Letters to the Editor

Life too shortto castigate others

We live in a society in which much of what we do defines us, either by other peoples’ standards or our own. Sexuality should not be used as a tool to force people to live a life that the rest of us see fit. With our daily lives constantly filled with images of war-torn countries and hate crimes, we are so easy to horde at anything the media throws at us and pick it to pieces until there is nothing left.

As we have all learned in recent years, life is short. We spend so much time focusing on keeping the gay community in line with our standards. Who are we to judge anyone? At a time when there is such hate and discrimination in our world, we should rejoice at the possibility of civil unions and children being adopted into loving homes.

We have one life. We make the best of what we were born with, so why shouldn’t they?

Sheri Blumenfeld is senior majoring in gerontology.

Condemnation was not the easy way out
Re: Sami Al-Arian “One Year Later” Feb. 20

The AAUP’s decision last June to “condemn” rather than “censure” was not chosen to be “less painful,” as the news spin implies. It was simply the most the AAUP could do under the circumstances, since they do not censure when there are no means of remedy to the aggrieved party and therefore no way for the offending administration to get off the censure list. (The document’s proper title is: Resolution Condemning the Administration of the University of South Florida.)

Furthermore, Dr. Al-Arian’s arrest does not justify the treatment he received at USF. Anyone who believes in this country’s founding ideals will hold him innocent pending trial. The AAUP resolution is grounded in that principle and the United Faculty of Florida affirms it officially as well.

As for academic freedom, the next time a professor or student gets in big trouble for taking a stand, let’s consider whether Dick Beard is on the same page.

Nancy Jane Tyson is an associate professor of English

Apollo show wasan error in judgement
Re: “Appalled with the Apolloperformances” Feb. 18

With regard to USF’s Apollo show, put on by the Black Student Union and the Campus Activities Board, both organizations share many of the same concerns that were addressed in that letter. We did not deliberately encourage those types of performances and apologize to any student who was offended at the program.

We assure the students of USF that we have been working since the event to incorporate preventive measures (screening procedures, morality contracts, etc.) for future talent shows. BSU and CAB encourage all students to stop by our offices (BSU-Marshall Center 228, CAB-Marshall Center 215) to get involved.

The USF Black Student Union and Campus Activities Board.

Fight for freedom — freedom to criticise
Re: “Bush was stompingfor votes just like Kerry.”

Once again, the ignorance of some of our fellow Americans comes as a shock to me. I don’t know why, but after all these years, I still become disturbed when reading letters like the one Joseph Yanes submitted Thursday.

There’s a point he made that I passionately disagree with — and it’s an educated passion.

The first is the most important, because Yanes is perpetuating an ugly lie.

Senator John Kerry (Miss-D) never said, “[American soldiers] acted more like Genghis Khan than America’s best.” It is easy to distort facts, and an engineering major should realize this. Kerry said, “I’ve been told that soldiers raped … [in Vietnam].”

Of course, Yanes, you could continue to not question the “liberal press” when they place a harmfully incomplete quote on the front page of a very popular news journal. But, wait a minute! Isn’t it our president who has shirked international support at the cost of over 500 of America’s best?

If Yanes is so entirely concerned over whether a decorated Vietnam officer “sold out” his fellow soldiers, he should realize that countless soldiers throughout our nation’s history have fought, died and become mentally and physically maimed for U.S. citizens’ right to be free — and that means free to question a questionable administration!

I am proud to be an American, and proud to not blindly play follow the leader.

Debbie King is a senior majoring in education.