Letters to the Editor

Dangerous conditions for science students

The pleasant smell of benzene, the sweet aroma of concentrated sulfuric acid: all things that science majors get to look forward to on a daily basis.

Although the construction of the new chemistry facility seems to be going at a rapid pace, one must wonder if USF has forgotten about its current students. The broken fume hoods in the labs are hazardous to a student using dangerous chemicals around them. The majority of the labs have little to no circulation and poor sanitation.

Just as the greater part of us were growing used to the harmful side effects of these laboratory conditions, I read in the Oracle that the football team has a chance to go to Hawaii. Now, I’m not one to complain, but does it seem fair for science majors to cough up a lung while our average football team basks under the Maui sun? It’s easy to understand that athletic funds differ from educational funds, but hopefully the administrators will realize this is an institution of higher learning, not the NCAA. If this school would like its students to pay tuition, it may be a good idea to make sure they’re around long enough to do so.

Kashmir Juneja is a senior majoring in biology and chemistry.

Allegations of sexism should be taken serious
Re: Skate Park of Tampa (Nov. 24)

It is understandable that Mr. Clements took such a defensive and vindictive stance against Whitney Meers’ critique of Skate Park of Tampa marketing techniques.

However, I must point out that Mr. Clements is taking a “realist” and business view of this critique, which totally glosses over the issue of sexism and the objectification of women. Mr. Clements claims that the park “has let females in for free since day one.” This sounds like tokenism to me. Just because you allow women to enter free into this venue does not mean that women feel comfortable being in this environment.

Tell me, Mr. Clements, how is this environment pro-women if the park advocates marketing techniques that objectify and exclude young women? How do the images of strippers and scantly clad women appeal to the young women of Tampa?

I feel that Mr. Clements has taken a “realist” stance on this important issue to avoid facing the reality that sexism does exist, and women are constantly being objectified in all arenas of society. However, as a student and a reporter, Ms. Meers is entitled to her opinion, and should not be considered “petty” and irresponsible. In all actuality, it is her responsibility to write her opinion and “not lighten up.” It is unfortunate that it is only in the academic arena that we are encouraged to give our opinions, and shunned in the “real” world when we voice our dissent. I am sorry that Mr. Clements is too much of a “realist” to face the reality of sexism and the objectification and degradation of the image of women.

Ana Pèrez is a senior majoring in women’s studies.