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Letters to the Editor 7/17

Points wrong but argument rings true

The assumption made by Ryan Meehan in his column July 10, “Natural selection does not justify war,” was not quite correct. Darwin never said that the “fittest” in terms of sheer physical strength would necessarily survive. “Fit” refers to those species that can adapt to their environments most successfully. Physical strength is only one possible form of adaptation, and it is not always the most successful in nature.

Ryan’s conclusion is still a good one. Assuming that “intelligence” is one of Homo sapiens’ most important adaptations to the changing environment, failure to use that intelligence can surely lead to negative consequences. Relying upon sheer military force when dealing with issues as complex as the present international environment does not bode well for the survival of the political species known as the American empire.

Merle F. Allshouse is a senior at USF St. Petersburg.

Students deserve 9/11 memorial

The editorial, “More Thought Needed on the Proposed Sept. 11 Memorial,” which appeared in the July 14 issue of The Oracle, contained several factual errors which must be corrected.

1. The article states that there should have been student involvement in the creation of the project. I am a student and served as chair of the memorial committee. Michael Griffin, former Student Body President, also served on the committee.

2. The design for the project was created by students, who have every right to feel insulted by the writer’s reference to the memorial being composed of “…a few slabs of marble placed in a seldom-trod part of campus.”

3. The comment that art atudents would love to create a memorial was correct. In fact, the winning scheme was designed by both art and architecture students.

4. While USF students were not physically harmed by the attacks, they were emotionally harmed. It also seems that you are quick to forget that USF was also a huge part of the rescue efforts after the attacks, which gives the USF community even more reason to memorialize the 9/11 tragedy.

5. As for the price tag, the creators of this memorial have gotten a large amount of the materials donated, and therefore Student Government is not frivolously spending the student’s money

6. Finally, I respect your views that the 9/11 attack is too recent to have the decent perspective necessary for the memorial, but I believe if you took time to visit the Web site on the project,, you would be able to see that the perspective that we need does exist. Furthermore, you would find that the proposal calls for text to be drawn from statements made by USF students regarding their reflections on the events of 9/11. Clearly, both the committee and the student design team agree with your assertion that students “should be … involved in its creation.” The facts are: students designed the project, selected the project and will have their personal reflections carved in stone in the memorial. Far from a frivolous project, the proposed 9/11 memorial is a sensitive statement in memory of an event that had an impact world-wide. The fact that this memorial would be permanently sited on campus to record for all time, how we, the students, responded to this world altering event is worthy of SG support.

Tameka Bradley is a senior majoring in foreign language education and the SG Director of Student Affairs.