Letters to the Editor 3/19

Dean does not take dance majors seriously

I wanted to let you know about the meeting that was held March 5 between the theater students and Ron Jones, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Amidst others, I sat quietly in the meeting listening to Dean Jones field questions from students about issues ranging from budget cuts to tenure policies. To my surprise, Dean Jones did not give straight answers, but instead patronized the students with rhetoric that would cost a politician his election.

I must say that as a student of USF and the College of Visual and Performing Arts, I was highly disappointed in Dean Jones’ attitude toward the issues that he was questioned about. When asked by a student what we can do to show Jeb Bush that we cannot afford to weather further budget cuts, Dean Jones insinuated that there was nothing that the student could do because only those with money have a voice, and students don’t have money. He suggested that we have our parents or relatives who own businesses call or write the governor.

Well, Dean Jones, I am of the belief that everyone has a voice, no matter how small. I believe that those who are heard are those who want to be heard, not necessarily those who have the most money. Why do I believe this? Does the Revolutionary War or The Civil Rights Movement ring a bell? Anyone who wants to be heard bad enough can and will be heard. History has shown us time and again that the man who fights with heart and passion wins, not the man with the biggest checkbook.

Dean Jones has made it clear that he is not passionate and willing to speak up on behalf of the students and faculty of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. By his own words he has shown me and the others listening in this meeting that he will not do what it takes to make his superiors listen to him. Instead he only lays down and accepts what they hand down no matter how unjust.

In my opinion, he has shown himself a poor example of leadership because, when asked repeatedly in the meeting if he believed in and stood behind our College and department, he never said that he did. In fact, it was all too clear that he was not protecting us from the powers that be or even working to question the authorities that would destroy our College. In light of that, I ask you, Dean Jones, what are you doing here?

  • Darlene Horne is a junior majoring in theater.

Religion relates directly to decision-making

This letter is in response to Jason Levy’s March 5 letter to the editor entitled “Genshaft’s religion regardless in decision.”

You claim Palestinians do not recognize Israel’s right to exist. Well, it is just as easily said that it is Israel who does not recognize Palestine’s right to exist. Israel does exist as a state and has a vast arsenal of American-made weapons while stateless Palestinians are left with rocks and homemade suicide weapons.

The Palestinians are not even allowed a right to self-determination. But it is the American mainstream media that whitewashes objective journalism in making Palestinians look like evil terrorists while the oppressive Israelis are absurdly characterized as helpless victims of wild animal-like terrorists. Why is it that hundreds of Israeli soldiers refuse to take orders because they say their sole purpose is to perpetuate Israel’s “control over the Palestinian people?” Further, over 1,000 Palestinians have been killed since Sept. 2000 compared to 300 Israelis. Who’s under siege here anyway?

Lastly, to say that President Judy Genshaft’s religion has nothing to do with the Al-Arian firing is a little too hopeful for most to believe. At the Feb. 20 rally held on campus, the majority of students in favor of firing Al-Arian were from Hillel, a Jewish student organization, while many of the students opposing were from the Muslim Student Organization.

One can never say for sure whether being a Jew and firing an Arab professor has any bearing on the decision, unless she specifies that it does. At the same instance, one can never be sure that it doesn’t, and that appearance doesn’t bode well for an academic institution such as USF. It certainly is not convincing to hear that her religion has nothing to do with it from a fellow Jew. Am I a bigot for expressing these objective truths? I don’t think I am, considering some of my favorite writers (Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn) are Jews.

But it’s not really for me to say now, is it?

  • Alex Lynch is a senior majoring in mass communications.