San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Opinion Story

Overall, it seems that the supporters of the fee increases arewell-intentioned. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that moreexperienced people are asking for more money from less experiencedpeople, for programs that no one else wants to fund. This calls for acareful look at the numbers.

Of course if this were Princeton University it wouldn’t matter-the increases would just mean more taxes for parents, who might notlike it but could certainly afford it. At SDSU, however, there arethousands of students who bring home $6 per hour after taxes, and whomust make ends meet in San Diego with little or no parental support.For these students, a mandatory fee increase of $92 per semestermeans 30 hours of extra work per year – 30 hours of studying orrelaxing they would be forced to do without.

The proposed New Fee for Retention and Cultural EnrichmentActivities is the bad apple that spoils the whole barrel. Apart fromthe absurdity of prioritizing retention in an impacted campus, theinsulting manner in which this proposal was presented has createdsuspicion even in the minds of students who would prefer to give theadministration the benefit of the doubt. The advocates feel no needto commit to details, but push the fee anyway. It is as though theyfeel that student fees are a readily available revenue source ratherthan a necessary evil, or that our contribution to SDSU is lacking.As students, we cannot know what funding alternatives exist out therefor campus programs, so we must trust that we are only being askedfor money for crucial programs, and as a last resort. The RetentionFee kills that trust.

Please remember that a “yes” vote on an increase does not merelymean you favor the program in question; it means you’re certain thatit is both necessary and appropriate that all students be forced topay for it.

As I mentioned before, the fee supporters have good intentions.Too bad you can’t write checks on intentions.

–Ari AdelbergCollege of Sciences student council president


Provost Marlin has earned the highest regard of the leadership ofthe College of Sciences. We consider the resolution of no confidencepassed by the Associated Students to be ill-considered, and note thateach primary charge of the resolution is demonstrably false.

1. “…makes decisions without including students.” Faculty andstudents are represented through the SDSU Senate, with which ProvostMarlin works closely. Students have seats on most Senate Committees.The Provost’s door is open to all on Thursday afternoons, so studentshave access if they choose to exercise it.

2. “…failed to diversify the faculty.” Provost Marlin is arelentless proponent of diversity. She established guidelines toensure that all faculty recruitment efforts include strategies forenhancing the representation of ethnically diverse candidates inapplicant pools, and faculty searches are not certified without aclear articulation of that plan. The success of her efforts isreflected in the fact that 32 percent of the faculty hired last yearwere from diverse ethnic groups, and 52 percent were women.

3. “…insensitive to academic needs of students, specifically theavailability of classes.” Provost Marlin has consistently providedthe resources needed to ensure the availability of classes in theCollege of Sciences. Unmet demand has fallen significantly duringProvost Marlin’s term, and that which remains is due to our inabilityto identify qualified instructors.

SDSU operates under constraints of limited space and financialsupport, yet generally succeeds in serving the needs of its faculty,students, and the community. The wisdom, caring, and tireless effortthat Provost Marlin invests in our university makes a substantialcontribution to that success.

–Thomas R. Scott, et. al.dean, assoc. dean, chairsSDSU College of Sciences


I was astounded by the distortions in the 2/25 editorial piece”Verbal poverty a problematic trend” by Benjamin Abel, Daily Aztecsenior opinion writer. Mr. Abel wrote of being “annoyed” at theMuslim Student Association for “Verbal Poverty,” based on hisassessment of a poster he saw on the campus. The poster which”offended” him was an announcement for the recent February 20National Day of Solidarity with Muslim, Arab and South Asianimmigrants. He characterized it as a cry from “certain Islamic/Arabgroups” who “think” that they are under attack by the United Statesgovernment. Further on, we find out that he’s really accusing the MSAof crying ‘wolf,” in order to get some undeserved attention andsympathy. Whatever his intentions, I want to set the record straight.The facts are as follows:

The announcement on the poster was, in fact, a call issued andendorsed by 230 organizations and prominent individuals nationwide,including, to name a few, La Resistencia (to which I belong), theAmerican Civil Liberties Union of Texas, noted historian Howard Zinn,Vietnam Veterans Against the War Anti-Imperialist, the San DiegoCoalition for Peace and Justice, Global Exchange, InternationalConcerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal, and many peacecoalitions across the country, immigrants rights organizations,anti-repression activists, and certainly a lot of Muslim, Arab andAsian groups, as well.

Are we crying wolf? Consider what happened to Mohammed Rafiq Butt,a 55-year-old Pakistani man, who was arrested when neighbors calledin a “tip.” Butt was never charged with a crime. In October,authorities reported to Butt’s family that he had died of a heartattack while in custody. The INS refused to release information abouthis death to Human Rights Watch. Butt’s cousin told the news mediathat the autopsy report indicated marks “suggesting that he had beensubjected to severe torture before his death. The report foundmultiple fractures in his cousins’ legs and chest, as well as deepbruises on the body.”

Mr. Abel says all this is OK, because the witch hunt is turning upreal witches. Reality check. An article from the Chicago Tribune,reprinted in the San Diego Union Tribune, March 5th, states: “Afterthousands of interviews, FBI agents have not found a single knowingaccomplice to the attacks in the United States, seniorlaw-enforcement officials said last week.” The government itself hassaid that they are going to look for any and all means to deport anddetain people from the countries in question. (Washington Post, Feb8th, 2002) If we turn our heads, as Mr. Abel suggests, while thegovernment strips the constitutional rights from one portion of ourpopulation, because they might not be our “homies”, how long will itbe before the constitutional rights of others, even ourselves, areeroded away?

Mr. Abel worries about trivializing history and verbal idiocy. Thereal irresponsibility and “verbal idiocy” lie in trivializing theshredding of due process for any group of people, government mandatedracial profiling, and the laying of legal foundations of a policestate. Let us do better than those who stood by while the JapaneseAmericans were rounded up and put in “detention centers” during WorldWar II. What would you have done then? What will you do now?

–Robert HammondLa Resistencia, San Diego

Letters Policy

–The Daily Aztec welcomes letters on all subjects, sections andstories. Letters may be edited for brevity and libelous or overtlyoffensive content. Letters must include the writer’s year in schooland major, or professional title. The Aztec offices are located inthe basement of the Business Administration and Mathematics building.Please send e-mail to

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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
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