Letters: Farewell from a bitter UA gradby Tucson Citizen on May. 08, 2009, under Opinion
Mean streets dead-end downtown junctions
Streets are an important part of the urban fabric of any city.
Ideally, streets serve a variety of functions – transportation, gathering spaces, public outdoor rooms and more.
In recent years (since mass industrialization), streets have started to serve singular functions of transportation for vehicular traffic, often forsaking pedestrian and bicycle use.
This single-track attitude toward streets is filtering out the vibrant life we need to revitalize the ghost town that was Tucson downtown.
Saving downtown will require that we not only get people downtown, but also keep them there. This is impossible as long as streets are designed only to move cars, and as long as there are no spaces to foster interaction between people from all walks of Tucson life.
It’s this sense of community that is so desperately lacking in suburbia, and the density of the urban center is the only chance to really bring our local culture to life.
European cities – which have existed far longer than any American city – all feature pre-industrial design and planning.
Before cities were designed for the automobile, streets were made for walking. Small squares dotted cityscapes and allowed members of neighborhoods to gather in these multipurpose outdoor rooms.
As a result, communities were stronger.
The redesign of downtown roads can and must include not only large-scale open space for events, but also smaller-scale spaces for community interaction.
Mock Trial member judges UA to be unfit
I am ecstatic to graduate May 15 – not because I am proud to be a University of Arizona alumnus, but rather because it means I no longer will be affiliated with UA.
When I pack my room, get in my car and leave for law school this summer, I will never look back – ever.
I came to UA as a freshman in the fall of 2005. I watched tuition costs rise incrementally without apology. I accepted these increases by not transferring to another school, believing the extra money improved my educational opportunities.
I watched incredibly underfunded clubs struggle to exist, including my own (Mock Trial). I watched excessive spending, I saw two consecutive big-name concerts net two consecutive six-digit losses.
This university is a disgrace to advanced education. I have been cheated of four years I could have spent at an institution devoted to spending my tuition toward my education.
Concerts netting nearly a $1 million loss do not aid my education.
ASUA funding to Mock Trial alone never surpassed $1,000 this year. Mock Trial has more than 20 students, and the cost for one student to attend one tournament is more than $400.
This year, we represented UA competitively and professionally at the Regional Tournament, the Opening Round Championship Tournament and the National Championship Tournament.
It is one of the best extracurricular educational activities offered at UA.
Yet we watch UA lose more than $900,000 on an extraneous entertainment event as our program suffered because students simply could not afford to compensate for the massive lack of funding.
Concerts do not play any vital role at an institution of higher learning. They should only be run if they can break event.
ASUA should represent the students, but for two years it has only represented the individuals planning the events, hoping to leave a legacy.
The Kanye West concert and the Jay-Z concert lost more than $1.3 million.
Tommy Bruce called the Jay-Z concert a success and blamed the loss on the economy, but those statements are irresponsible, immature and wrong. The concert contract was signed March 24, well after the initial crash.
There is no excuse for this refusal to accept responsibility. There is no excuse for the increase in tuition costs. There is no excuse for this misappropriation of funds.
I will never contribute to any activity or fundraising event put on with UA alumni. I will never give anything to aid this institution in any way.
I will make sure every family member, colleague and friend knows that UA is not devoted to higher learning.
I am ashamed to be a member of this establishment, and I hope the Board of Regents realizes the UA administration’s failure to work toward the goals of higher education and spend its funds on better causes.
UA class of 2009
philosophy, political science
It does compute: Tech belongs in classrooms
Technology can be an enormous help to teachers; it helps prepare students for work and gives them a better grasp of concepts the teacher is trying to explain.
When all schools use technology, we will have a more computer literate populace.
Teachers must be given classes on how to use technology in the classroom, integrating it into lesson plans. Such education will help teachers to overcome their fear of change.
A technology team should provide technical support.
I believe more and better use of technology in education will spur higher test scores.
I cannot imagine trying to do a research project without computers, for example.
If a school has up-to-date technology, students will be better able to grasp the concepts.
math education major
University of Arizona