Letters to the Editor

UCI Football Would Bring Prestige

I’m writing in response to an article Paul Backus wrote for the New University (‘No UCI Football? Perfect,’ Oct. 23). Backus’ notion that the induction of a UC Irvine football team would destroy the atmosphere on campus is absolutely correct. A football team, if put together correctly and neared or exceeded its potential, would most definitely destroy the atmosphere on this campus.

The current atmosphere at UCI that Backus says would potentially be destroyed is an atmosphere where students rarely, if ever, socialize with people outside their immediate group or clique. The atmosphere on campus is that of students segregated into different races, groups and organizations.

The atmosphere of segregation may be the ideal atmosphere in Kansas where Backus previously went to college, but in California it is socially acceptable for different races, groups and organizations to actually socialize with one and other. It may be shocking to Backus, but it is actually the truth.

As for the hardships Backus had to endure at Kansas such as waiting in line for basketball tickets, my deepest sympathies go out to him. Being a student at UCI, I have never, but would love to experience the ‘hardship’ of standing in line just to support and cheer for my nationally ranked football or basketball team.

Backus also seems to have the idea that football players and fraternities are the major, if not the only, cause of violence and sexual assault on or around college campuses. Backus is unaware or seems to forget the murder incident involving the Baylor basketball team and the Duke lacrosse sexual assault scandal that headlined the news, not to mention the recent drug-related shooting at Parkwest Apartments in Irvine. I am not positive, but have my suspicions that neither football players nor fraternities were the cause of that shooting.

Now onto the actual subject matter. It is possible to field a winning and competitive football team in the UC system, as evidenced by UC Los Angeles and UC Berkeley. There is always a risk of a team being weak in infant stages, but nothing is a risk if you know what you’re doing. If constructed correctly, the UCI team would not ‘suck,’ which seems to worry Backus. UCI is a school and a place that possesses optimal conditions for creating a football team that would have success. The potential to recruit blue-chip athletes for football are limitless given the great location of UCI and the prestige that comes with its high academic ranking. The school itself is quite large and the surrounding areas such as Newport Beach, Santa Ana and Anaheim could potentially lead to much interest and attendance for a UCI football team.

The advantages to having a football team at UCI are quite important and significant. A football team could potentially help other problems that face the school. The prospective revenue produced by a football team could help with the construction of much-needed campus housing, improved campus facilities, balancing the books of the Bren Events Center or be used to expand UCI’s main focus: research.

The de facto segregation at UCI would be challenged when students unite and rally together to discuss a football team. The spirit of the entire campus community would be improved with the pride that would resonate from Anteater Football.

Brent Testan,
English major

New U. Reveals Left-Wing Bias

I wasn’t surprised when I picked up last week’s New University and read the headline, ‘Young Dems Rally the Vote, Reps Protest’ (Nov. 4). It is a popular misconception among the general public that the media is biased and leans to the right. You always hear liberals complaining about how the media never tells the truth and is somehow on a corporate or government payroll, and constant allegations of FOX News being biased and right-wing. But whenever I pick up the newspaper in this country or watch the news, I get the opposite feeling.

The best example of how the media is not biased toward conservatives but toward liberals can be seen in the New U. The headline of last week’s newspaper implies that Republicans were protesting the Get Out the Vote rally set up by the Young Democrats of UC Irvine. This is an absurd and misinterpreted view of what actually happened.

To best make a judgment on the neutrality of the headline, we must first analyze the Young Democrats’ rally, which was publicized as a GOTV effort, with special guests like actor Ed Asner, Congressional candidate Steve Young and Iraq-war protestor Cindy Sheehan. However, the rally focused more on partisan politics and left-wing views. All the speakers were one-sided and never portrayed a balanced view. Usually during a GOTV rally, the purpose is to get people to vote, not just to get people who share your point of view to go vote, so the first conclusion we can make is that the Young Democrats’ rally was a rally to get extremely liberal voters to vote.

The second conclusion we can make about the rally was the lack of UCI students. The majority of the crowd was middle-aged men and women who were apparently attending the rally only to see Cindy Sheehan speak. This brings up a good question: Where were all the students the Young Democrats were trying to rally?

But to their dismay, Sheehan did not show up. Apparently Sheehan was ‘deathly ill’ from constantly protesting around the country. This was reported in the New U as well. But, if the biased New U did some research, they would have found out that Cindy Sheehan was not ‘deathly ill’ with the flu but had a more important rally in Orange that same day.

Another thing the New U forgot to report was the fact that the UCI administration tried to silence many Republican protestors and denied the College Republicans a place to set up their booth nearby for a large portion of the event.

So the question still remains: Are media outlets biased toward liberals or conservatives? The answer is very simple at UCI. The New U has done everything in its power to twist and spin their reporting. Will the New U change its policies and attempt to portray a more balanced image of politics on campus or continue to promote biased perspectives?

Edwin Ohanian
economics major