Letters to the Editor 1/8

Genshaft’s pay raise borders on ridiculous

I completely agree with the two articles that appeared in the December 5, 2002 edition of The Oracle.

In my opinion, Judy Genshaft is not entitled to draw a salary higher than the Vice President of the United States. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Vice President Dick Cheney’s salary is approximately $192,000 a year. It is laughable to believe that the president of this university, who, it goes without saying, has significantly less responsibilities than Vice President Cheney, should be compensated more for those responsibilities.

Please, tell me what Genshaft has contributed to the environment of the University of South Florida to warrant her receiving such an exorbitant salary? According to the Board of Trustees the current budget only allowed for a 2.5 percent raise for the staff at USF.

After the staff pays the increase in parking and insurance, they will be taking home less money than before the “raise.” Now, tell me, where is there any justice in this? Can Genshaft do her job without a staff?

Cristabel Rodriguez is a senior majoring in biology.

Revamped curriculum a priority for provost

I read with interest Sebastian Meyer’s column entitled, “Universities should be more than diploma mills” that appeared in The Oracle Dec. 6.

I can assure you that one of my major goals is to work with the faculty to revamp our undergraduate curriculum. A major issue that is currently being discussed in higher education is the undergraduate curriculum at Research I universities.

One major goal under consideration is the “reinvention” of the undergraduate curriculum to engage students in undergraduate research; not be mired down in discipline-based learning, but be more interdisciplinary; focus on community engagement when appropriate; and actively engage students in learning.

This the type of discussion that I plan to have with the faculty.

S. David Stamps is provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Late student’s family deserves diploma

What befell our fellow classmate this past Thanksgiving was unfortunate. This is an understatement. Clayt Cuppy’s death struck a sensitive chord in not only his loved ones and close friends but also in those who hardly knew him. I can honestly say that I did not know Clayt as well as others in the department. However, upon learning of his death, I, myself, was extremely distraught.

Clayt was a hard worker, perhaps even the best student, in the department. Ask anyone, and they would tell you that he lived within the four walls of the Physics Building during the week and weekend.

I therefore ask, on behalf of my fellow graduate students, for Professors Rimby and McWaters to consider awarding Clayt’s family his degree; the degree he most certainly earned and would have most certainly surpassed had he still had the chance. Thank you for your time.

Kaveh Cyrus Ghaedi is a graduate student in the department of mathematics.

Unbiased article on Eminem overdue

I was so pleased with The Oracle for finally printing an article that was not completely negative about Eminem.

I was disappointed I wasn’t able to attend Gil Rodman’s lecture on Eminem. He seems to make some of the most logical and reasonable arguments for the freedom of speech fight that Eminem and countless other rap artists have been fighting for years.

Also, Rodman won my admiration by bringing up the “fictional I.” Writers have been using “fictional I” since the first stories were written, and it has been used in music for centuries. Why can’t society believe that the device would extend to rap?

Thanks to The Oracle for finally reporting an unbiased news story.

Siobhan White is a sophomore majoring in literature.

Power source deserves consideration

Solar power is a costly investment at first but, in the long run, it will be safer for the environment and will cost considerably less than current electricity does.

Although people say only 33 percent of all homes use electricity, are they forgetting about all the businesses and other places that use it? It’s a considerable amount.

According to Florida Power, some solar energy is incorporated into their power grid, but most of it comes from non-renewable forms (oil).

The solution is not to have every single individual home have solar panels, generators, converters and batteries but have large scale regional solar cells that will transport the energy through power lines, just as normal electricity does, and as backups, use oil and natural gas.

Florida is the Sunshine State, and we do get a lot of it. A really innovative initiative would be to place small solar cells on top of all utility poles, which receive much sunlight and stand above most trees.

These solar cells can feed directly into the power lines via a small converter, or have energy fed to a redistribution/conversion site.

Whatever the workings, there needs to be a solution, and soon. The world’s oil, domestically forged or internationally conquered, won’t last forever.

A gradual conversion to solar power should be welcomed rather than ridiculed.

Shall we harness the great force in the sky that both gives us life and takes it away, or face the fate of the dinosaurs by using up all their remains?

Anthony Schmidt is a sophomore majoring in anthropology.