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Letters to the Editor 9/29

Idea of gay fraternitymet with positivityRe: “Should gays go Greek?” Sept. 25

Wednesday’s response from the sorority girl angrily defending the comment regarding “pretty girls only” was laughable. Then I read “Should Gays Go Greek” on Thursday, and simply had to write.

First off, I’m a cute, straight white girl. I’m a National Merit and Honors scholar, and our university pays me for the privilege of attending it. I should be bouncing around in front of Cooper Hall with Greek letters emblazoned on my flip-flops. That said-I’d rather drop out than become a part of the farcical circus that is Greek life at this school.

I want to gag when I see these legions of Daddy’s girls and boys, strutting in their oh-so-fashionable Abercrombie & Fitch plumage, their Alphas and Deltas and Kappas all but tattooed on their toned posteriors.

Let’s face it. Every sorority girl I’ve ever met has been sweet as pie to my face, but would she want me as a sister if I were a lesbian? If I had some kind of physical deviation from the silky-haired, straight-tooth, size-2 mold? Of course not. Granted, this is only my second year here, and there are surely exceptions to these generalizations. But would I ever consider that a sorority sister handing out fliers singled out “pretty girls only” as a joke? Not for one second.

I’m not debating whether the inherent idea of sororities and fraternities is merit-worthy. At other campuses (mostly private and smaller), Greek life is a commendable mix of service, society and academics.

USF, sadly, is another story. Ours is a bloated tangle of small minds, shallow personalities and snotty disregard for any walk of life other than their mostly white, privileged, heterosexual one. If I were a guy, I would join Delta Lambda Phi in a heartbeat. I was a member of the Gay and Straight Alliance in high school and was dismayed upon arriving at college after graduating to find out that ignorance and small mindedness was more persistent at USF than in secondary school.

I’d love to know what Derek Gannotta meant by “I wouldn’t think much of it just as long as, you know, they keep their activities to themselves,” Does he refer to the flaming displays of pride and machismo that “normal” Greek guys carry on every day on campus without batting an eyelash? Leave Adam Miramon and his would-be brothers alone, and don’t make bigger fools of yourselves.

Trudy Williams is a sophomore majoring in psychology.

I was extremely excited to hear about Delta Lambda Phi wanting to become a nationally recognized fraternity at USF. It is about time that the gay community took this measure to gain more equality on campus and help people within the community feel more accepted. It’s extremely important for individuals to have others like them to associate with and to be open about their sexuality. It can never be easy to come out of the closet under the watchful eyes of your peers, but the reluctance to do so can eventually be more damaging then a few stares or ugly comments.

If USF is to be a diverse campus, then I think its students should welcome this fraternity with open arms – especially the Greek community, if they wish to disprove the rumors that they are an elite society on campus.

I was upset, though, about some of the comments that were made by Greek members about how they would accept the fraternity if the members keep to themselves. Homosexuality is not a cold that can be passed on by being involved with the fraternity or talking with a gay or lesbian person. Comments like that are the ones that help spread this myth and ultimately spread homophobia. So basically, if you want to say your organization is diverse, act like it instead of just throwing out hypocritical statements. I also would like to address the group leader of Delta Lambda Phi by saying don’t ever let anyone tell you to tone down your “gayness.” No one asks a heterosexual to tone down their mannerisms or their way of speech. You can help bring new members to your fraternity by showing them that they can act any way that they wish and the fraternity will support them. It’s going to be a hard battle, but this campus will be better off in the long run.

Jessica Spencer is a junior majoring in political science and minoring in women’s studies.

It is nice to know that The Oracle is willing to run provocative articles. However, we would like to clarify a few points that are of importance to more fully understand the standpoint and wishes of Delta Lambda Phi at the present time. First, there seemed to be a discrepancy between the information contained within the article and the date on which the photograph on the front page was taken. Specifically, at the meeting in which this photo was taken, there were more members present than noted on the front page. Further, the group at this point is very diverse. We have gay, bisexual and straight members. Second, there appears to be a continued misconception about Delta Lambda Phi. Though education is not an explicit part of our mission as a fraternity, it is an implicit part. In the process of adding to the university’s multi-cultural diversity, we will be educating people at an interpersonal level. Moreover, through this individual interactive process, we will be able, through dialogue, to engage and inform the university and Greek communities about the focus of Delta Lambda Phi specifically, that we are a fraternity that wants to foster a spirit of brotherhood among gay, bisexual and supportive men and thereby enhance their lives through dignified and purposeful social service and recreational activities. Finally, we wish to thank the brothers and sisters from other sororities and fraternities for their support and encouragement.

Delta Lambda Phi Interest Group

China should freeFalun Gong followers

There is a deadly but covert campaign of terror that has been going on for four years. This is a terror committed by a state against its own people. It is the persecution of Falun Gong, implemented by China’s former dictator Jiang Zemin.

Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) is a practice for improving body, mind and spirit. Practitioners do five simple exercises that look somewhat like Tai Chi and include meditation. We try to improve ourselves by living according to the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

This is called “cultivation” and is deeply rooted in traditional Chinese culture.

The U.S. State Department and Amnesty International confirm that China’s regime has ordered the arrest, detention and torture of Falun Gong practitioners. Friends and family members have confirmed the deaths of 780 people, killed while in detention. Untold thousands have been subjected to brainwashing, forced labor, torture and abuse in mental institutions.

China’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners has extended to U.S. residents and citizens. Palm Coast resident Li Meizi has been detained in China since last November, when she returned to China to visit her parents. The Chinese regime is even detaining a U.S. citizen who practices Falun Gong. At the beginning of this year, Dr. Charles Li was arrested when he went back to China. He was sentenced to three years in prison for intending to expose the regime’s illegal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. He has been subjected to torture, brainwashing and force-feeding.

Falun Gong practitioners in the United States are staging a coast-to-coast rescue drive to raise awareness of the injustice against Dr. Li and other illegally detained Falun Gong practitioners. As part of this effort, Florida Falun Gong practitioners are driving to major cities in the state to inform the public of Dr. Li’s plight. The car tour began in Tampa, Sept. 12.

We believe that it is our responsibility to speak out on behalf of those who cannot be heard, to bear witness on behalf of those who cannot testify. We encourage American citizens and residents to help us urge the U. S. Department of State to send a clear message to China: We want Li Meizi, Charles Li, and all the other illegally detained Falun Gong practitioners released immediately.

For more information, see,,or contact me at

Ying Zhang is a graduate student in chemical engineering.