Letters to the Editors

Disposable DVD has potential
Re: “Disposable DVDs offer alternative to rentals” Oct 7, 2003

The disposable DVDs, reviewed on Oct. 9, sound like they could be a really good deal. Most people nowadays have DVD players, and these disposable discs could be a really big product. Everybody hates it when they find out that their movie is late and they have to pay late charge. These disposable DVDs will eliminate the consumer’s worry about getting the movie back on time, losing it or breaking it.

I don’t think, however, that these will be a big hit just yet. They have to be out on the market for a while, and large movie companies need to make use of them. The price of the disposable DVD will need to drop, too, to about $3 to $5. The biggest factor will be whether video rentals will jump on this product; if they do, it will be a huge success.

Jamie Leavitt is a freshman majoring in business.

Bookstore lacking student supplies

I have discovered a slight problem since Barnes & Noble took over the USF Bookstore. They are not carrying the basic tools students need anymore.

I discovered this when the professor for my trigonometry course informed the class that we could not use graphing calculators, such as my trusty TI-83+, but we could use scientific calculators. Monday evening I called the bookstore to ask if they carried scientific calculators; they replied yes. Tuesday morning at 8:30, I ran into the bookstore to buy my calculator for my 9 a.m. class, but to my shock, they did not carry them, only graphing and financial calculators. When I asked the supervisor where they had scientific calculators, she said that they did not have any, and had heard several students complain about this.

This brings to mind two questions; first, if the primary consumers are complaining, shouldn’t you do something about it? Also, why should students spend $100 to $150 on a graphing calculator to have to also spend $30 to $40 on a scientific calculator because the teacher is afraid of cheating? I hope, as I shared a calculator with everyone in my class, that I did not fail my test.

David J. Chrem is a junior majoring in interdisciplinary natural sciences.

Parking tickets are a necessary evil
Re: “Parking tickets should not be given” Oct. 15, 2003

I read that statement and thought about how ridiculous it sounds. Any action I take on-campus has possible consequences. For example, if I took a baseball bat into the Student Government computer lab and smashed the computers to bits, I would be punished for it. Just as smashing the computers would be wrong, so is parking illegally.

If no tickets were given for parking, I would gladly drive my vehicle as close to the building I have my first class in as possible. I could drive down the ramp of the business building and park next to the cafeteria there, if it were allowed and physically possible. However, we have something called tickets in place to keep everyone in check.

As for residents, we have our own lots conveniently located near our dorms. I personally spent $35 for the convenience of the Park-N-Ride, which entitles me to park where I do, in lots 18 or 43. I can also park anywhere on-campus between 9 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 5:30 pm until 7:30 am Friday and anytime, anywhere, during the weekend. So the idea that residents should park in designated areas is already in place. Residents use their designated parking lots and either walk or use other forms of transportation to get around.

Here is a truly reasonable solution to the problem on-campus: Get here early, eat something, study and get prepared for your day. Either that or use Park-N-Ride and use the Bull Runner or walk the 20 minutes it takes to cover this campus.

The parking attendants and University Police are just enforcing rules, which is their job. Parking in the wrong place is illegal. As for more parking spaces, there are some patches of grass that could be put to good use — especially near the library — until new parking lots or garages come into existence.

Alex Wilhelmsen is a freshman majoring in mass communications.

USF needs better system for IDs

Earlier this week, someone stole my student identification card from the academic computing room on the first floor of the Library. On my card I had $16 to, a meal plan and access to my building on campus. “No big deal,” I said to myself, and went to the USF card center in the Marshall Center. Well, not only did they charge me $10 to replace it, but the woman there told me that I could not get my $16 back. She said it was “just not possible” because that data is only stored on the card, and they didn’t trust me. After that disheartening news, I went to drown my sorrows at Chik-Fil-A. When I went to pay for my chicken sandwich, my student ID came up as unknown. My meal plan had not transferred to the new card, and since the meal plan office was closed for the day, I had to wait until the next day to eat. Finally, I went to my building, hungry and poor. I slid my card to get into the building, and it did not work.

In summary, I was out $26, I couldn’t buy food and I could not get into my own building, all because some joker decided to walk off with my student ID. It seems ridiculous that money put onto a card should disappear, and that I should have to go to three different departments to get everything back on my card. When is USF going to get its act together and have a real student ID that can actually remember what each student has, without having to spend two days running around campus getting everything back on the card?

Joe Jordan is a senior majoring in computer science.

Pope should re-think his condom views
Re: “The pope’s distortion of facts will end up costing lives” Oct 14, 2003

I would like to start by saying I am not against religion. I am against ignorance and abuse of power. The statements about condoms made by Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo contradict scientific data and fact.

Trujillo is quoted in a BBC interview last month as saying, “The AIDS virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon. The spermatozoon can easily pass through the ‘net’ that is formed by the condom.” Condoms do help protect against the spread of HIV/AIDS. The World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control were quick to refute these ludicrous accusations that will damage the progress established by these and other organizations. These powerful men discourage using protection based on fabricated “facts”. Their only suggestion: abstinence. I understand these men are sworn to a life of celibacy. But do they seriously expect the rest of the world to simply give up sex? At a time when HIV and AIDS complications are killing millions, it is negligent to denounce and discourage condom use. People are impressionable. Some people actually listen to the Pope.

I don’t believe their intentions were to endanger lives, but such reckless comments do just that. By telling people condoms are useless for prevention, they’ll stop protecting themselves. Telling people to abstain instead is ineffective. Abstinence is their goal or, more appropriately, it is their fantasy. However, it is far from reality. The Pope and Cardinal’s statements are illogical and hazardous.

Simply put, the Vatican’s statements are uninformed and toxic. Recognizing its power should caution it to make swift assertions. Especially when these statements will negatively affect millions. The Vatican is providing more excuses and encouraging ignorance, undoing any progress toward acceptance and prevention. How is this acceptable in a world infuriated when innocents die due to terror? This is terror. The HIV virus is terrorizing worldwide. Millions die unnecessarily; millions more are infected daily. The Pope and his colleagues are not intending to jeopardize lives, I do believe. However, as they choose to hear and see no evil in what they do, perhaps they should elect not to preach it.

As an advocate for reproductive rights and the president of VOX at USF, I cannot disregard such a preposterous message. To ignore it would make me just as wrong. I understand this is a touchy subject. I welcome any and all comments and complaints; this should help open the subject. We can’t avoid sexuality forever; we can’t deny reality, so we must strive to become aware.

Kristen Riley is a senior majoring in anthropology.