Better places to spend cancer research funds

The time has come for the University to seriously rethink its funding priorities. Faced with a basketball team that cannot afford quality tutors, a lack of a student massage parlor and no chauffeur service for the football team, regrettably some cuts are going to have to be made. What is troubling is that the administration, and, even more appallingly, the Minnesota Legislature, have refused to step up and make the hard choices. The truth is that it is time for cancer research at the University to go the way of the dinosaur.
Studies have shown repeatedly that a majority of our population will not die from cancer. Of the ephemeral nature of our time on terra firma, cancer is just one of the myriad of capricious ways of ending life. Drunken driving, AIDS, suicide, javelin accidents and abuse of ARAMARK food can all expedite the passing of earthlings everywhere. The point of all of this: most of us will not get to take advantage of cancer research that is negligently being funded by the University.
Witness the uproar over the expansion of Coffman Union, where a sizable number of University students complained that upon graduation they would never take advantage of the changes being wrought on our beloved meeting place. The cancer-funding issue gets down to something more fundamental — necrosis. University research should only be done on things that everyone can enjoy. To do otherwise is just plain discrimination; something that we should hope had ended, at least in law, by the beginning of the 21st century.
A well-educated basketball team or a nice visit to the spa after class would be money well spent. Each and every one of us can appreciate the beauty of a well-written paper by Miles Tarver on the menstrual cycle, and who would not love to see Jeeves dropping off Gophers quarterback Billy Cockerham for class each morning in a polished Rolls Royce. What these funding outlays would provide, that cancer research could not, is universal benefit.
Cancer research is yesterday’s news. Our University should be a progressive institution that is constantly seeking to push the envelope of what higher education should be about. If University President Mark Yudof really wants to be remembered fondly by students of the University, he should forget about remote concerns like cancer research. After all, what students are really worried about is learning about such weighty topics as cultural studies and nuclear physics.
It is time for some bravery from the University administration. Having the courage to eliminate useless programs like cancer research and invest that money in more important things is what we need. Please end cancer research, before we all die of something else.