Letters to the Editor 1/23

Society should begin to think for itself

Ahhh. A new year full of optimism and aspiration. From an economic boom to world peace, our minds soak in delusions of grandeur. The past year has been educational for many of us. I for one, have learned a great deal from our notorious leader and professional idiot savant of the free world. I’ve learned that arsenic is good for you, cutting all the trees down will prevent forest fires, and killing foreigners with a skin color darker than butterscotch is A-OK. But it doesn’t stop there. Oh no. The neo-educational paradigm even spirals down to USF, where our own notorious leader of higher learning has taught us that having classes at the University Mall doesn’t necessarily mean overcrowding, and to boost our academic standards nationally we need to boost our…football team.

These great passive aggressive achievements must surely deserve a pay raise. Where’s my checkbook? With the new year already in full swing, we all are watching and waiting. We wait for the economy to improve, for war, and for that light at the end of the tunnel leading to prosperity.

Unfortunately, our society has evolved into a school of insipid, conservative zealots. From diversions and scandals to cover-ups and deceit, our fearless leaders from government, business, and religion have comforted our souls with a pinch of fabrication in the cooking pot of life. We slowly digest what our leaders feed us, and we eat every word without question. Once we’ve eaten too much and the truth does come out, we all look shocked at what’s happened.

Mark Twain said, “Don’t ever let your school get in the way of your education.” We constantly accept what’s fact without really coming to terms with what is fiction. This new year could be déjà vu for some of us.

A bias towards educating ourselves will eventually rewind our lives back to Sept. 10, 2001, when we lived with clouds of ethnocentrism over our heads. Little has changed since then. We continue to be frightened by the media, countries still hate us, the economy is stagnant, our safety hasn’t improved, poverty is rising, Mid-east violence is escalating, education is failing, and our reputation as a freedom-guiding nation is dissolving like Mariah Carey’s career. Yet we’re told time and time again that things are improving.

Call me a pessimist if you must, but the future will look very dim if we continue to wait and not accept what’s happening in the world around us. History repeats itself and it has taught us a great deal about Imperialism. It’s a strong word to describe what our country has become, but sooner or later we going to have to accept the fact that our ideologies are in serious jeopardy if we continue to teach ourselves not to act.

Matthew Cooke is a junior majoring in marketing.

Students should appreciate what school offers

This is in response to the article about Residence Services and the upcoming projects. So many a time we read from disgruntled students that improvements need to be made. Whether it’s parking, housing, dining, or whatever the case may be, the criticisms are endless. My answer to these complaints is this. Look around. A multitude of wonderful things are in progress right before us. Some may be blinded by secondhand information or too pessimistic in their mindset to simply observe the experience that is the University of South Florida.

I hear directly or in passing students griping and comparing our school to other universities. It really is a shame. It is a shame those students go here. How can one not see the intense construction on Maple for our new Greek housing or the new complex across the way? What about the latest remodeling of the Student Government computer services lab? They’ve produced a bigger work space, added 20-plus computers and a printing station. Besides the SGCS, Einstein’s has been added and the new renovation for the Marshall Center will be underway very shortly. With the Moffitt Cancer Center, Shriner’s Hospital and many other health services, our university is one of the better research facilities in Florida and the country. Our buildings and campus speak volumes of the quality we offer here.

Aside from our structures, our student organizations such as Campus Activities Board, Homecoming Committee, Black Student Union, Student Government, Student Athletic Association, and many more are continually providing and creating new activities that bring students closer and unite us. If someone claims there is nothing to do, then they are simply not paying attention to the countless signs and people passing out flyers.

One must be really oblivious to not know our football team went 9-2 this season and our men’s basketball team is showing an equally successful term. There’s not much our school isn’t doing or accomplishing.

Our school is continually growing and expanding. Not enough people acknowledge how much is really going on and how impressive our school is. We do have problems and areas that need enhancement, but for our age, we are doing exceptionally well. We are bursting at the seams with improvement and development everyday. It is no wonder we are trying to keep up with ourselves. More need to come to that revelation. I cannot emphasize enough how proud I am to be a USF Bull. One day more people will share that same enthusiasm and pride.

Jessica Asuncion is a USF student.