Letters to the Editor 1/31

Support needed to save Bright Futures

Fellow Bulls, I need your help. The core value of Student Government here at USF is to represent the needs of the student body. With the upcoming legislative session looming, the state’s budget will see cuts in higher education. Although all of the cuts will be difficult, there is one potential cut that must not be overlooked without a fight.

The Bright Futures program is in serious danger. It has been made very clear that the program, which has provided thousands of students the ability to attend college, may no longer be made available to the best and brightest students in our great state.

Currently, there are more than 92,000 students in the state of Florida who receive the Bright Futures scholarship. Whether you receive the scholarship or not, I am confident that you are close to someone who does receive the scholarship.

My goal and our campaign is simple: Save Bright Futures. The Florida Student Association (FSA) serves as the students’ unified voice to the state legislature and, together, our game plan to save Bright Futures will work. We will only be successful with your help. That is why I am calling on all students here at USF to pledge their support to save Bright Futures by first signing a petition card stating their support for this program. You may sign a card in the Student Government offices (MC 203) or clip a copy from The Oracle and turn it into our offices. However, I am asking that you also take your commitment one step further. There will be a statewide rally in Tallahassee on the steps of the Capitol building on Thursday, Feb. 13 to send a strong, united and concise message to our elected officials that this program must be saved. USF will be part of a statewide bus tour. We will be departing from the Sun Dome (parking lot across from the College of Business Administration building) at 8 a.m. Feb. 13 and returning after the rally.

This is a time for a commitment from all the students at USF. In order to truly be the best university, we must ensure that we have the best and brightest students. Please contact Student Government Director of Student Affairs Tameka Bradley at 974-9900 or at Tameka1220@yahoo.com for further information and to confirm your availability to attend the rally in Tallahassee.

I look forward to your support and your efforts to save Bright Futures.

Michael Griffin is the USFstudent body president.

Students must speak out to be heard

A few points: Kudos to Gina Henry’s letter to the editor. She is appalled and she is not alone.

We will do our best to speak our mind and let our university know that we will not sit idly by and let our freedoms, our education and our one chance at becoming an integral part of our world be stripped away from us.

I would like to second the movement made by a fellow student in a preceding letter to the editor concerning the resignation of our student body president. It is time for a student government that is more concerned about the welfare of the students in our student body than the amount of parties and corporations USF can be known for.

I also call for my fellow students to stand up and speak. Speak to your professors and friends, and find out how you can make sure that our future isn’t ruined by the political idiocy and lack of unity that our university is made of.

That said, I would like to respond to the moron who wrote the editorial about the “erowig.org” site. First, it’s erowid.org. If you’re going to complain, please, get it right.

Second, this Web site is in no way helping to perpetuate drug use in this country or in any other, for that matter. The fact is, humans have been ingesting, smoking, and applying herbs, herb derivatives and other such things for millennia. The difference is that now, it is used for recreation.

Alcohol, nicotine, Tylenol, Xanax, Robotussin and other accepted drugs are more lethal and addictive than the majority of drugs erowid.org concerns itself with.

Drug use has not gone up since the 1960s, it has merely become more acceptable to the populous and even more laws have been passed against them since the ’60s. The creators of erowid.org do what no one else will do: They tell the user the truth about the item they are about to consume. They tell the consumer what the chemical is, what it does, what the laws are and the potential danger.

I, for one, applaud erowid.org for its wisdom. Someone will do drugs somewhere, always. They always have. At least let them be educated.

Brandon Botteron is a junior majoring in interdisciplinary classical civilizations.

Free speech extends to all subjects

I was shocked to read in my school newspaper the idea that freedom of speech should be limited in order to serve “the best interest of Internet users.” Who died and made the editorial board of the USF Oracle the judge of morality?

So, all of you agree someone should limit free speech based on what they think is moral or not? That is a truly amazing statement from those who write for fun or as a potential career.

I thought, when I first spied the article, that someone was actually going to make a good point about the failure of the drug war. But no, The Oracle staff decided that Wednesday was “Tell People How They Should Live Day.”

Did it ever occur to anyone on staff that ignorance is what gets people hurt and that denying users accurate information about the drugs they take is unsafe and counter productive?

Does the editorial staff also agree that we should not teach teenagers about safe sex in the hope that they will just not have it?

People who want to do something are going to do it, period. No law or moral is going to stop that. Only information and education can help those who choose a different path than ours.

I once thought that The Oracle was an open-minded student-run paper, now I question whether the Office of National Drug Control Policy is dictating its content.

I will never be able to understand how people think that what they decide is right excludes all other alternatives.

Stop listening to the propaganda and start thinking for yourselves, kids.

There are students on campus like myself who depend on sites like erowid.org and hyperreal.org to inform us of all the real dangers the government (and student newspapers) wish to hide from us.

Christopher Grey is a junior majoring in political science.