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Letters to the Editor 3/2
Published 3/2/2012
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Pacific and Hege stand up for what we need

Editor:

The undergraduate student population represented by ASWSU is about 15,000 students. Last year, approximately 3,000 students, or one-fifth of undergraduates, voted in the March ASWSU elections. It is amazing to me that 12,000 students were willing to turn over their right to choose to people they do not even know.

Our brothers and sisters in the military risk their lives daily to bring democracy and the freedom to choose their own leaders to oppressed populations across the globe, and many people still risk harassment and violence when they vote in other parts of the world. I hope that reality inspires every Coug to value their right to choose and exercise their own freedom to vote in this ASWSU election.

I will vote for Joey Pacific and Samantha Hege to bring performance-based leadership to ASWSU that seeks to represent all Cougars through outreach and transparency. At some level we all care, after all it is our money they allocate and spend, but we need to step up and represent ourselves first by voting on March 6 and 7. Learn more about Pacific/Hege and find the link to vote at www.votecougs.com.

Ryan Stewart
junior, physics

Columnist would have us live in the Dark Ages

Editor:

Corrine Harris is guilty of the same vagueness she finds in Arizona legislators. She makes sweeping claims about ethnic studies, but never indicates which courses she took. She must have paid little attention in class or else she would know that its purpose is not to bash white people but to expose institutional racism.

For example, studies show that young white and black men are equally likely to commit felonies, yet young black men are seven times likelier to be in prison. This is not because some Southern bigot spews slurs but because our system of so-called justice targets black men. And this comes directly from a history of slavery, genocide and exploitation of immigrant labor.     

Our K-12 schools do teach from the single perspective of one race: white. Students tell me that in high school they still learn that Christopher Columbus is a hero. That is certainly not the perspective of indigenous peoples. They also tell me they learn nothing about Langston Hughes and other people of color who argued that the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan was racist. Whether or not Hughes was correct, the omission of that history suggests that people of color are excluded in the curriculum.

If Harris wants more proof, she should look up the Eurocentric textbook policy adopted by Texas. While she ponders this, she might wonder why Thoreau is banned by Tucson schools.

In 2042, according to the U.S. Census, people of color will become, collectively, the majority population. Will our schools then teach black history, Latino and immigrant history, indigenous history and my immigrant Asian history?

Harris would return us to the Dark Ages. We need instead to prepare for the future and teach all histories. Meanwhile, let us have the intelligence and courage to call Arizona’s new laws racist. 

John Streamas
associate professor, comparative culture, gender and race studies

Joey Pacific engages in too much mudslinging

Editor:

As someone who works in ASWSU, I was shocked to learn Joey Pacific said that he had not seen much from Director of Student Life Kyle Erdman and Pro-Tempore Derrick Skaug’s record of service to WSU students. This is completely untrue and dishonest.

Erdman has revolutionized the position of Director of Student Life and ASWSU. He created the Cougar Success Program, which will help students have a better student experience at WSU. He brought back SAFEWALK through Women’s Transit so students can have a safe experience at WSU and more community service opportunities. He created the event the Idaho Invasion, which bolstered fan turnout against the Idaho Vandals and helped our students give us an edge in a close two-point victory. He created the ASWSU executive committees this year.  

Pro-Tempore Skaug has led the senate this year and had a tremendous impact on its success. From organizing a meeting with the 9th District Legislators, to bringing the Attorney General Rob McKenna to ASWSU Senate meetings and the President of ASUI as well as Mayor Verner of Spokane. All are projects he took on single handedly. He also wrote numerous bills that changed the policies of ASWSU for the better, like the ASWSU Involvement Accessibility Act and the ASWSU Open Budget Act as well as many resolutions. Without Skaug’s leadership, this year’s Senate would not have been able to accomplish all of the work it has done.  

Pacific’s comments at the March 2 debate show that he would rather tear his opponents down than run a campaign based off his running mate's and his own thin records.

Nick Ramirez
senior, political science 

Pacific and Hege are good at multitasking

Editor:

When I look for leaders of an organization, I look for people who see what can be done and will actually do something about it. In today's society we have people who make promises when they run for positions but when they win their promises mean nothing.

When I know someone who is running for a position that will consume their lives, it is nice to know how they have handled positioned in the past. For these reasons I am voting Joey Pacific and Samantha Hege for the positions of ASWSU president and vice president.

When Joey ran for senate last year, he promised to work on the Bi-Laws of the ASWSU Constitution and he went through it in entirety making it more clear and concise. In only three weeks starting this semester, Senator Pacific reshaped the catering laws in the CUB, when people said it could not be done. During the past month both Joey and Samantha have been able to campaign while still working two jobs and being involved in the campus, which means they can deal with being under tremendous amounts of pressure and still meet expectations.

So when it is time to vote on March 6 and 7, I am voting for follow through and staying strong when under pressure. I am voting Pacific/Hege.

Ryan White
sophomore, environmental chemistry

Not'victim rhetoric,'but rather actual history

Editor:

I was extremely disappointed in reading Corrine Harris' column on HB 2281. She describes her experience of ethnic studies as "bashing of all things Caucasian, I have found that those studies can be heavy on feeling, light on fact and drowning with 1970's victim rhetoric."

As a comparative ethnic studies major and a student of color, I find it very disturbing that she would call the 1970's social movement "victim rhetoric." Learning ethnic studies is not bashing against "all things Caucasian" but rather understanding and logically identifying who has been making social, political and economic decisions for the past two hundred years of our country's existence.

Who enslaved millions of African-American slaves for the purpose of profit? Displaced millions of Native Americans to unwanted land and broke treaty after treaty? Who accepted and then repatriated millions of Mexican-American farm workers living in the southwest? Who interned thousands of Japanese-Americans during WWII?

I could go on, but I hope you see my point — ethnic studies teaches us how and why historical decisions like these were made and how we as an American society are still affected by many of these historical travesties. Using apartheid to describe ethnic based classes as an example of separation is a very poor choice of wording and comparison.

It is unfortunate that The Daily Evergreen failed to mention the 50+ books that have been banned this past year in Arizona school districts in light of HB 2281. Books that have changed and shaped me as an individual that I hold dear to me, two such books are "Occupied America: A History of Chicanos," by Rodolfo Acuña and "Pedagogy of the Oppressed," by Paulo Freire. Have we really come to the point where we need to ban books that evokes social thought and movement?

Rafael B. Pruneda
senior, history and comparative ethnic studies 

Cuevas and Jahn are more than competent

Editor:

I think it is important that students keep each other informed about the ASWSU candidates, student-to-student. With that being said, I have known Luis and Lindsey for a majority of my WSU experience, and I am confident that they would be the best fit for Washington State University as president and vice-president.

This duo is more than competent to lead our school with the highest level of integrity. Luis and Lindsey consistently show respect and kindness to all people. I believe that they would lead us Cougars with innovative ideas and passion. 

Alissa Beason
senior, communication

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