Upon reading Thursday and Friday's Arizona Daily Wildcat editorial section, I was afraid that the majority of the university might be getting the wrong impression of electrical and computer engineers.
Thursday's editorial section included a letter from someone involved in computer sciences who was apparently upset with the "Study in Spurts" advertisement, which in my view was tactless but also rather humorous. The next day, an electrical engineering senior picked apart the previous Wildcat, finding sex mentioned six times in one film advertisement, and an opening band with an offensive name in small print somewhere. On top of that, he also saw a picture of a man with his head between two pumpkins which reminded him of breasts with the stems representing erect nipples (he might have been joking, but I'm not sure). A while back, another electrical engineer wrote about his own sexual frustration, as he walked along the Mall viewing scantily clad sunbathers and "acres of flesh" before him.
Practically everyone who reads these articles must believe that the ECE department is wholly comprised of asexual, anti-social creatures who are only excited when their latest program compiles without any error messages. However, this is an unfortunately distorted view. I've seen many electrical engineers that I know at Puerto PeĽasco partying with the best of 'em. The desire to vent all of the stress created in the seemingly endless labs allows the average engineer to really let loose when they get the chance. And as far as relationships go, a lot of male ECE students have expressed dismay at how an initial conversation with a girl will come to an abrupt halt when he tells her his major. This is a direct result of the ever-present engineering stereotype. Not only are electrical engineers excellent lovers (for evidence, be sure to see "Revenge of the Nerds," the documentary), but they can fix all of your major electrical appliances in the morning. I'll be the first to admit that there are a few weirdos in our department, but that's the same situation for every other department. Just take a look at drama and theater.
I sincerely hope that we can overcome this problem soon, and I would like to encourage frustrated ECE students to lighten up a bit. Be sure to enjoy life while you're still young, you'll have time to get irritated at possibly lewd material when you're 60 and older. I'd also like to encourage non-engineering students to try and see past the negative image of engineers that society has imprinted on your mind. Next time you're on the north end of campus, be sure to make a trip into the Electrical and Computer Engineering building and take a look around . you may be surprised to find that people aren't as strange as you had previously thought.
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