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Letters to the Editor 10/28

UP not doing enough about vandalism

This letter is in response to the number of auto burglaries that have been occurring on campus.

The latest incident occurred this past Tuesday night in parking lot one, in front of the library, when a student had a gun pulled on them, after confronting the perpetrators burglarizing their car.

It upsets me that UP isn’t doing enough to prevent incidents like this from happening. If 38 auto burglaries have occurred on campus since September, isn’t it obvious that these people are making a career out of stealing USF student property?

I am not just giving an opinion on this subject; I am speaking from experience because my car was burglarized Oct. 18.

This is my first semester here at USF and I didn’t expect to come all this way and pay all this money to have my car broken into. After lodging a complaint about the incident, I was told by Parking and Transportation Services that this “happens at our homes and there is nothing we can do about it.” Well I can’t speak for the whole student body, but I am sure I speak for many when I say that this doesn’t happen at my home.

When I spoke with UP to have a police officer sit in the parking lot across the street from apartment complex over night, I was told they don’t have enough officers on the payroll to implement that. But UP does have enough police officers on payroll to give students frivolous parking tickets.

Is it going to take someone’s dying before UP takes some real action against this problem?

Not once have I heard UP express measures they will take to keep these thieves off our campus. It may not be a concern for all students, but it is a big concern to students like me who have to live and park their cars here. If President Genshaft’s car had been burglarized, action would have been taken a long time ago.

So I guess the money we pay for tuition and “other” fees (i.e. parking) isn’t enough to guarantee our safety on this campus. If they can put cameras in the parking garages, there should be cameras at every parking lot location or (even better) a police officer there to secure it.

As for the comment on the increased auto burglaries occurring throughout Tampa, I’m not concerned. I live here. I guess we will have to wait and see how high the numbers will rise before something is done about it, but for now UP’s apathy and excuses are unacceptable.

Shani Jefferson is a graduate student in the school of Mass Communications.

Housing fees merit better services

I know right now this might seem like a selfish thing to complain about considering the state of world events, but this is my opinion.

I live in one of the Holly apartments and when I got home from work at 5 in the morning, I walked into my apartment and found ants and roaches everywhere.

I totally flipped out because, recently, we had the exterminator come and treat our place, so either they are not using full strength products, or some buildings have a more serious problem with bugs. There was no food or mess to attract the bugs. The living room was clean, there was no garbage in the can, so I don’t know where these things came from.

More importantly, I asked at the Holly desk if they had some ant traps or bug spray, which they did not. Since the exterminator is only available on certain days, I think it is unreasonable for the prices we are paying to live in the Holly apartments to not even have some bug spray available for residents.

It’s not as if we own these apartments; we rent them from USF and, for the most part, they take care of them, but some things should be available around the clock as a courtesy to residents.

David Chrem is a sophomore majoring in interdisciplinary natural sciences.

Responses to letter were ignorant

Ever since Mr. Hettinger’s article was published in The Oracle on Oct. 8, I have been both outraged and dismayed. These emotions have not stemmed from the original article, however. On the contrary, I was delighted that someone had the courage to speak up and voice the sentiments that myself and many others I know share.

What has caused me such distress are the responses this letter has received. I knew that there would be opponents to what was said, but I was awestruck at the entirely unfounded and totally ludicrous criticisms. Most of you who wrote back said in one way or another that you felt sorry for Mr. Hettinger. Well, I feel sorry for all of you.

Let me start with the most recent rebuttal that was in The Oracle on Oct. 11. It was said that “People need to understand that immigrants and immigration are what made the country what it is today.” Which, if you had read the article more closely, is exactly what Mr. Hettinger said. He stated quite clearly that he has no problem with immigrants because every one of us is an immigrant, but I guess you failed to read that part.

It was also said that “Political, religious and regional divisions are no longer valid.” I’m sorry, I was unaware that the entire Democratic and Republican parties were wiped out and that there were no longer different religions, or for that matter, regions. If this were true, it would seem that taking away these divisions would make the country less diverse.

