Snowflakes in Arizona At This Time of Year? You’ll Find ‘Em in Tucson.
Snowflakes in Arizona At This Time of Year? You’ll Find ‘Em in Tucson.
Confession: Back in the 90s, I identified as a “liberal” whilst hanging around the University of Arizona campus taking my Creative Writing and Cinematography classes (which I put to VERY good use) in the Modern Languages building. My temporary period of insanity ended abruptly when I entered the real world and got my first job making (less than) minimum wage as a night time disc jockey at a radio station in Tucson and I figured out (the hard way) that no one owed me a darned thing because of my piece of paper or because of who I am (ego reality-check). More sobering real-world lessons followed.
During my U of A days, my biggest petition and priority for any thing on campus was for some decent wattage for our popcorn-signal college radio station (a glorified PA system, really) that blared Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Pixies and other 90s Alt-Rock. I was not concerned about politics. I was a self-professed “Democrat” because it was “cool” to be a Democrat. Republicans were “too uptight”. When I shared my philosophies one day with my KAMP Student Radio buddies (all professed Republicans) and they argued that my stances on marijuana and abortion were Conservative and asked me to do some reading and examine my party of affiliation, I flipped the heck out. Again, it wasn’t until several years of working hard to support myself that I realized my friends were right.
So when one of my radio buddies from The Old Pueblo shared this article on Facebook this past week, I got a good chuckle. The Daily Wildcat headline reads: “Protest for marginalized students a ‘PR event’ to raise awareness of demands”. The group, “Marginalized Students of the University of Arizona”, is a conglomeration of students in campus cultural organizations to include the Adalberto & Ana Guerrero Center, African American Student Affairs, Asian Pacific Student Affairs, the LGBTQ Resource Center, Native American Student Affairs and the Women’s Resource Center. Students within the groups levied a complaint in the list of demands against U of A President Ann Weaver Hart, who finished her listening tour of minority and cultural groups with the Guerrero Center this past Tuesday. From the complaint:
…we feel that the Administration does not see our needs and concerns as legitimate. During her own
tour, President Ann Weaver Hart only afforded each group thirty minutes to speak to her about the tremendous
amount of discrimination our students face and the consequences these interactions have on our college experience.
Each group felt their experiences were dismissed, that we were pitted against other students, and that asking for a
safer campus and more resources was “too much”. This tone and attitude reflects the approach we see being taken by
those who feign their dedication to us. The actions of the University of Arizona have shown us that we have been
addressed simply to quiet the anger at injustices we experience here. If this is indicative of how the university will
continue its “efforts”, then we will ” NEVER SETTLE” for the lie that this university strives to extend itself “beyond
traditional boundaries” or “sustain 100% engagement”.
The list of demands, you ask? You can read the full nauseating 19 pages here. I’ll just run down some of them for you so you get the general idea:
● All restrooms should include small trashcans in all stalls, free tampons, and free menstrual pads
● In addition to free condoms, Dental Dams, external and internal condoms, and Preexposure
prophylaxis (PrEP) must be accessible through Campus Health.
Implementation of Trigger Warnings within course materials and content
○ Trigger Warnings should also be specifically addressed before potentially problematic
material, with an alternate assignment offered.
● Correct pronouns to be respected within classroom settings.
● Provide financial aid to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students
○ Currently, the University of Arizona does not offer any financial aid resources for grants
or scholarships for undocumented students.
● The university must divest any and all partnerships with U.S Customs and Border Patrol
○ This includes, but is not limited to, ceasing Border Patrol recruitment at
career fairs, as well as eliminating the presence of Border Patrol
agents at Spring Break safety fairs on the UA Mall.
○ Given the high militarization of the US/Mexico border in Arizona and the violence it
promotes against undocumented/migrant communities, the presence of Border Patrol on
campus promotes a hostile environment towards Latina/o communities.
Free tampons for all…what is next? Free contact lens solution? I’d say free deodorant and soap for the 4th Avenue hippie-types but (GASP)…I might set off a trigger warning and hurt somebody’s wittle feewings. And, because, college students like to hook up, free condoms are simply not enough for these little horndogs…they also need Pre-exposure prophylaxis as well as dental damns!
And, because someone can be a “he” one day and feel like a “she” the next, the correct use of pronouns is also a priority for the Marginalized Students of the U of A. But what if the professors get confused from one day to the next? Then, obviously, they are discriminating against these students who can’t seem to make up up their damned minds which gender they choose to be! I can see it now…a student of the LGBTQIA+WXYandZ community getting up-in-arms in a gender equality class because the subject matter does not recognize his or her desire to mate with a desk on that particular day! Better create a gender-neutral mascot to accompany Wilbur and Wilma Wildcat!
It comes as no surprise to me that these students want nothing to do with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. The City of Tucson, about one hour north of the U.S./Mexico Border after all does NOT need ANY protection of any sort from Border Patrol and Customs. And they should not appear on campus because it’s “scary” to some of these snowflakes. To the ones who do not seem threatened by their presence, they are angered by it and view them as hostile. Yep. Armed Border Patrol agents stroll the U of A mall every day because they’ve got nothing better going in Nogales, Naco and A.P. than to harass a few Liberal Arts majors! The same vigilantes who want Customs and Border Patrol to stay away are the same ones who raised issue with President Weaver Hart back in November after she refused to dispute the opening of Colorado small chain restaurant, Illegal Pete’s outside the campus Main Gate. (Clearly, they did not even bother to research that it’s a pretty hip place that aligns with many of their liberal philosophies and that Pete is a WHITE guy who lovingly named his chain of restaurants after his FATHER!):
When it came to the name Illegal Pete’s, I settled on the name of a bar in a novel. The name resonated with me for the obvious reason that my name is Pete, but of equal importance, it was my father’s name. My father, who helped me secure the financing for the restaurant, was terminally ill with cancer, having battled stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma since 1989. He was never able to work in the restaurant, but he was my moral support during the months leading up to opening and the two years of operation up to his death in August 1997. Needless to say, he was a fighter, and I liked that he and I could share the ins and outs of this business.
The adjective “illegal” was an exciting part of the name for me for a number of reasons. The first reason was personal: my dad was a bit of a good-natured hell raiser when he was a younger man in that he always tried to keep the party going just a little bit longer; hearing these stories from his friends, it became innate in me to try and keep the party going a little longer too. Second, the name to me was unique and counter-cultural, which I appreciated as a younger man. Still do. It’s typically the counter-cultural places in our society that are the most accepting of individuals from all different walks of life.
This is what happens, folks, when you tell your kids every day that they, alone, are going to change the world someday and that they are awesome despite any wrong-doing which they never receive reprimand for because we as parents need to be their “friends”. This is what happens when you send them to hearts-and-flowers, “self-esteem” summer camps that cost upwards of a couple of thousand dollars a week to eat all vegan-organic meals and be told by “counselors” that they alone are steering the ship (yet they want the government and others to steer and provide for them for the rest of their natural lives) and that their feelings matter (a concept that translates to young adults in the literal sense which is why they could give two flying flips about any one else). They go on to college to be these overly-inflated human beings who speak about themselves in third person and think they WILL change the world and think it’s their right to bully other adults who have been around the block a few times and paid their dues into acquiescing to their ridiculous demands. What happens when adults stand up to bullies who make ridiculous demands? The bullies flip it around and become butt-hurt “victims”. In eight years, my son will graduate high school and be looking at universities. Looks like I can check my own off the list of prospects for now.