulett
engineering management senior

Affectionate gay men need 'all the help they can get'

Thank you for your column on the daily life experience of gay men ("Gay PDA at the UA OK?"). I am one, so my daily life experience is something in which I am well-versed. I also attend the University of Texas at Austin, a similarly liberal campus in the middle of a so-called "red state." So our campus is also a place where holding hands with someone of the same sex gets only "slightly batted" eyelashes. But, take one step out of Austin, and the jeers begin.

Driving down the highway, we've been screamed at because of our rainbow colored "Kerry '04" sticker. We've been given the bird, and once even almost "accidentally" run off the road. Because of a bumper sticker?

I enjoyed reading your column. Thanks for taking risks in your pursuit of material. We need all the help we can get.

Joshua Howton
University of Texas at Austin

Bernsen's character makes sexual misdeeds unlikely

I have been a close friend of Cade Bernsen for some time now, and I know him and the people he surrounds himself with very well. I could not ever see an incident like this occurring, much less repeatedly. His campaign and position have been controversial ever since he announced he was running. I feel very strongly that this is an issue that has been blown out of proportion, if it is not a straight lie.

I would be more than willing to bet that as soon as justice is carried out, Cade will be cleared of all charges and these women will be silenced once again.

Dani Edelman
elementary education junior

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