Mailbag: Aug. 31

Wildcat's stats don't add up

Unfortunately, the facts are not on the side of your story headlined, ""Freshman class stats don't add up.""




This year's freshman class is in fact the most academically gifted ever, a distinction we base on criteria other than SAT and ACT scores. It is based on the all-time high record number of Honors College students who have enrolled, on the record number of national scholars ­— not just National Merit Scholars — enrolled, and on the highest-ever portion of students who are projected to earn at least a 3.5 GPA in the UA's rigorous academic environment.

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In addition, the Wildcat made a math error in calculating the percentage of freshmen who are ethnic minorities. In terms of real numbers and percentages, this year's percentage of minority freshmen — 34 percent — is without precedent.




Final enrollment data for fall 2009 will be available on Sept. 14, at which time a final count of students will be completed following the last deadlines to drop or add classes, or withdraw from school. Perhaps that day will serve as a fresh opportunity to get the story right.



Paul R. Kohn, Ph.D.          

associate vice president for student affairs and dean of admissions






Sexualized insults, a two-way street


I would like to commend Tiffany Kimmell on her elucidating piece on male vernacular and the application of the ""sexualized insult"" that is the other f-word. Clearly, Ms. Kimmel has come to truly understand maleness in the 21st century. Her resounding criticism of male usage of the word ""fag"" and ""faggot"" has been brought on by the study of ""feminist scholars of masculinity."" Let us not ponder on what Kant might term as a perspective colored by preexisting experiences and notions, but instead question the source by which Ms. Kimmell crafted her witty article on the mitigation of men to a part of society that, implicitly, women do not themselves belong to.




Perhaps I am mistaken in understanding that the word ""bitch"" is a gendered term, one that men and women both use often to describe another woman. There are any number of words applied directly to women, including ""dyke"" and the un-utterable c-word. How, then, are these any different than men using the ""other f-word""? The point is that all forms of verbal slander, from either sex, should be made a point to avoid. While your article may have been well-intentioned in exploring the derogatory nature of using sexualized terms in degrading manners, there was a distinct lack of an effort to provide for other sides of the equation. Degradation, unfortunate as it is, is by no means monosexual. Perhaps, Ms. Kimmell, more effort should be pursued in writing an article that critically examines the questions from multiple angles. After all, a group of fraternity guys, or immature high-schoolers, is hardly indicative of the male population at large. I, for one, don't use the term, and am rather insulted that your article implies that I almost have to, if I were to fit in with all other males.



Matt Winter

history graduate student






Practice what you preach

In her Monday column, Tiffany Kimmell justly criticizes the homophobic lingo that is prevalent in our culture. However, her castigation of ""bros"" comes off as stereotypical and crude. She implies that fraternity members are unintelligent and without autonomy in their dress code. Moreover, they all sport fauxhawks and promote homophobic discourse within the confines of their fraternity houses.




This caricature of fraternity life has become synonymous with the pejorative term ""bro."" Much like any derogatory term, ""bro"" has become a put-down as it suggests ignorance, reckless affluence, and/or way too much Jack Johnson. In her superficial analysis of male brotherhood, Ms. Kimmel falls victim to the very behavior she condemns: type-casting that which we are not.



Zachary Smith

psychology senior


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