Letters to the Editor 1/28

Students should demand change

As a USF alumna, I am absolutely appalled by what I’ve been reading in your paper. As President Genshaft gets a raise, you’re taking classes in the mall and the faculty is being railroaded. All the while you, as a student body, are bending over and taking it.

Please pardon my bluntness, but look around and you’ll see the truth in what I’m saying. If the Marshall Center is sparkling and new, but the school can’t pay your professors to hold class, something is awry. All of this, and no report of students mounting massive protests about the quality of the education they pay for? I repeat — I am appalled.

I agree with Greg Paveza’s statement that USF is in a time of crisis. Corporate trash is taking over your school, from the Ybor reminiscent club flyers littering the sidewalks, to the credit card companies congesting your way to class. You must ask yourself if your president wants a university or a mall. (Hey, you’re already halfway there.) I’m sure the football team is not suffering from budget cuts, but you are.

I hope they have not turned you all so far into corporate drones that you cannot think for yourselves and take action; there is too much at stake. Please take seriously that it is your academic freedom that is at stake.

If the faculty loses academic freedom, then you lose your well-rounded education — all the professors you love and the respect your degree from USF should command. Aren’t those things worth your voice? They are worth mine, and that’s why you’re reading this now.

Your student body government and administration should be working for you. They are not. As students, demand change and get results if you don’t do it now, you will be “bending over and taking it” for the rest of your lives. Most importantly, stand up for your professors. Without them, you have nothing.

Gina Henry is a USF alumna.

Administration needs to make decision

I know that everyone (including myself) has their own view of the Al-Arian situation and its implications, and it is also obvious that not everyone will be pleased with the outcome, regardless of what it may be.

I am not going to bother explaining my opinion, since that is not what is truly important. The dominant issue is the lack of decisive leadership. I applauded our administration for taking an aggressive stand in accordance with what they believed. However, we have all seen that position waver, and be continuously scrutinized over the past several months.

Even today, Al-Arian still pulls a hefty paycheck from the university payroll without the university benefiting from his professorship. I am deeply discouraged by the administration’s decision to keep him on paid leave for such an extended period of time and allowing this distraction to be dragged on for well over a year. Not only are the indirect effects of the national scrutiny affecting our university’s reputation, there are other subsequent issues that result. Clearly, the relative expenditure of manpower being used in regard to the Al-Arian issue is astronomical.

This time should be spent planning, organizing and campaigning for excellence at USF. The Genshaft administration needs to make an executive decision and begin to look for closure. The wasted resources being expended on this crisis need to be addressed and remedied. I am continually disgusted with seeing Al-Arian’s sob story being played out on the front page of The Oracle, and similarly frustrated by Genshaft tirelessly politicking around the issue.

James Davidson is a senior majoring in pre-law.