Thin line between racism and ignorance
Re: “Students, administrators react to noose in tree” Feb. 6
During my brief time at USF, I have borne witness to the fact that many people are truly ignorant about racism. Not ignorant about the history, but ignorant in that they don’t truly understand the emotional effects that it has. This is from all sides of the road: Black, white, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, etc.
People are ignorant about the effect racism has on our society. Many times people say things or do things that are racist without realizing it is hurtful. They don’t understand that what they do is a symbol of hatred.
A perfect example of this is the noose that was discovered near the Magnolia Apartments. I live in Magnolia Apartments, and doubt it is probably “…just somebody being stupid and playing some dumb prank,” as stated by Freshman Theresa Layton.
I am disappointed that people can take racism so lightly today, as it clearly does have an effect on people.
Marcus Rodriguez is a junior majoring in mathematics.
Electric scootersto remain legal at USF
While scheduling my classes this semester I suffered a major dilemma. Almost all of my classes would be 10 minutes apart, yet I would need to commute quite a distance. I decided to buy an electric scooter.
My dad, a police officer, even gave me the heads-up by telling me that they weren’t street legal, so I would have to drive it on the sidewalk.
Each time I have needed to brake suddenly (every time it’s been for a squirrel) I use the braking system, which is more efficient than that of a bike. Also, the scooter’s top speed is only 20 mph; that’s slower than a bike. Anyway, I am not just writing this letter to talk about my scooter.
The building manager of EN-B told me the other day that he was going to have my scooter impounded if he ever saw it parked at the bike rack again. He told me my scooter wasn’t street legal. I told him I didn’t ride it on the street. He told me that he saw “kids riding them talking on their cell phones all the time.” I told him I wasn’t one of those kids. He made no attempt to speak to me in a polite manner before yelling at me as though I were a just a nuisance set on making his job harder. Although angry, I acknowledged what he had said and talked to him very calmly. This seemed to make him even madder. Eventually I wound up walking away and decided to go to USF Transportation Services and the police department to find out what I could do to make sure my scooter was used safely and if this man really had the authority to have my personal property destroyed.
The people at Transportation Services were very nice and informed me that I was allowed to park my scooter at a bike rack since it was simply an electrically powered bike and that I was allowed to ride them wherever bikes were permissible (on sidewalks). I went to the campus police station and talked with an officer who agreed that this man did not have the authority to have my scooter impounded.
If anyone is confronted by this man about riding an electric scooter on campus, do not take him seriously. Apparently it is not the law that is the problem, rather his own strange issues with small electric scooters.
Lindsay Meholick is a sophomore majoring in psychology.