Letters to the Editor

Almuni Warns that UC Board of Regents Proposal Harms Us All
A few weeks ago, the New University published an article entitled “System-Wide Reduction in UC Admissions,” and in just a few weeks (Feb. 3-5) the UC Board of Regents will vote to make even more students eligible for admission by lowering the criteria for admissions and eliminating the SAT II subject test as a requirement. This is all happening at a time when there are more qualified applicants for the UC schools than ever before. So why would we want to tarnish our school’s stellar reputation by admitting students who may or may not be qualified when our current system allows us to easily (and accurately) tell which students are ready for the rigors of a UC school?
Adopting this “holistic” approach to admissions and judging students on anything other than performance is an experiment that may or may not achieve the diverse student body the regents are seeking. The SAT II allows students to distinguish themselves from their peers by proving that they can perform and excel in specific subjects such as math, science and most importantly for many minorities, foreign languages. To eliminate this test and replace it with a system that judges applicants on their potential to succeed, rather than actual results, hurts us all. There are plenty of students who are already qualified, and have shown that they can excel now, so let’s not risk our reputation on the hopes of admitting students who have not shown the same record of excellence.
I worked hard all through high school to make sure I fulfilled all of the requirements to go to UC Irvine, and accepting any students who have not done the same makes my work less valued. We need to tell the regents to vote for maintaining high standards. College admissions are supposed to be hard, they are supposed to push us to our limits and we do not need the regents to lower the bar. Go to SaveUCStandards.com for more information and have your voice heard.

Jena Brown
UC Irvine Alumni, 2007

Green That’s Too Extreme: Failing to Understand Your Audience
Although certainly informative, John Bruning’s blatant “10 Ways to Really Go Green” published in last week’s New University as a response to my earlier article, “10 Easy Ways to Go Green,” fails to understand an incredibly important facet: his audience. As full-time students with numerous outside activities, I’m willing to bet that the average UC Irvine student neither has the time nor the desire to carry out most of the tips on Bruning’s list. Curiosity got the better of me, so I polled a few classmates on whether they were willing to eat out of dumpsters, become vegan, and stop using their cell phones, TVs and computers in the name of “going green.” As expected, not one of them even considered any of these options as viable.
Yes, the world would be a cleaner and more environmentally friendly place if we furnished our apartments with cardboard chairs and tables, grew chickens and crops in our backyard and did our homework by the light of a handmade fire, but the truth of the matter is that waste goes hand in hand with technology and technology shows no signs of slowing down. Extreme environmentalists and “friendly neighborhood anarchists” are beating a dead horse by telling students to commute over an hour by bike or to throw away their electronics. Everybody already knows that cars are harmful to the environment and that eating meat leaves a carbon footprint. Writing an article about these so-called ways to “really” go green isn’t much help if readers are unresponsive, no matter how saintly the article attempts to be.
My goal in writing the article was not to be “cute” or “trendy” but to give UCI students awareness about the little things they might not know and to coax them into taking baby steps to help out our environment in the hopes that this would prompt them to take further initiative to “go green.” Bruning apparently doesn’t understand that the buildup of small steps can make a difference and he criticizes my use of the word “strenuous” as it pertains to “going green,” yet four sentences later he admits that “going green” actually is “difficult, even painful,” and it is.
As a member of Anteaters for Recycling and Conservation and a participant of the Co-Mingling Recycling Event in the on-campus housing communities, I do not take the negative impacts on our environment lightly. But I also don’t believe that shoving such extreme “green” mantras down the throats of UCI students will help to alleviate the problems of waste and consumption. I mean, eating out of dumpsters? Really?

Ashley Soo
Copy Intern
Literary Journalism Major

Relationship Educator Finds Divorce Article Touching
I read the article, “My Parents Had a Divorce” by A.E. in last week’s New University and was extremely moved. This is heart-wrenching. I have forwarded [it] to many on our list who work in marriage and relationship education. Thank you to the one who wrote this piece.

Amy M. Gilford
Community Relations & Assist. Director
Marriage Resource Center of Carroll County
Westminster, MD