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Letters to the Editor

USF letting down ABA program

If you ever need a strategic plan to eliminate an important, successful graduate program within a university, heed USF’s treatment of the faculty in the Masters Program for Applied Behavior Analysis.

The first step in this process is to fail to renew the contract of the program’s founder and coordinator; without her it will certainly flounder. Naturally, make no serious efforts to replace her and hope that the remaining core faculty members will work within their professional boundaries.

There may remain a few dedicated individuals within the faculty devoted to education rather than politics. If this is the case, you’ll soon know it because they will take responsibility for those students who were abandoned when you eliminated the coordinator. You needn’t offer them any additional recognition or pay because, for them, student success is sufficient reward.

Next, target a big-name, tenured professor. Make sure that he is professionally involved with more than his share of students. Find some petty, personal qualm with him, blow it out of proportion and place ridiculous, discriminatory demands on him so that you might label him as insubordinate.

It all sounds rather childish, and it is, but if this individual is as competent as he has already proven to be, he will likely not bow to your inane harassment. His students may complain, but worry not; graduate students are selfishly oblivious to what’s really going on here. Promise them their degrees and they won’t think twice about losing a respected mentor.

Once you’ve rid the program of one of its main draws, you can be confident that it is not nearly as appealing now to incoming applicants. You’ll have 20 or so students within the program for the remaining faculty to scramble to advise, and if you’re lucky, they won’t mind paying for the supervision and training that the remaining few professors cannot feasibly provide.

In summation, then, you’ll end up with fewer graduates, a dying program and a tarnished image for your university. You needn’t apologize to the students and don’t even acknowledge the still-young program. Drs. Pamela Osnes and Trevor Stokes will succeed without the ABA program at USF and will be treated with more gratitude and respect elsewhere.

My concern is for the children and the mentally disabled citizens of Florida where behavior analysis makes its biggest impact. Disregard your students and faculty, but don’t ignore the effects of your self-serving decisions.

Jenny Van Horn is a second-year master’s student in the Program for Applied Behavior Analysis.

SG’s handling of case undemocratic

Student Government has once again let down the very students it claims to represent. The disqualification of Mike Mincberg and Christi Clements is a corrupt, undemocratic act. It is insulting for SG to claim that USF students are not able to tell the difference between the two logos. The Student Senate needs to impeach the ERC and Supreme Court before they steal this election.

In this country you are innocent until proven guilty. However, we apparently have an SG that disagrees with due process. The members of the court and the ERC have no jurisdiction to convict Mike and Christi of trademark infringement. An SG member prosecuting a candidate for violating the SG trademark, which isn’t even registered, in a court comprised of SG members is an obvious conflict of interest.

If SG thinks Mincberg and Clements are violating trademark laws, then why doesn’t it file charges in a real court? The answer is simple: SG knows that it would get laughed out of a real courtroom with these ridiculous insinuations. Student Government has committed a cowardly act, obviously aimed at knocking the top candidates out of the election. To disqualify a candidate based on allegations sets a horrible precedent.

Further, the tactics shown by the court are questionable at best. On the Wednesday before the trial, the court informed Mincberg and Clements that an attorney could represent them. However, the court cited a statute disallowing legal counsel only moments after the case began, leaving the candidates in a precarious position.

Andrew Read’s behavior has been inappropriate as well. The initial warning he gave Mincberg and Clements for their logo was only two points. He then went back on his word and changed the violation to ten points, which coincidentally is the amount required for a disqualification.

Student Government has failed to reach out to students this year.

However, Mincberg and Clements’ campaign has connected with students and presented a platform so we can elect leaders who will solve SG’s problems.

Ryan Garson is a senior majoring in business.