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On the Edge

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, November 1, 2004
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The best in last week's editorials from college campuses around the nation

Students will make the difference Nov. 2

Harvard University has released another poll that, this time, monitors what direction voting college students are leaning toward, if they are to vote at all.

The survey reached 210 four-year colleges and universities nationwide, polling approximately 1,200 students. Its result? College students are more likely to vote for Sen. John Kerry.

It revealed that Bush support has remained compassionately conservative in its own right and been pretty consistent with numbers, not fluctuating much either way. It also stated the tendency has been for those undecided have been migrating toward the Kerry/Edwards camp.

The study found college-age women are more likely to vote for Kerry than Bush by a 1.5 percent margin, and that students in swing states, like New Mexico, Wisconsin, Florida and Ohio, are more likely to vote than students in non-swing states.

Voter registration has increased dramatically for this election, particularly in the college-age group.

What many people don't realize is how much of an impact a large student turnout would have on an election.

Students are engaged and involved with the political election this year - much more so than in the 2000 elections. Students saw what happened in 2000 and have chosen to be proactive rather than reactive in what occurs for this election.

Not to mention that the war in Iraq, employment and tuition rates are all issues that students feel connected to and can relate, thus driving their motivation to follow the elections. This allows them to be informed and make rational decisions.

Students will make the largest impact on the outcome of the election - if they vote.

- North Carolina State University's Technician

Before you vote, consider the Court

The recent announcement of Chief Justice William Rehnquist's battle with thyroid cancer has brought to the forefront a new issue late in the presidential election: The next president will undoubtedly change the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time since 1994.

With all but two justices receiving Medicare benefits and the senior member of the court, John Paul Stevens, well into his mid-80s, retirements are inevitable.

President Bush, over the last four years, has made no effort to hide what type of justices he would nominate to fill a vacancy on the court. When asked who his favorite justices were, Bush selected Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the court's two most conservative members. During his tenure, Bush has consistently appointed similarly extreme, right-wing individuals to the federal bench.

As it stands, conservatives hold a one-vote margin on the Supreme Court, 5-4. However, many of the justices - namely Sandra Day O'Connor - can best be described as moderates. If either a liberal or moderate justice were to retire and Bush was allowed to make an appointment, the balance of the court would be shifted. Important victories for affirmative action could be jeopardized, and a woman's right to choose as stipulated in Roe v. Wade could be limited.

Even though the media has falsely predicted imminent change on the court for the past two presidential elections, it is almost guaranteed that either Bush or John Kerry will have the opportunity to make two or even three appointments by 2008. Voters who are still undecided should consider this and realize the long-term, negative effects another Bush presidency could have.

- University of Michigan's Michigan Daily

Ditch your gas-driven car for an electric hybrid

Students for Environmental Action have taken this week to remind us about the importance of alternative transportation.

We agree it's time to find more energy-efficient ways to get about town.

Just this week, crude oil prices hit an all-time high. You've probably noticed it's costing more and more to fill your gas tank.

High oil prices, and consequently high gas prices, are not going away. The United States and the rest of the world are using more energy, usually oil, every year.

Increased demand will continue to drive prices higher and create more pollution.

Only by looking to alternative transportation and fuels can we begin to curb demand.

When you graduate and buy your first brand-new car, consider the fuel economy.

Sure, you may be able to fill up a vehicle that gets only 20 miles per gallon, but why not buy a car that gets 35 mpg?

Until we start taking fuel efficiency seriously, gas prices aren't going down.

The federal government should be encouraging the purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles. Fuel-efficient vehicles are good for the economy and good for the environment. This means tax incentives for fuel-efficient vehicles.

Also, we want more research into cars that run on alternative, non-oil derived fuels.

Hybrid cars are now a realistic option. Car companies that take hybrid cars seriously should be rewarded.

Also, our dependence on foreign oil has led the United States to take a less than noble interest in the Middle East for the sake of cheap oil.

Using more alternative transportation and fuel means cheaper gasoline, cleaner air, a better economy and a safer world.

- Middle Tennessee State University's Sidelines

Politicians shouldn't have special rights to flu shots

A letter to the editor featured in the Wednesday edition of The Washington Post read as following: "I recently stood in line ... waiting to show a nurse my records so that she could tell me if I was eligible to receive a flu shot. I am 25 and a severe brittle diabetic. My blood sugar levels are hard to control even though I am on an insulin pump. I can get a cold and end up in the hospital because of the effect any illness has on my blood sugar ... The nurse told me that although my condition made me eligible for the vaccine, I had to be at least 49 to qualify."

There are some groups entirely eligible, or at least they are if they can find somewhere to obtain the vaccine: Citizens over 65 years of age, infants, those with one of a limited number of chronic disorders such as heart or lung problems and pregnant females. But as state health services raise the eligibility age for seniors from 65 to 75, there is one group being afforded the explicit right to gain inoculation against the virus: politicians.

But, you may ask, aren't politicians charged with distributing rights? And aren't they supposed to be fair and equal? Yes, but the government has decided they were justified in reserving approximately 2,000 doses of flu vaccine to protect their own, citing their increased risk to the virus because of their constant contact with people. Everyone on Capitol Hill, senators and even staffers alike, were entitled to one, as if the rest of us never leave our homes.

Politicians should sacrifice their legislated right symbolically, in good faith and in protest of their special treatment. Some did, in fact, and this is commendable. But those senators and staffers outside of federal guidelines for eligibility who received them should apologize to their electorate. Politicians are getting priority over normal people and they shouldn't.

- University of Connecticut's The Daily Campus

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