By Wildcat Opinions Board
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Tuition survey good for student input
When it came to gathering student opinion on any tuition increase, Associated Students of the University of Arizona last week tried a new method of getting student input. Instead of gathering opinions from only a handful of student leaders, it sent a survey to the entire student body. This tactic should be welcomed and encouraged.
Using a simple but effective e-mail survey to all email.arizona.edu accounts, it received input from more than 2,000 students. Questions included whether students wanted the money to go toward smaller class sizes or improved technology.
Now armed with a statistic, it will be able to more effectively represent student wants and desires. We see potential to use this tactic in other areas as well. For example, the oft-debated basketball ticket dilemma. Would ASUA consider holding a vote among several different ticket allocation mechanisms?
Tread carefully with allowing religious groups social aid
Although even the most staunchly right-wing religious groups understand that separation of church and state is among the foremost tenets of the U.S. government, recently discussion has surfaced as to whether religious-based social service organizations should receive government funding.
Last week Mark Chaves, a sociology professor, addressed the concerns and merits of allowing such groups to be eligible for government grants. He discussed such issues as the fact that religious organizations are empirically more effective than non-religious organizations.
While this may be true, it sends the wrong message for the government to be sponsoring them. Competing religious groups would argue over who should receive the most funding, and conflicts of interest would arise in the political process.
Chaves speaks about how government groups and religious groups already communicate to share ideas. This should continue, but we should be hesitant to take the relationship much further.
State Legislature needs to honor aid commitment
It seems somewhat silly that student leaders last week had to go to the state Capitol to remind legislators of a broken agreement over student financial aid. The agreement, made 15 years ago, includes that the state will match student funds that go into the Arizona Financial Aid Trust on a 1-to-1 basis. In recent years the state hasn't been matching the funds.
The state has used various tactics for decreasing university funds, but selective memory shouldn't be one of those. In an apparent effort to use the gaffe to create new legislation, two legislators are proposing to not only reinstate the matching, but to match at a 2-to-1 ratio. This would be nice, but would they "forget" to pay it as well?
Opinions are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Evan Caravelli, Brett Fera, Caitlin Hall, Ryan Johnson, and Jesse Lewis.