Letters to the Editor

POW’s disability was not based on race
Re: “POW deserves more compensation for suffering”Oct. 27, 2003

As a veteran of the U.S. Navy it angers me when student writers base their opinions of what is or is not fair about the military on sound-bytes instead of facts. A little research on the part of the writer would have served well in this piece.

The writer was absolutely correct when pointing out the disparity of coverage by the media and the entertainment industry. But media coverage and book deals are just a red herring used to elicit emotion from the readers because that has no bearing on the percentage of disability Johnson, Lynch or the other POWs receive.

So to say that Johnson received only 30 percent disability because she is black is blatantly subjective and not supported by facts. Disability is based on the extent of physical injury received and its affect on future employment. The fact that she is black and a single mother does not enter the equation.

An intelligent analysis would have been to compare all the POW’s disability percentage. But that would take a bit more research and might make the “race argument” invalid. For the writer, Jesse Jackson or anyone else to make the claim that Johnson’s disability amount was based on race is sheer ignorance. If by some remote chance Jackson is correct then let him present the evidence. As of yet, I haven’t seen any.

As for the closing comment about Lynch being “comfortably accommodated,” that is stretching what little knowledge is known of her captivity, especially since Lynch can’t even recall the specifics.

Wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect the same heroic treatment of ALL POWs?

Yvonne Harper is a junior majoring in mass communications.

Tolerance needed, even in sports

At the Homecoming game on Friday, as I was coming up the escalator with two friends, some idiot started harassing me and calling me a “sorority chicken head.” I had never seen this imbecile in my life and automatically he felt he had the right to belittle and embarrass me in public.

For over three years I had been able to go to football games peacefully. Yet the minute I put on my team’s homecoming shirt, I cease being an individual and transform into a stereotypical “chicken head.”

In addition to this, as I walked past Castor Beach yesterday, I saw chalked everywhere on the sidewalk insults not just to Greeks, but to cheerleaders, Honors students, and the band as well. The only thing I have to say to those responsible is: Get a life!

USF has many things it needs to work on as a school, but I see tolerance as being one of our biggest problems. What did I, as a new Greek, ever do to that schmuck at the game besides support our school and partake in USF’s Homecoming festivities?

I am sad to say that as I prepare to graduate, I see our student body truly falling apart. Why is it Greeks against non-Greeks or band members against non-members?

The bigger picture I am trying to portray is the fact that stereotypes are there and I have spent a large part of my life trying to defeat them. I face them because I’m a woman, because of the color of my hair, and now because I’m in a sorority. But that does not mean I am any different than the other thousands of people on our campuses. I am a student too, and the bottom line is that I am here to learn, not insult people.

Jackie McCain is a senior majoring in political science.

USF needs to be more organized

The other morning, as I was getting ready for work, a good friend of mine called me, anxious and sobbing. She had been trying to drop a class on OASIS, but OASIS kept telling her that she wasn’t enrolled in any classes to begin with. She called the registrar’s office and someone there told her that she had somehow been “deleted from the system.” That meant that she hadn’t been getting credit for any of the courses she’s been taking this semester, even though she had attended every class! She was so upset, she wanted to leave USF — after all, she has been having constant problems with various administrative offices since she applied and transferred here from Polk Community College in the summer of 2003.

She’s not the only one. Another friend of mine had been calling the financial aid office for weeks to find out the status of his loan, which he needed to pay his rent (which by that time was long overdue). The financial aid representatives always told him that they were waiting on the loan provider to send the funds to the school, but the latter kept telling him they had already sent the funds. He finally went to the financial aid office in person, and when they opened his file folder, his loan check magically fell out onto the floor. Oops.

My fiancé is another victim of the financial aid follies. After being assured multiple times that his money was on the way, another financial aid representative told him that they had no record of his loan application.

These are anecdotes to which most students can relate, and fortunately they all have happy endings. But college shouldn’t be such a drama! How can a school be properly run if such important offices are so blatantly unorganized and left in the charge of such incompetent people? There, I said it!

This situation is unfair to students, who should be able to focus on their schoolwork without having to panic over such major distractions. An occasional mistake is understandable, acceptable, and forgivable. But not when it happens to practically everyone I know, including myself, every semester! USF had better get organized, or it’s going to lose a lot of students and scare away potential ones.

Angela Infante is a senior majoring in professional and technical writing.