Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, November 30, 2004

President Likins a fat cat

A recent article exposed the fact that UA President Peter Likins is being paid half a million dollars a year. It is ironic therefore that Likins, while making the big bucks, is always calling on students to dig deeper into their pockets for tuition. I remember when I was a student at the UA, Dr. Likins told me that students who can afford to pay their own tuition should be paying more and more because they are "wealthy." But it turns out Dr. Peter "man of the people" Likins is the real fat cat on campus, all the while preaching about why student tuition must be raised and raised. Maybe the next time Likins proposes a tuition raise of, say, 10 percent, he should take a salary cut of the same percentage. That way his pocketbook and the students' pocketbooks can be hit equally. After all, Likins is always preaching about "equality," so why doesn't he start to experience what it's like to wonder if next year you will able to afford a university education that was supposed to be "as nearly free as possible."

Seth J. Frantzman
UA alumnus

Good reasons to end tortilla throwing exist

Tortillas have found themselves more in the spotlight over the past eight months than they probably deserve. I will make a few points to justify why I think it is time to let the tradition of throwing them at graduation ceremonies go. First, those soft tortillas carry the potential for injury when they're hurtling through the air. I was sitting on the podium during Spring 2004 commencement, when the person seated next to me received a tortilla directly in her eye. Luckily she was able to sit out the ceremony and perform her role, but she was in considerable pain and discomfort for the duration of the ceremony and most of the day. No one meant for this to happen, but she was just in the line of fire. We live in litigious times, and had this person received real eye damage, and had the inclination, the consequences could have been negative for the university. Second, flying tortillas during commencement carry potential racial overtones. You may not feel this because you recognize the value of the throwing tradition, but what about new students, or attendees not familiar with our tradition? What about speakers who do not know of this long history? The media can be efficient at carrying concerns of offended parties (though the offense be unintentional) to the far corners of the earth. Finally, throwing tortillas displays carelessness with food. It is the act, and not the volume, that is irresponsible and beneath the behavior of graduates about to head out into the world to do good things for others. I understand the value of tradition, and realize that many students want to keep this one alive to celebrate their own achievements and create a bond with those who came before. But the above points are valid concerns, and they either did not exist or were much lower in people's awareness in the past. Times change, and it's time to change this tradition. Let's find a new tradition that we can celebrate.

Jani Radebaugh
former president, Graduate and Professional Student Council

Gay frat would increase campus AIDS cases

I am writing a letter in response to the idea of a gay fraternity. Personally, I would like to first say that I am in no way against gay people or gay culture; as long as I am not involved, it doesn't bother me. However, I did read an article recently in the Wildcat about a former UA student trying to start a gay fraternity. This is, I'm sorry to say, a horrible idea. The reason I say this is a bad idea is because it is basically a reality show in the making; no good could come out of it. Besides the fact that there would be much controversy over the foundation of the gay frat, there is always the possibility of extreme roommate drama, particularly with STDs. I would like to cite a statistic from NIAID's Web site. They say that "Approximately 40,000 new HIV infections occur each year in the United States, about 70 percent among men and 30 percent among women. Of these newly infected people, half are younger than 25 years of age," ( I wanted to point this out because I'm sure that if a gay fraternity was ever started on this campus, I am pretty certain that the amount of AIDS/HIV cases among students at this school would go up. Creating a gay frat is a terrible idea and I hope that it doesn't happen as long as I go here.

Nick Deininger
communications sophomore