Letters to the Editor 10-01

Sports should get more funding

With Intramurals, anyone can be a star. Bookworms turn into defensive coordinators by donning a dingy bandana, and that heavy-set girl with the brand-new knee-high socks can be a hero. The school’s alive with the frenzy of intramural sports! Week after week, teams of all shapes and sizes make their stance on the fields. And it seems no one is immune. Even that guy who thinks Michael Jackson played goalie for the New England Giants gives up his nights of “Trading Spaces” to be part of the intramural action.

Why all the hubbub? It’s one team trash-talking the opposition; the players looking for every minor infraction to call the other team on; teams yelling at the refs with their new black-and-white striped jerseys who are still learning how to use a whistle and the nuances of intramural sports, such as the rules.

So why do we love our intramural sports? Is it because we’re bored? When is USF going to learn that you can pump billions and billions into research and you will probably never have a good school in the eyes of the public? The only way USF will ever be recognized is if we step up our football team. I guarantee you will meet people outside of Tampa who think USF is the University of San Francisco. As long as the USF Bulls are playing against Herb’s College of Liberal Arts, no one is going to care how much money is spent on regenerating stem cells, even if it’s important.

The need is evident here – just look at the intramurals! Is FSU a better school? God no, but they have a notable football team. We can only piggyback on the Al Arian publicity for so long, and then we have to find another way to get national recognition.

In a recent issue of US News, there’s a double-page advertisement boasting USF’s engineering program. Again, that’s awesome, but who cares?

If we took the money from the engineering department’s fund for Engineering Building #19 and put it into developing a reputable football team, then the school would benefit. As long as USF students are wearing Gators and Seminole t-shirts (a crime punishable by death at some institutions), no one is ever going to take us seriously.

Once you have a football team that everyone gets excited about, everything else will follow.

James Meredith is a sophomore medical student.

Legal actions against telemarketers available

With the quick pace of current events, even the article in Monday’s Oracle was outdated before afternoon class. On Sept. 29, FCC chairman Michael K. Powell stated, “Beginning Wednesday, the FCC will enforce its Do-Not-Call rules against telemarketers that have obtained the Do Not Call list from the FTC.” This bypasses the current stay that was preventing the FTC from enforcing its own rules and provides protection to the 50 million intended households.

One of the problems mentioned was repeated calling by a few well-known entities. These companies rely on the fact that few people may be aware of their rights or their ability to enforce them in court by suing for statutory damages. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (47 USC 227) has many stipulations protecting the consumer. Whenever a telemarketing call is received at a residence, one should specifically state, “You are to place me on your company’s DNC list and you are to send me a copy of your policy regarding the maintenance of that (DNC) list.” This request is to be followed for 10 years and covers not only the call center placing the call, but also the entity or person to whom the call is made. The TCPA specifically provides a private right of action if you receive two calls in violation of the law in any 12-month period; wherein one is then owed, by statute, $500 per violation. There are often multiple violations in each call.

The TCPA also prohibits other actions, such as unsolicited “junk” faxes or initiating a commercial call using a prerecorded voice with prior express permission. The national DNC list allows a company with whom you already do business to call until you specifically tell them to stop. You may, however, terminate a telemarketing relationship with a company (such as Time Warner or AT&T) and still maintain that business relationship, though they may, of course, call in regard to account issues.

I believe that the majority of people support this law.

The actions of these telemarketers are an affront to that collective opinion. For more information, check out www.donotcall.com .

Michael Blitch is a senior in Management Information Systems.

U.N. support in Iraq has to be on clear terms

This comment is in response to President Bush’s address at the annual conference of the United Nations General Assembly, which gathered leaders from all over the world.

While the Bush administration is asking the United Nations for assistance in Iraq after arrogantly refusing to comply with their decisions regarding the U.S. invasion in that country and going against the recommendations of many foreign representatives, other members are more concerned about gathering funds for more compelling reasons. For instance, restructuring Iraq will take decades and will require billions of dollars. After all, a democracy does not get implemented overnight. The other side of the story is that U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan and other leaders are committed to eradicating hunger around the world, which keeps increasing over time. It is estimated that twenty-four thousand people die from undernourishment-related diseases each year, and little can be done due to lack of funds from underdeveloped countries where the problem is more apparent. Now more expenses will come up, as the United Nations is being asked to take part of the responsibility in Iraq, although they strongly attempted to avoid the war. After undermining international participation and ignoring the United Nations’ decisions, arguing that “nations of goodwill should help Iraq” may not only be ineffective, but also rather hypocritical.

Whether or not funds should go to Iraq’s restoration or hunger eradication is up to the United Nations to decide. Bush should think about the consequences before making a mess and asking for help without a bit of prudence.

Najla Maluf is a junior in political science.