Mailbag: March 28

Throughout the past year, I have been working with a group at the UA that will be competing at the National Student Advertising Competition. For the competition, we needed plans books printed. As we searched all of the printing companies in the Tucson area, Allegra Print & Imaging emerged as the most willing and helpful candidate to print our plans books. We recently received the books that Allegra created for us and they turned out beautifully. Allegra treated our group as if we were the only project they had. Their propensity to help students will ultimately benefit our community as a whole.

— Aaron Kraft,
business management senior

As two attendees to ASUA’s “HB 2281 & Ethnic Studies Campus Community Forum” on Thursday March 22, we were angered and disappointed to see the photo the Daily Wildcat included above the fold in its coverage of the event in the Friday 3/23 edition. The image depicts Nolan Cabrera, an assistant professor in educational policy studies and practice, and a speaker at Thursday’s event, seeming to “yell” at Jason Brown, one of the ASUA senators who hosted the event. As two members of the campus and Tucson communities, we write to share our concern and ask the Wildcat to do better.

To us, as members in the audience, the ethnic studies forum was a time for UA community members to learn more about HB2281 and TUSD’s subsequent decision to eliminate the Mexican American Studies program. Speakers at the forum explained different points of view about the program, the legislation and TUSD’s action to eliminate the program. The message that rang out was that the MAS program had a profound impact on the lives of the students who participated in it, and students were taught to be critical participants in their education.

However, the picture included in your story, which takes up almost the entire top fold of the newspaper, shows a Latino professor yelling at a white student, with no context given for the photo whatsoever. The snapshot was taken in the background of the event when Cabrera was upset that Mark Stegeman (TUSD board president) would be allowed to address his critics, but Cabrera would not. It was a brief exchange that lasted no more then 30 seconds.

The heart of the forum was Cabrera and other speakers sharing passionately about the importance of the MAS program. Why was one of those photos not shared? The photo the Daily Wildcat chose only paints the Latino community as one that is angry and “overly emotional.” In addition, much of the article includes quotes from Kim Dominguez, an MAS undergraduate student, who passionately talked about her sadness, fear and anger at the elimination of MAS. The juxtaposition of Dominguez’s words with the picture of Dr. Cabrera only further promotes stereotyping of the Latino community.

Of all the ways you could have presented this wonderful forum, why depict impassioned debate from the Latino community as aggressive and angry?

— Hannah Lozon,
coordinator of Social Justice Education for Residence Life and Janet Rico Uhrig, coordinator for Desk and Summer Operations for Residence Life

In response to March 26 article “Three students robbed on campus”:

Are you kidding me? I didn’t realize Sgt. Juan Alvarez was a comedian, “… the university is a safe place.” Yeah, for him, because he can carry a firearm. This really gets to the heart of the debate — whether or not to allow guns on campus.

The school police force would like us to think they can protect all of us, but that’s just their inner hubris coming out. They cannot be everywhere at once and they should allow those who want to protect themselves that right.

Alvarez gave some advice on what to do to reduce your chances of being a victim ­— let’s break them down. Walking with others: Well, that didn’t work. These were three men walking together but they were still made victims. Walk in well-lit areas: Not all of the campus is well lit, and even if it was, if no one else is around, it doesn’t help. Lastly, know where the emergency phones are located, because if all else fails the best we can advise you is to run! Let’s get real and give students who wish to the right to protect themselves that chance.

— Trevor Laky,
political science senior

In response to March 27 column “Florida gun laws need reform”:

I came across the article “Florida gun laws need reform” and was troubled by the way it started.
“The death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old from Florida, is a tragedy that has gained national attention. Numerous public figures, including President Barack Obama, have condemned racial discrimination and demanded that Martin’s attacker, George Zimmerman, be brought to justice.”

President Obama has not demanded that Martin’s attacker, George Zimmerman, be brought to justice. He simply said that the case needs to be investigated fully and that Martin reminded him of what his son would be like.

It’s a pretty big deal if the president calls for one man to be brought to justice, the problem is he didn’t. Thanks.

— Joe Fratena,
La Porte, Ind.

In response to March 27 column “College applications should stick with academic questions”:

Nice article!

Of course you’re correct about sexual prefference; but also you discussed extracurricular, leadership skills, diversity, etc …

Caveat: When I went to the UA, the average upperdivision class size was about 25.

Extracurricular/leadership skills have no assurance of performance after university graduation with a $200,000 debt and a new child. Nor do these “markers” include a poor person with a child pregnancy fighting to keep up in a low-quality school district.

First, education should be free (with high taxes recovering from those who demonstrably benefitted the most).

Second, while there should be no diversity test (but a test for those hit by social injustice); there might be an advantage for those going to generally bad schools such as TUSD, here, and LAUSD, in Los Angeles.

Third the criterion should be (with no 4.5 GPA’s) sufficient academic foundation to proceed at the university level, demonstrated ability to learn, decent (hazard-weighted) grades as one indicator of the preceeding elements, and the ability to think clearly (where Libertarianism and tea party membership tend to indicate that the ability for balanced rational thought is not yet present).

Ability to learn and to think clearly are the key elements (qualitatively rather than statistically determined); and the third pillar in this set is creativity and the ability to think creatively — to bring an extra dimension to the problem.

As the primary requirement for “national security,” the university system should be large enough to accomodate all qualified students (obviating the need for admission rationing).

— James Lindsay


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