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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
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Ambassadors should not be paid

I am a recent graduate of the UA, and I was a member of the Arizona Ambassadors club. I appreciate the stories in the Daily Wildcat about the issue with the Ambassadors being paid. I would consider myself as having been a devoted Arizona Ambassador, and I am very dismayed to discover that the Ambassadors are going to be paid. This group is a university club, and club participants should not be paid for membership. The enthusiasm when I was a member came from our love for the UA and from the idea that we were offering our time to give tours to prospective students. The idea of paying Ambassadors worries me because the money will become the motivation for people to join the club. This could potentially ruin the enthusiasm that we have exhibited in the past. Do we really want to spoil this and possibly ruin the first impression of the UA that prospective students have?

Courtney Thompson

North Korea's nukes show flaws in Bush

Fantastic! North Korea has just confirmed that they possess at least one nuclear bomb. Why? For protection from the United States. Here is the quote from the North Korean Foreign Ministry: "For self-defense to cope with the Bush administration's evermore undisguised policy to isolate and stifle" its government. Despite this, the Bush administration claims that North Korea does not need to worry about an invasion of any sort. These words might mean something if the Bush administration had an ounce of credibility left after the Iraq war. The world learned something important from our invasion of Iraq: The United States needs no real reason to invade a country. If there isn't a reason, we'll create one like we invented the weapons of mass destruction. Bush's actions have made the world fearful of the United States. We are no longer the great liberators; we are the great oppressors. But you might say, "We liberated Iraq, right?" Yes, but that was not why we went in there. We went in there because we were told that they had weapons and that these weapons were a threat to our safety. Prior to the invasion, the American people heard nothing about liberating Iraq - we heard words like mustard gas, anthrax, biological weapons; the smoking gun might be in the shape of a mushroom cloud! After no weapons were discovered, the Bush administration changed their beat, and we began hearing words like freedom, liberty, elections! Now, I am no anti-American freedom hater, I just do not wish to use the end - Iraqi liberation (if you can call it that) - to justify the means - invented WMDs. The world is afraid of where Bush's next Iraq is going to be. Many say Iran. What's important is that this fear is driving countries to develop increasingly deadly weapons to ensure that they will not be the next Iraq. In reality, Bush's "war on terrorism" is a counterproductive war driving countries away from the United States. Instead of instilling hope, Bush and his administration's actions have instilled fear and distrust in the world. Bush's actions have actually placed America in greater danger. How safe do you feel when countries are making nuclear bombs so they can protect themselves from the United States?

Jeff Graves
political science freshman

Roads on campus in poor condition

With all this talk of improving the traffic conditions, I'm left to wonder if anyone else thinks the streets on campus are in deplorable condition. Potholes are plentiful on First Street and Second Street. The pavement is rough and uneven on North Campus Drive, and the intersection of University and Park avenues has two of the biggest ruts I've ever seen.

Never mind the lousy drivers and crappy traffic signals ... just struggle to keep control of your car over the crappy streets around campus.

Dan Parmelee
pre-business sophomore

Dean a mistake for dems

Newt Gingrich recently said that Howard Dean is the perfect leader for a party with a death wish. Whatever you think of him or some of his past outlandish statements, he may have a point.

In 2000, as a conservative national shift was becoming evident, the Democrats lost a seemingly unloseable presidential election against a then-weak candidate. They responded by making Nancy Pelosi, arguably the most liberal member in the House of Representatives, the democratic whip. In 2002, they watched as Republicans took control of Congress and then the Democrats nominated John Kerry, arguably the most liberal member of the Senate, as their presidential candidate. After the crushing 2004 election, they outdid themselves. Saturday, they unanimously elected Howard Dean, arguably the most liberal personality in national politics, to head their party.

The party chair is less important than it sounds. In essence the job is half fundraiser and half attack dog, roles at which Dean excels. Many speculate that the Democrats had no choice; an independent Dean running for president in 2008 would have killed their White House hopes. Still, in an environment in which the Democrats' survival depends on changing the public's perception of them as the party of headband liberalism, Dean's ascendance is ominous.

Bret Reed
senior majoring in English

Finances dictate seats in McKale for basketball

In principal, everyone - no exceptions - would like to have UA students seated courtside for UA men's basketball games in McKale Center. Unfortunately, putting them there would create for Athletics Director Jim Livengood an enormous, crippling problem.

Bombastic Dick Vitale and others are fond of referring to the "Cameron Crazies," the students who occupy great seats at Duke University's home basketball games. Duke, however, is a private school with a hefty tuition, some of which goes to support athletics. In stark contrast, not one penny of UA student tuition or fees goes to athletics. Not a penny of university or state money goes to UA athletics, either. The Athletics Department itself must raise every single penny that it needs to operate. The most significant revenue sources by far are football and men's basketball, the only two UA sports that make a profit.

McKale Center has about 561 "A" seats along each sideline (blue seats, rows 1-9). The annual revenue from those seats on one side of the arena - tickets plus priority-seating surcharges - is $957,066. If students were to occupy those seats at today's student season-ticket rate of $84, they would generate $47,124 in other words, a net loss to the Athletics Department of $909,124. Those demanding sideline seats for students should also indicate how the loss of almost $1,000,000 would be overcome.

Tom Sanders
UA associate athletics director 1985-2000

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