Letters to the Editor 12/5

Students must fight Genshaft raise

A pay raise for President Genshaft? Is this someone’s idea of a bad joke?

The Oracle, to begin its excellent editorial, stated “she hasn’t done much since she began her job in 2000.” On this one point, I disagree. In Genshaft’s short tenure, she has accomplished much. She has virtually ignored the needs of students and faculty, cut programs and employees because of supposed budget shortfalls, given us a reputation as the top school for suppressing academic freedom and led us to the brink of AAUP censure.

If there is a college president who has done more damage to his or her university’s reputation than Genshaft has, I’m not aware of it.

I agree with the editorial board of The Oracle and with every student I have spoken with the last two weeks. We should not offer Genshaft a raise — we can only hope that she decides to go elsewhere and that “USF might be better off for it.”

We will not pay for Genshaft’s personal driver while we face parking headaches. We will not stand for a million-dollar Genshaft contract while we face program cuts and tuition increases. Attend the Board of Trustees meeting Dec. 16 at 10:00 a.m. in the Marshall Center Room 296 and make your voice heard.

Sean Kinane is a Ph.D. student majoring in biology.

Solar power not portrayed accurately

This letter is in response to Paul Swider’s column about solar power.

It is obvious that Swider did not do his homework. He states that the government uses taxes to build roads and airports to feed the need for petroleum.

However, if we were driving cars that ran on any other fuel, we would still need roads and airports to get around. Swider wants everyone to give up their car so we can “stop using oil.” He claims that our military protects our access to oil, yet he cannot realize that the Muslim countries are more than happy to sell us their oil. Where do you think their money comes from?

Finally, Swider has a false vision of solar power. Solar power requires two things: a large amount of solar panels and a large bank of batteries.

The panels can last about 20 years. The batteries will last much less. The batteries keep power when there is not enough sunlight to power the panels. These batteries can last from three to 12 years and are very costly. So, every three to 12 years, a hundred million homes will require their batteries to be replaced and dumped as toxic waste.

Maybe someone should tell Swider that homes only use 33 percent of the country’s electricity. This is supposed to be cleaner than oil?

Get real, Swider.

Vicken Mouradian is a junior majoring in management information systems.

Fanatics come in all sizes and causes

Where has common sense and moderation gone? Is anyone able to separate a good idea from insane radicalism?

In an age when terrorism is a major part of life, I would like to take a moment and discuss the root of this scourge — fanatics.

Maybe Osama is right about America being abusive and arrogant, but instead of working for reasonable change, he decided to destroy thousands of innocent lives. These types of people take a legitimate idea or concern and end up getting so caught up in their radical dogmas that after awhile, they can’t see anything but extremism.

Another good example is the NRA. I believe that the Second Amendment is as important as any and that Americans have the right to protect themselves from criminals, as well as their government if need be. However, I am not sure that right extends to the need for stockpiling assault weapons with 500-round magazines. Some gun control just makes sense.

Of all the radical, off-base groups, PETA is the one that angers me the most. Once again, another reasonable issue has been blown out of proportion.

“If we really believe that animals have the same right to be free from pain and suffering at our hands, then of course we’re going to be blowing things up and smashing windows,” PETA’s vegan outreach director said recently.

“I think it’s a great way to bring animal liberation, considering the level of suffering, the atrocities. I think it would be great if all of the fast-food outlets, slaughterhouses, these laboratories and banks that fund them, exploded tomorrow.”

This quote, from , shows how insane this movement has become. With the recent letters to the editor, I felt it needed to be addressed.

Preventing unnecessary animal cruelty is good. Killing people (and animals, by the way) is bad.

Have the people at PETA really gone so far that they cannot make this distinction? I am not against vegan diets, and I don’t think they kill people as one author has suggested; however, I don’t think PETA has the right to attack those who decide to eat meat (that’s why we have canine teeth, by the way).

In conclusion, I would like to encourage those who are moderate free-thinkers, who have good ideas for change and can discern between progress and fanaticism to get involved and not fall victim to these outlandish ideas being fed to us.

Bryan Tims is a research assistant in the department of biology.