Letters to the Editor

Breckenridge takes advantage of students

If you are leaving the dormitories or home to get the full college experience by living in a “college community,” then Breckenridge is probably not the place for you. Breckenridge, located along Skipper Road, was sold within the past year from College Park to private owners. It is no myth that private owners are obsessed with money.

To be fair, I will tell you the few benefits of living at Breckenridge: low rent (between $400 and $500 per month) and access to the Bull Runner shuttle.

That said, the two main reasons why I do not like living in Breckenridge are the very limited amount of visitor parking and the mandatory purchase of a $50 parking permit. There are maybe 50 visitor spaces in Breckenridge; however, many of those are filled with the residents who don’t have permits or students who do not own USF parking permits and use the lot to park, and then ride the Bull Runner shuttle.

Gatherings and parties are impossible because of the limited amount of visitor parking and the ferocious towing companies. The Breckenridge office told me that cars without a permit would be towed after 10 p.m.

The most irritating thing about living at Breckenridge is the mandatory purchase of a parking permit to park your car in an un-gated and formerly un-monitored lot. The only thing the permit guarantees is that your car will not be towed. The lot remained unmonitored until last spring when a rash of vehicle thefts and vandalism forced the owners to hire a guard to monitor the parking lot after 10 p.m. and only after numerous complaints by residents.

Some may speculate this to be a mere coincidence, but a week after the parking guard was hired, Breckenridge residents were forced to pay for additional electric charges–roughly $60-$70 per apartment. That, times 60 apartments, equals roughly $3600.

Recently, a 46″ television was stolen from the Breckenridge game room. Where was the parking guard you might ask? He was helping visitors find parking because they were afraid their cars would be towed. What were Breckenridge residents given in the wake of the television theft? If you guessed a bill for over-usage of electricity, then you are right.

Last spring, the residents of Breckenridge were asked what amenity they would prefer from a list of suggestions. Eventually, a car wash was installed and, you guessed it, residents were handed an electric bill. The irony is hardly amazing. I guess the saying “you only get what you pay for” applies entirely to Breckenridge.

Chris Scanlan is a senior majoring in interdisciplinary sciences.

Students have more sources than assumed
Re: “When you work in journalism, read the news” Nov. 18, 2003

As a journalism major, Oracle editor Grace Agostin surely is well aware that newspapers aren’t the only medium for getting news out to the public.

I happen to be in her advertising class and was one of the three people who raised a hand to reading the newspaper daily. To defend the integrity of my fellow public relations and advertising majors, I must say that Grace failed to mention that our professor also asked who gets most of their news from the Internet or other sources and at least half of the class raised their hands.

I admit, it’s a little pathetic when only half a class of mass communications students admit to reading or watching the news daily (okay, maybe it’s more than a little pathetic). But if every time I picked up a newspaper or magazine and the front cover talks about another exclusive, one-time interview with some celebrity, I’d probably put it back down too.

Although there’s no excuse for PR, advertising and journalism majors to not keep up with current events, some of Grace’s facts were skewed. In her article, Grace mentioned that a study printed in the New York Times five years ago showed that only 22 percent of people between the ages of 16 and 32 read the newspaper. Well how about stating the latest facts? According to a study released this September by the Student Monitor, a research service that targets the college market, 77 percent of college students read their campus newspaper.

The Oracle staff members sit in classes with both PR and advertising majors. Just as Grace is outraged that more of us aren’t reading the Oracle or any other publication, I’m outraged that the Oracle isn’t doing anything about it.

PR and advertising professors are always looking for a good project for their students to do. I challenge Grace and other Oracle staff members to sit down and talk with professors in the mass communications department about assigning the promotion of the Oracle to one of their classes. That way, students can deal more with an issue that hits close to home, instead of doing an advertising project for a coffee mug or a PR research report for a festival. I’m sure that would help to bridge the gap between the Oracle and those students who take it for granted.

Sandy Lumpkin is a senior majoring in public relations.