As for the response Ms. Gouge made, I am at a loss for words. She states that we should “Think about who cooks your food when you go to a restaurant, who cleans the floors of the malls you shop in, and even better, who makes the items you shop for. So, what do you have to say again about the negativity of the immigrants these days?” Well, I have nothing negative to say since you have said it all.

That was the most racist, stereotypical and degrading comment I have ever read. People come to this country for many more reasons than just to clean up after us.

Mr. Hettinger merely stated those who are intolerable of this country can leave. He did not say that he wants them to leave or that immigrants should not be allowed to come here. Furthermore, most of the criticisms everyone has stated in their articles were points that Mr. Hettinger made in his letter.

Perhaps you should all read a little more carefully next time and not just read the words “immigrant” and “leave the country” and run off to type out a response that has no validity since no one has brought up actual points that are suitable to counter what was originally stated.

Jennifer Armour is a senior majoring in education.

Vendors at USF are not up to speed

I’m hungry. Very hungry. I’m so hungry, in fact, that I find it hard to pay attention in class, and what makes this all the more significant is that I’m a graduate student and this is my class to teach.

Why am I hungry? Because the Subway in Cooper Hall (and probably all other food vendors on campus) are so far behind the times that they still don’t accept my VISA debit card as legitimate payment. “Cash or flex bucks only,” snaps the surly manager. She can’t even apologize for the store’s ineptitude.

My only option is to walk nearly a mile to one of only two ATM machines on campus; the Marshall Center. I don’t have time to make this trek. End result? Subway loses my business, and I go to class with an empty stomach.

I don’t know the reasons why USF has so few ATM machines or why so few of their vendors accept credit or debit cards, but I’m sick of it. There’s no excuse for this degree of backwardness, especially on a Research I university campus.

Either USF vendors should learn how to use card readers or the credit union should install more ATM machines.

Matt Barton is a Ph.D. candidate in the English Department.

Hacker presents very scary reality

OK, so my computer appears to be guarded like a fortress. When I turn on my computer, my Norton Antivirus begins, my firewall is active and my Spybot Search is available. So, what else can I do?

I am honestly frightened by the 16-year-old who hacked into the USF system. The article stated that he didn’t get any personal info, that he was sending a political message.

When I was 16 (over a decade ago), I was interested in new makeup and my blooming sexuality, not sending a political message.

Can someone tell me what is going on? Have you all truly considered the ability of anyone to get into your private information? Try typing your credit card number into a search engine and see what you get. Is your credit card available online? Does this 16-year-old want it? If he does, he can probably get it.

Do you not want to be found? It’s likely that anyone in the world can find out where you live. At the risk of sounding like a paranoid fatalist, I can honestly say our information is not safe.

Let’s say, for example, this kid wanted to tout to the world that I had a really bad second semester of my freshman year. He could do it. Does he want to go shopping online with my credit card? No one is asking him for a photo ID as he is ordering away. It’s just disgusting that this child is able to do this for fun.

It’s really a shame that so many college students, as recently reported, do not vote; yet this kid, who isn’t even old enough to vote, is savvy enough to send a political message. Hang on folks, and try to guard your personal information, because it is accessible to some teenager who is not checking out other teenage girls, but is checking out us.

Jennifer Karasick is a graduate student majoring in instructional technology.

Nuclear debate should be taken seriously

Don’t be fooled by nuclear debate; are you crazy? I’m responding to Joe Roma’s column on the possibility of the war in Iraq.

I must say I love the sarcasm that Mr. Roma provides in his column about President Bush and Iraq, but I’m afraid he is severely mistaken about the issues.

He writes, “there is a fact that without a U.N. resolution supporting the action, it is totally and unequivocally illegal in the eyes of international law.” Did he forget the fact that the United Nations has been defied by Iraq more than sixteen times? I think so. If they can’t see what’s going on in a country lead by a dictator that gases and tortures his own people, than who can? Well, the United States of course.

