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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
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Documentary reveals flaws in media

The comments of UA professors in yesterday's article on the showing of an Al-Jazeera documentary ("Profs sound off on Al-Jazeera documentary") reveal much about the state of the media as well as flawed philosophies behind its idea of objectivity.

Everybody agrees that the media is supposed to be objective. But does objectivity of ideals mean that the American press is supposed to be so "objective" that it must be indifferent as to which country's armed forces ought to be victorious? Do professors at our university really believe that because we had reporters embedded with our forces that we also should have embedded reporters within the Fedayeen or the Republican Guard?

Never mind that conflicting reports of media bias against conservatism and in favor of liberalism exist. That's just propaganda. Al-Jazeera is objective.

Garrett O'Hara
political science sophomore

Employers to blame for grade inflation

I read Ryan Johnson's Friday column, "Where 'average' is not even close," and I have some additional information. The reason that universities have begun to inflate the grades of their students, in my opinion, is linked to the fact the employers have a standard that they apply to all universities equally.

This hurts the tough-grading school in the long run, as its alumni will not be awarded the same opportunities as another's. Harvard is the great example of this, as one class graduated with an average GPA of 3.8 during the late 1990s. The argument to counter this is that a school as selective as Harvard would not serve the public interest by taking top students and harming their careers with low GPAs, while at another, less competitive school, they would be much higher.

To change this policy you cannot start with the universities; you must start with the employers. Until they change their hiring practices and take more than numbers into account, a university is rewarded for grade inflation on a whole.

Sean Butler
business administration master's student

Wildcat distasteful in running bunny ranch ad

I'm so glad I got my daily dose of patronized femininity last Monday just by opening my school newspaper. I must say I've seen some provocative strip club ads in the past, but Monday's Bunny Ranch ad went well beyond any printable decency or shred of integrity I thought the Wildcat had.

I don't know what the Wildcat was thinking. I recognize that we all have to pay the bills, but there is obviously a standard that needs to be met in advertising, especially by such cheesy institutions as the strip club industry. As our student newspaper, we need to acknowledge the responsibility this publication has on our reputation, among ourselves, visiting students and parents, as well as other institutions. I can only imagine the dismay a visiting

parent or student would have opening up this newspaper last Monday to find out a little about the atmosphere here, and to see such filth as that.

Come on, Daily Wildcat, in a world of selling (anything), must you sell your propriety and our reputation along with your page space? Something to re-evaluate.

John Reagan
electrical engineering senior

Prop. 200 riddled with flaws

In response to Laura Keslar and Jack Martin about Proposition 200: I found several of their statements unfair. Non-citizens already can not vote. The Pima County Recorders Office crosschecks all voter registrations with the Division of Motor Vehicles and the Social Security Administration to verify citizenship, and has found no cases of non-citizens voting. In addition, voter fraud is a felony in the state of Arizona. Why would someone who knows he or she stands the chance of being deported even risk filling out a registration form?

Non-citizens contribute to the Arizona economy. A study done by the Thunderbird School of International Management found that in 2001, Arizona spent $250 million on immigrants; however, they contributed an estimated $355.7 million in taxes, an overall surplus of $106 million to the state. That surplus must service the economy somehow, wouldn't you think?

Under Section 6 of Proposition 200, all public employees who deal with the delivery of state or local services must verify an individual's immigration status. Prop. 200 does not cite a funding source, almost guaranteeing that taxes will be raised or budgets for services like education or healthcare will be cut. Realize that most state employees do not have immigration-law training; Proposition 200 will cost the state more money for training/educating these employees and essentially force them to become profilers.

Proposition 200 states that all public employees will be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor for failing to verify citizenship (Section 6B); this creates a burden to employees. State employees would have to act in the capacity of immigration officials; court cases filed under this proposition would take priority in court (pushing back or delaying other business) and could possibly lead to delays in the court system if many cases are filed.

Prop 200 creates a voting barrier. With this proposition, door-to-door voter registration would become obsolete; the requirements would make it more of a burden to register because you would have to possess and present a photo ID or two forms of other ID to prove your citizenship at the polls.

Many politicians and leaders oppose Prop 200, if anything. Read the actual wording of the proposition and ask just one non-citizen in this state if they vote; the most common answer will be no.

Adrienne McCauley
anthropology junior

Standardizing grading system the only way to go

I would like to commend Ryan Johnson for his recent article, "Where 'average' is not even close." He took a difficult topic and discussed it reasonably and concisely. I have experienced classes that employ the curve, or a modified curve, and many that do not. The ones that use a curve often think it provides a better representation of skill levels. However, as a student, it is hard to accept this theory when the same class by another teacher has almost all A's in it. This double standard makes the curved classes appear unfair compared to others. Ryan is absolutely correct that there should be a standardized position on this topic. That way, even if it's frustrating to have a 90 percent and get a B, you know every class is doing the same thing.

Christopher Kresge
accounting senior

Ethical issues of stem cell research very real

This is in response to Brett Berry's column printed on Monday, entitled "Science Should Trump Ideology." First off, I agree that it is unacceptable to detonate bombs at stem cell labs or to shoot abortion doctors in an attempt to halt these practices. However, all Americans need to understand how important the moral elements of these issues are.

The process that Ron Reagan Jr., speaking at the Democratic National Convention, outlined for creating embryonic stem cells is the same process that is used to create a clone. Thus, it involves the creation of an embryo which, if given proper nourishment, will grow into a full-fledged human being. For those of us who believe that life begins at conception and that every human life is valued in the eyes of God, creating these embryos for the purpose of harvesting their cells is tantamount to abortion; there's no getting around it.

With regard to the possibility of miracle cures, I think Ron Reagan and his ilk are less interested in hard science than they are in using stem cell research as a political tool in order to paint Bush as some sort of dangerous radical. The truth is that adult stem cells, which do not involve the creation of embryos in any way, have shown much more promise to date. Nevertheless, it is possible that embryonic stem cells will provide new cures. The question is, are we willing to potentially sacrifice human lives in order to achieve these cures? Are we willing to end one life in order to prolong another? It is important to explore the benefits that science can provide, but if we allow scientific innovation to trump our morals (read, "ideology"), where will we draw the line?

Roger Foreman
school of music sophomore

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