Letters to the Editor June 24th

Parking and Transportation Services unnecessary

I go over to University Square Mall, and I park for free. I typically get a spot right next to the store in which I wish to shop. They have a very nice parking garage next to Dillard’s. And I think to myself: why can’t it be like this at USF?

If you go to the USF Parking and Transportation Services Web site it tries to explain why it does what it does, and what it does with all the money it collects. But it just doesn’t add up.

They say the money goes to cover “costs of operating the department which include maintenance/debt, service of lots and garages, fare-free shuttle system, visitors information center and complimentary motorist assistance program.”

However, when you look at its budget, the biggest portion (31 percent) goes to paying the parking personnel. In other words, it’s a self-perpetuating enterprise. Without all the personnel out there ticketing vehicles and harassing the campus citizenry, there’d be no need to pay them.

On the”Role of Enforcement” page, they assert that “parking enforcement is generally misunderstood by the masses”, and they try to explain “without enforcement, there is a potential that approximately 70 percent of the population would not abide by (parking) rules.”

My question is “Why do we need rules in the first place?” The mall doesn’t have any rules. It’s first-come, first-served (and don’t park in the disabled spots). That paradigm seems to work just fine – even during the high-volume holiday shopping times.

Sure, they have some security personnel who patrol the lots and keep people moving if they stay too long in a fire lane. Other than that, there’s certainly no one over there ticketing folks or trying to raise additional revenue for themselves.

And talk about the USF Parking Services appeals process – what a joke.

There is no “due process.” I have never spoken to anyone who had had a parking fine overturned, no matter what their extenuating and mitigating circumstances.

Here is my idea for reforming Parking Services at USF: Eliminate it. Add additional service fees onto tuition to cover the maintenance of the lots, the visitors’ center, and the shuttle and motorist assistance services. Beyond that, there is no need for Parking Services.

J. L. Rasmussen is an adjunctinstructor for computer science and engineering.

All summer students deserve representation

In Thursday’s edition of The Oracle, an editorial was published describing the extension of the Student Government senate summer session to include the Summer B academic term as “pointless.” The editorial cites the reduced number of students on campus as justification for student representation not being necessary.

The position taken by The Oracle’s editorial staff suggests that students in Summer B do not deserve representation simply because there are fewer of them on campus. Yes, there are only 299 sections of courses being offered during the Summer B session compared to 1,418 sections during Summer C. Yes, that means that there are approximately 6,000 seats being offered in Summer B, compared to approximately 28,000 seats in Summer C. However, every student is entitled to, and deserves, representation. To imply that these students do not deserve to be represented by their elected members of Student Government is blasphemous. Student Government exists to represent all students, not just those who take courses in the fall, spring, summer A, and Summer C academic terms.

It is also important to note that this legislation does not simply apply to this term of Student Government; it applies to future years, as well. There is a reduced number of course offerings this summer due to budgetary concerns; future summers will have more course offerings and, therefore, more students.

There are seven paid members of the legislative branch, at a very minimal rate of pay. Of those seven, only two are authorized for more than 10 hours per week. These two, the senate president and vice president, would be working a portion of that term regardless. The financial impact of this legislation is, at most, minimal.

Last, but not least, I would also like to note that The Oracle ran an online survey regarding this legislation prior to its passage in senate. While the results are no longer available on the Web site, I do recall that the majority of those who voted approved of this legislation.

The conclusion of the editorial mentions the possibility that this legislation may simply be the beginning of a more active Student Government. To that end, I entirely agree. This year’s senate officers are aggressively pursuing options to engage the student body in ways never before done. You will notice a difference this year.

Michael Berman is the USF senate president.

Bush’s presidency should be judged on facts

In June 10 Letters to the Editor there was a letter denouncing President Bush and proclaiming his presidency a failure thus far. This letter’s opinion contains illogical arguments, ridiculous statements and begs a reply. Blaming rising gas prices on President Bush is preposterous. Insinuating that Bush is involved in some sort of collusion or market manipulation in order to profit from artificially high gas prices would be laughable if it were not a criminal accusation. To the letter writer and the rest of the left-leaning whiners who relentlessly use “robber oil baron” as their battle cry, please look at the facts before making baseless accusations.

George W. Bush ran his Texas oil company into bankruptcy; he was not a successful oil baron; he was horrible at running oil companies. The assumption that Bush won the election because of his father’s former position carries no weight. His father was a one-term president who lost overwhelmingly to Clinton. One of the reasons that Bush did win is that Al Gore (the undercover socialist), ran an alienating, party-line toting, class-warfare touting campaign and could not even win his home state.

The author of this letter claims that Bush is “scandalous.” I reserve the term scandalous for describing presidents who engage in perjury, real-estate fraud, extra-marital affairs, theft from the White House and pardoning criminals. If one is going to judge Bush’s presidency so far, how about using relevant facts to base the judgment on: enacting a tax cut to soften the blow of a recession that started under Clinton’s watch; rejecting the Kyoto Protocol, which would have cut U.S. GDP by 3 percent a year along with Americans standard of living.; abandoning the Antiballistic Missile Treaty and focusing instead on reducing nuclear-arms. President Bush has done an outstanding job so far in light of the circumstances he has encountered.

Timothy Hobbs is a first-year MBA student.

Destructive people should pay for damage

In regard to the forestry employee charged with starting the fire, I along with a lot of other people feel that such an incident is very unfortunate. It bemuses me how some people, due to personal problems or carelessness, inflict such disaster on our environment. These people are not only hurting themselves but also the innocent people around them.

The other day, I was reading how the Sept. 11 attacks increased property insurance rates for businesses by between 30 and 40 percent. That is a shame, if you ask me. I firmly believe that if the woman is convicted, she should serve the full 10 year sentence and pay the $250,000 fine in order to teach her and other people a lesson. It’s time that we all got together and started cracking down on unnecessary destruction.

Osei Boakye is a junior majoring in accounting.