Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 1, 2004
No reason to eliminate humanities program
With respect to the humanities program, Richard Poss states that the faculty has accepted the elimination.
But this is no way entails that anyone agreed with the current administration that such an idea made any sense.
There were many options available preferable to elimination.
Outside reviewers gave the program highest marks and evaluations for its well-known proficiency as a pedagogical unit in a university whose national standing is hampered by low graduation rates.
Large sums of money in the form of LCE grants (Learner Centered Education) and incentives to teach honors courses are now being thrown to UA departments to try to ameliorate the loss of the extremely fine courses previously offered by the program.
More than half the faculty of that program were recipients of university teaching awards.
Time will show that money is just no match for the inherent care, interest and pedagogical proficiency of the program's faculty.
Small class sizes are now replaced with impersonal barn courses.
Undergraduate education is apparently not a value for this administration despite slogans and buzzwords.
Professor Vivante was not the only one in shock. Students who took courses from this fine program, many of them honors students, were appalled to hear that a "student-centered" university would get rid of any humanities program or department, let alone one with such an outstanding reputation for undergraduate teaching.
The program as a whole was likewise dedicated to diversity and mult-
iculturalism; its faculty reflected those ideals. Perhaps these are just more buzzwords for administrators.
Regents ought to think twice about what Focused Excellence apparently means here.
Juana M. Simpson
instructor, humanities program
Vietnam history repeats itself in Iraq, veteran says
President Bush says freedom is on the march when his own national intelligence fears outright civil war in Iraq and General Abizaid, the commander of U.S. troops, asserts that more troops are needed.
The administration has had a year to train Iraqis to assist our troops. Yet a Pentagon report says Iraq has only one-fifth of what the president claims.
Now, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told senators it might not be possible to conduct elections in some places of Iraq.
In a more shocking assessment, Jordan's King Abdullah has said it will be impossible to hold fair elections in the current state of chaos.
President Bush has failed to acknowledge the realities in Iraq and our service men and women are paying the ultimate price. As a Vietnam era veteran, I see history repeating itself in Iraq.
Maj. Robert Tormey
U.S. Air Force, Ret.
No excuse for abusing animals in factory farms
This letter replies to Brian Danker's letter in yesterday's edition of the Wildcat where he criticized vegetarians for being dense.
Mr. Danker seems to think that natural behavior, by virtue of being natural, is ethical, and thus eating animals is ethical because they taste good.
If that's the case, then planning revenge is also ethical.
Scientists recently showed the pleasure centers of the brain are activated while plotting revenge.
Gang rape would also be ethical if the participants derived pleasure from it.
Torture is also included, if the torturer derives pleasure from it.
This is called the appeal to nature. It's a logical fallacy for obvious reasons.
As for humans and their teeth, it only appears as if those teeth are for eating meat (or solely for eating meat).
You see, gorillas have much larger canines, yet they're almost completely vegetarian (please don't argue that they need those canines to tear apart insects).
A more sensible story is that the canine teeth in primates are used to express aggression (gums rolled back, teeth separated) or submission (if closed).
Ever wonder why you open your mouth and bare your teeth when working out hard? Or why we find vampire teeth scary?
What seems to have passed Mr. Danker by however, is the fact that the vast majority of vegetarians don't deny that we have a meat-eating past and that it is natural for humans to eat meat.
Obviously, we evolved to eat meat. That doesn't make eating meat ethical, and it certainly doesn't excuse the widespread animal abuse in factory farms.
The vegetarian solution is to not eat meat. This solution is viable according to the American Dietetic Association. I can't figure out why Mr. Danker missed that either.
second language acquisition and teaching doctoral student