Letters to the Editor

The Oracle failedto honor student’s life

I am writing on behalf of the friends and peers of Salma Kattoura. Salma, better known as Sally, was a student here at USF. She passed away on Aug. 20, 2003. Her funeral was that weekend in her hometown of Boynton Beach.

Reasons such as the first week of school prevented many of her friends and peers from attending her funeral. One of her roommates had spoken to a member of your staff to have an announcement placed in the paper for a memorial service that would be held at school. The first week of school passed and no one at the Oracle gave us any notice of when the announcement would be put in. After several more phone calls, the announcement was finally put in the day before the service. What’s even better is that it was no bigger than two square inches and it was placed on the very bottom right hand corner of the second page. Not only was this poor planning on the Oracle’s part, it was an insult.

The Oracle was aware that we needed an announcement put in and no one would assist us. Meanwhile, Student Government is allowed a full-page ad about how they have openings for committees. These ads were in the Oracle for a week straight. I’m sorry, but I was under the impression that a student-run organization such as the Oracle could make an exception for the death of a student, especially a student who was well known by many on this campus.

I know a lot more than 40 people would have shown up at Sally’s service if they were informed ahead of time. Maybe they could have come if they had time to notify their employers or teachers. What The Oracle did was in its best interest. Obviously, ads for Five-Star Pizza and drink specials at Garfield’s are more important than someone’s death.

What makes me more upset is that your reporter, who was at the service, told me that she would do Sally “justice” in her article. The article was nice and published on the front page, but (very big but) on a Friday,when it is known that not as many people are on campus and therefore, won’t be able to pick up a copy of Oracle. This means that probably no one saw the article.

If you really want to do justice for Salma and her family, you’ll reprint the article on a day when you know students will read it. I am not asking for front-page coverage, because that’s just way too much to ask when you won’t even return my phone calls. You owe it to her friends and family to reprint the article and let people know about the beautiful young woman who was taken from our lives too soon.

Liz Wong is a junior majoring in mass communications.