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Letters to the Editor 1/29

Put yourself in Genshaft’s shoes before criticizing her

I was reading articles today about the Al-Arian situation with USF, and I had several comments I wanted to make. Before today, I strongly believed that Al-Arian deserved to be fired, and there was no issue to be debated, but after I read some articles, I became infuriated and decided to do a little research on this whole thing myself. Many people are very upset about this situation; there are probably just as many people who support Genshaft’s position as there are who are against it.

However, before the words get any nastier or we make any more accusations, we must first recognize that no matter how much everyone would like this to be a black and white issue – it’s not. There are so many factors involved: 1) The Sept. 11 incident obviously impacted our country a great deal; no one wants to put up with terrorism here. 2) The facts in this case have not been presented very well at all. 3) Genshaft is president for a reason – she wasn’t some randomly chosen person to fill a position.

No one in this country is tolerant of terrorism, and everyone is especially frightened after what has happened. People jump to conclusions, this is true, and the facts are sometimes fudged. When Al-Arian went on The O’Reilly Factor, the facts were very vague, and he was pretty much ambushed. I was not aware of this until today when I decided to do some research – you hear everyone saying that the professor said all types of horrible things, and that is simply not true. I do feel that he is, in a way, a victim in this mess.

President Genshaft is a good woman and a good president. She is in that office for a reason, and I believe she is doing as good of a job as she can. The firing of Al-Arian was done for safety reasons and for political reasons. It is true that there have been death threats, bomb threats, etc. since Al-Arian’s appearance on The O’Reilly Factor. This is not a fudged fact. Because of that, it has made it unsafe for students, whether anyone wants to admit it or not. Now comes the tricky part – I don’t really feel that Al-Arian was in the wrong for what he was supporting. Nonetheless, it did cause problems – problems that were disrupting the flow of things at USF. So, he was put on paid leave and eventually fired. My position is that it is a shame what happened, and sometimes, bad things do happen to good people. And yes, it is a shame, but I really don’t see how we have an alternative. It’s either this solution, or we are paying an individual not to work. And I know there is everything about academic freedom. I respect academic freedom. But the facts remain that we are beyond that now. We are obviously having some problems with keeping him in the classrooms here – for one reason or another, and although it is not so much his fault, the situation is where it is. I don’t really want my tax dollars paying someone not to work. I don’t see the point of it. He can’t teach because of outside reasons. Sad, but true. Until we find a way for him to teach and the university not to have problems as a result of it, I see no other way of resolving this. And my last plea: President Genshaft is not being malicious or evil or anything else of that sort – she is trying to make the best decision she can, and in a case like this, it’s not easy at all.

Try to put yourself in her shoes and think about everything she has to consider before you go bash her and the administration.

  • Katheryne Downes is a junior majoring in psychology.

Babies shouldn’t suffer for parents’ mistakes

Teenage babies – are they expected or are they a surprise? Teenage babies are one of the most common babies to be neglected and abused. Some teenage babies are well taken care of for a few reasons: if the child was actually wanted; if the grandparents take full responsibility for the child; if the child is given up for adoption. For reasons like this, the child may live a normal and healthy life. Some reasons for a child to seem neglected: the child was only born because the parent wanted revenge on their parents; the parents don’t believe in abortion; the parents wanted the baby to have someone to love them because they felt neglected by their own parents.

Most teenage babies grow up to be a replica of their parents, which in some cases, isn’t so bad. But in others, it can lead to a life of pain and suffering. Some teenage parents could have been straight-A students, never getting into trouble and never expecting this to happen to them. When a situation like this backfires because it is only your first time or it was only a one-night stand, the child being brought into this world is the one that will suffer in the long run, not the parents.

A baby that is brought into the world should not suffer because you, the parent, made a mistake. A child is a gift from heaven and should always be cherished and loved. A child should be the one person to make you realize how much someone can care about you and how much you need to care about this child. If I were to have a child right now, no matter what the situation, my child will always know that he or she is wanted and will be loved for the rest of their life, even if I have to do it alone. If you as a teenager know you can’t take upon the responsibility of another human being don’t put yourself in that situation. Protect yourself as a responsible teen should and another child won’t be brought into a hostile situation.

  • Stephanie Miller is a freshman majoring in dance and business.