Letters to the Editor 8/27

A match made in newsprint

Tuesday nights I am on campus where I meet my friends to play some ultimate frisbee. I usually arrive a little early and pick up The Oracle to read, one of my favorite newspapers. I graduated 2 years ago and loved the paper both as a student and also as an alumnus.

I have noticed lately that the opinion section should really be the complaining section because that is what everyone writing is doing lately. So, I am writing to give a good story; one that doesn’t complain.

I would like to thank The Oracle for making the biggest life-changing event in my life. Because without the paper, life would be not be as grand as it is now and has been since July 27.

I was a student in the Masters of Accountancy program in the 1999-2000 school year. As always, I would pick up the paper to read in between classes. During the fall semester of 1999, The Oracle decided to do a weekly series on religion at the USF campus.

One week in September, an article was done on the Catholic Student Union (CSU) at USF. I read the article and decided that one Sunday I would try the CSU out instead of driving back home to Spring Hill to go to mass with my family.

The article talked about the times of mass, how there were meetings Sunday nights with fellow USF students and social events. The funny thing was, I never knew there was mass at the center on 50th Street. I just thought it was a place where students met during the week.

It was the article by Heather L. Hicks that made me aware of this and inspired me to “try” a Sunday out. My thoughts about going to the CSU were that I would just stay for mass and go home. After all, I didn’t know anyone and didn’t want to go to the meeting that followed because of that.

One Sunday I decided to attend, and it felt good to go to mass where there wasn’t a bald head to a full crop of hair ratio of 5 to 1. In addition, the singing was great (no off-key lady in her late 60’s screeching in the microphone), and the priest actually could make you laugh during the homily. I thought it was great.

As mass ended, I remembered back to what I read in The Oracle about meetings following mass. Still, I didn’t want to go because I didn’t know anyone.

Low and behold, my friend was walking down the aisle leaving mass. I asked him if he attended the meetings that I read about in the paper. He said yes and that I should go with him.

I walked into the room and sat down. The meeting was about to begin. Up came a beautiful young lady and greeted us all. From there, the rest is history. That beautiful young lady became my wife on July 27. If it wasn’t for Hicks’ article on the CSU that September day back in 1999, July 27, 2002 would never have had any significance for me.

I would like to thank The Oracle for printing that article. I never thought that the newspaper would create such a life-changing event and bring the woman I love more than anything into my life. Hey, maybe we’ll name our first kid Oracle. On second thought, I think I’ll just keep the USF Oracle in a special place in my heart.
Brian Werthmiller is a USF alumnus.

Words speak louder than actions

At the 1998 AMC National Convention, Al-Arian stated, “Let us damn America. Let us damn Israel, let us damn their allies until death. Why do we stop? … The Koran is our constitution. Jihad is our path. Victory to Islam. Death to Israel. Revolution! Revolution! Until Victory! Rolling, rolling to Jerusalem.”

Dr. Al-Arian states that the Koran is his constitution. Fortunately for us, at least for now, we American citizens operate under the U.S. Constitution instead.

Sami Al-Arian is not a U.S. citizen, yet he desires to invoke constitutional protections so that Islamics can freely “damn America” and “roll to victory” through jihad. Presumably, we could then all enjoy sharia law under his “Koran constitution.”

Dr. Al-Arian has already plainly said what he believes, and what he and others of his ilk are working to achieve.

His plaintive protestations, qualifying statements and atoning blood drives are irrelevant.

What more do we need to know? Away with him.

Robin Houchens is a sophomore.

A moment of quiet reflection

At some point in life, a person must stand back and evaluate what he or she is dealing with.

Over the course of the past year, many arguments have arisen due to the battles humans contain within themselves. In nearly all cases, the decisions we make every day are the most important actions a person can ever put forth.

For what reason do you put your shirt on? For what reason do you wake up in the morning? Is it to do good or is it to harm someone or something?

Many of the decisions we choose to make directly reflect the very fabric of our moral existence.

What are your intentions for the future of the university? Is it to promote peace, faith, prosperity and hope for the future? Or is it to stifle the efforts one puts forth when under the most difficult circumstances?

When dealing with a minority group, especially a minority group that is plagued, utterly consumed with hate, deceit, rage, anger and ill-will, one must proceed with caution.

Being underprivileged is more than poverty and economic misfortune. Being underprivileged is not being able to comfortably present your feelings. Underprivileged is emotional instability.

Al-Arian is an underprivileged, struggling professor who sought to increase awareness about the ongoing struggles that are continually occurring in the Middle East.

Many of the discrepancies in the Middle East are already understood by the necessary legal authorities; but not one person can say they are aware of all the harbored aggression people contain.

Not one human being can.

When considering a situation such as Al-Arian’s, there should be no emotional pressure involved.

Our actions must reflect a precisely rational direction. Is he a good man? How does he make you feel? When you talk to him, do you get a comfortable sense of security? How well did you know him before this happened?

The crisis in the Middle East is one of the longest battles humans have dealt with, and frankly, we are tired of it. We have been pushed well beyond what is deemed as the acceptable limit.

But, even still, we must find peace and allow it to enter our hearts. We must hope for the best, and we must pray that the future will get better.

Now more than ever our efforts are gathering focus, and the situation in the Middle East should be one of the initial issues the Board of Trustees takes into consideration.

USF should be proud to have a person like Al-Arian, with his connections, working for us. USF should ask Al-Arian if he has any ideas concerning what USF can do to promote peace in the Middle East, and USF should use Al-Arian for good.

He is the one who began his work all that long time ago.

Juliana Kelada is a student in the College of Education.

Al-Arian should be next to go

The facts seem clear enough; Dr. Sami Al-Arian’s ties to terrorists are irrefutable.

Now that his close associate – his brother-in-law – has finally been deported, Dr. Sami Al-Arian should be next.

Dan Friedman is a resident of Boca Raton.