President Bush has promised to rid the world of evil, and I believe he is going to do that.

Iraq has been given numerous chances to show their arsenal, but has not. North Korea, on the other hand, has fessed up to show their hand. Now we see if they have the guts to fold. So far they have started on the right track and it looks like they’re going to disarm. If they don’t, then force will be considered necessary.

“Old West, duking it out with the world” you say? Well, I for one want a president that is willing to show guts and might to try rid the world of all evil.

We have protesters around the nation and even in the university opposing the war and “spitting” on our flag. They say “not in my name,” to the war. Well I say, “do it in my name,” do it for all those who have died Do it for those who want freedom for our children.

Mark Laps is a senior majoring in electrical engineering.

Parking garages offer a better solution

As a commuting student here at USF, I too share in the sentiments of everyone when almost every morning I come very close to pulling my hairs looking for a spot. Reading The Oracle during the past few weeks, I have seen many suggestions on how to best alleviate the issue.

There is one other option, however, that I believe has not yet been mentioned and could be more effective in the long run. That is of course, parking garages.

Never mind the poorly designed Crescent Hill Garage. I suggest to everyone involved to consider a larger facility with increased capacity for more vehicles.

A parking garage would not only add more spots, it would do so without the need for more land. Not to mention the fact that the few green areas that this aesthetically-boring campus has would stay intact (at least they would offset some of the downright ugly architecture of the older buildings).

My suggestion includes one parking garage in the Sun Dome lot, with the possibility of a second garage on the lot by the Magnolia Apartments.

This would triple, if not quadruple the number of spaces in those areas. In my opinion, this could be the most efficient way of dealing with an issue that should’ve never been allowed to come to this. I only hope that someone with some power and/or influence can read this and at least give it some thought.

Jose Rodriguez is a junior majoring in anthropology.

Media should show more restraint

In the past, I have always tried to stay away from reading the newspaper and/or watching the news. I have always found it entirely too difficult to discern the facts from what was being sensationalized merely to guarantee that one station got the highly prized “scoop” before the other guys were even out of bed. But, upon a recently-made decision to become an informed citizen, I gave in and turned on CNN.

It was no big surprise that I really hadn’t missed much. Conflict in the Middle East, problems on Wall Street and … What’s this? A serial sniper … that was definitely something new. And as the situation has unfolded over the past two or so weeks I, thanks to CNN, have been on top of every last development. I have noticed the somewhat appalling resemblance of this situation to a badly-written horror movie.

Of course, I realize that this entire mess has been extremely traumatic for not only people who live in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area, but for the entire country. It’s a scary thought not knowing if your leisurely stroll down the street on a nice afternoon is going to turn into the last time you ever walk. I can’t blame anyone for being scared.

However, I do believe that this is in no small part due to the media.

Not to say that the public should never have been informed of any of the details of this situation, but I think that we have been given a little too much information. It’s hard enough for officials working on this case to try to decipher the clues they’ve been given, much less calm a mass of hysterical people when they (the mass) hear on the news that martial law has been declared on the tri-state area and everyone is being held a suspect. And why? Because someone reported to the news that the police were detaining white Chevy Astro vans on all roads leading out of the city and well … you know how that story ends.

Has anyone stopped to think that perhaps, just perhaps, all this media attention is exactly what this sniper was looking for when he started this killing spree?

If it were the actual police that got to do the reporting to America on this case, I feel quite confident that we would have this hoopla of misreported facts, assumptions and rumors. Of course I could always be wrong.

Put simply, the media needed to butt out.

Let the officials report what they know and don’t add any of your own assumptions or theories. If the cops wanted your expert opinion then they, most likely, would already have asked you for it. Not to take away anyone’s right to free speech, but when you’ve got a responsibility like reporting the news to the world riding on your shoulders, would it kill you to exercise just a little more decorum?

Rebecca Smith is a freshman majoring in english literature.