Letters to the Editor – May 13th

Cultural understanding reached on soccer field

“Yes, I’ll be glad to play for your team!” When these words came out of my friend, Sinan’s mouth, I was not really thinking of writing this. I was not even imagining our future success in the intramural soccer tournament. I was just trying to put together a good coed team for our student organization, the Hellenic Society.
Greek-Turkish relations have always been turbulent. The geographic location of the two countries, as well as the everlasting rivalry of the two governments over land and water boundaries, in addition to the Cyprus problem, are the most important factors for the friction of the last three decades. However, things seem to change for the better lately. Is it the two catastrophic earthquakes that hit Istanbul and Athens in August and September of 1999 respectively? Is it Turkey’s desire to join the European Union? The fact is that there is a positive spirit from the grassroots to the higher (governmental) levels, and bad memories seem to belong to the past.
The numerous wars and conflicts around the world in conjunction with the tragic events of Sept. 11 and the subsequent war on terrorism have resulted in a growing global feeling of mistrust, tension and, in some cases, hatred among nations. The latest unfortunate incidents in Israel have only strengthened this feeling, and “world peace,” the most frequent answer pageant contestants give as their highest priority, now seems even more distant.
Back to my story, Sinan was the Society’s goalie in the intramural soccer tournament back in fall 2001. And a very good one, too. Can you imagine that? The guardian of the goalposts of the Hellenic Society is Turkish. The success of the team as it progressed to the finals of the tournament just proved the trust that I showed in Sinan right from the beginning. A great friendship began between us. The strong bond still holds while we talk about school, politics and other issues, including controversial hot areas concerning our countries and their relationship. This, of course, is facilitated with a few sips of beer.
In this vicious circle of violent conflicts around the world, let this be a message of hope, an oasis of peace, an oasis that took place on the grounds of the USF campus.

Thanos Douros is a graduate student majoring in business administration.

Providing fewer adjuncts shortchanges students

The university’s move to lessen its dependence on adjunct instructors is a cynical and thinly veiled move to make its full-time faculty ratio look good on paper in order to become recertified as a Research I institution. If the administration’s motive was truly to change that for the better of the students, then why aren’t significant numbers of additional tenured tract professors being hired instead of pressuring the present faculty to teach mass enrollment courses?
By requiring professors, who normally teach courses capped at 35 to 60 students, to lecture 100 to 200 students at a time in movie theaters and stadium-setting rooms as an alternative to hiring additional adjuncts to teach smaller numbers of students, the university gives the illusion of having a high full-time faculty ratio without having to cut the number of student credit hours earned per semester.
Once again, students are getting less for their money. Discussion and personal interaction with these well- researched faculty members is virtually impossible in such large classes. Even with the help of TAs, the faculty will be less able to conduct the highly prized research and scholarly writing expected from a Research I institution because of the overwhelming load of grading.
I am well aware that the Florida State Legislature’s budget cuts have forced the university administration to make some tough choices. However, covering up the need for full-time professional faculty with the type of creative number shuffling that would make Arthur Anderson proud is not doing the students any favors.

Wendy Adams King is a communications student.