Letters to the Editor

Minorities proud to be at USF – no last resort
Re: Column, “USF: Black role models wanted” March 24

That’s not fair! I was deeply offended by this column and I am not even African-American, I am Hispanic. But hey, according to Kevin Graham, we also lack role models. Graham’s column states that there are no “notable black or Hispanic graduates (from USF).” This is a harsh statement, and I beg to differ.

Just because our graduates are not on TV does not mean that they are not out there making a difference and are not role models. Graduates of USF are proud, and show it by serving their community. If Graham honestly believes that it takes smashing people’s heads to be a role model, he should whip out his Webster’s Dictionary and look up the word.

That statement adds to his interpretation of what USF is: “a last resort” when other schools won’t accept you. In everyday businesses, in hospitals, etc. — that’s where you will find your role models bearing the bull in their heart! Personally I came to this school because of the prestigious name the School of Business carries, not as a last resort. I am proud to be here.

It is views like this that undermine the great school that USF truly is. To the last paragraph in Graham’s “oh so deep” column — “there is no directory of successful USF grads of color” — he insulted those graduates who worked hard, got a degree and are making a huge difference in our community. At the same time, he has offended those black students (and other minority students) currently working hard for their degrees to make a difference.

It is a sad thing that he said that. To be a role model, you don’t need to be on TV. It is touching one person’s life and encouraging them to do their best that makes someone a role model.

Ana Etcheverry is a sophomore majoring in business.

Wages for bureaucrats waste money at USF

Has anyone ever stopped to take notice that USF is so badly bloated, so incredibly top-heavy with an astronomical number of departmental directors and associate or assistant directors? Why? Can’t the director of a department do his/her job without lots and lots of help?

It seems to me that USF administration excels in incompetence. To any rational thinking person, this situation is a terrible waste of student and taxpayer money. Check out all the “assistant directors” over at Athletics; it’s a belly laugh.

No wonder departments are always crying about their budgets. The fat-cat administrators’ super-sized salaries are squeezing the budget dry, leaving only the small morsels for the students, faculty and staff. What a joke.

Bill Abresch Jr. is a USF alumnus.

Commendable support rendered for Haiti

It is really good to see students at this university take time from their hectic schedules to develop programs to contribute a little to those in need. Haiti is in a horrible situation right now, and it is comforting to know that there are people here in the United States who care for people outside of the nation.

I hope that our student’s assistance shows other nations around the world that the United States is not all about sending our troops to “invade” on what’s going on in their country. In my opinion, Jean-Bertrand Aristide does not exemplify the qualities of an honorable leader. Before he stepped down from his position as president to keep the best interest of his people in mind, he allowed the people of Haiti to kill each other every-day.

But I am appreciative to know that campus organizations give us the opportunity to contribute some of ourselves without having to go out on a limb to do so. To donate canned goods or first aid supplies is so simple and easy for some of us to do. So, I challenge everyone to always give of themself every once in a while. The smallest thing you do can mean so much.

Samantha Penny is a freshman majoring in biomedical science.

Latino students get support, need more
Re: “The changing face of USF” March 23

My friends and I read the cover story with great interest. Latino students here have been concerned with the issues raised for many years. In 2001 USF received a Kellogg Foundation Engaging Latino Communities for Education (ENLACE) grant. Through this grant, USF and its grant partners are helping Latino Students in local middle schools, high schools, HCC and USF stay in school and attain academic success.

USF and HCC students are involved in tutoring and mentoring the K-12 students and we, in turn, are helped greatly by the ENLACE staff and others they put us in contact with. Through the Federal Work/Study Program, I work in the Student Support Services office and I have seen firsthand how Latino students are being served by this program on a day-to-day basis.

It was ENLACE and Student Support Services that showed me how to overcome my homesickness. I arrived in the summer of 2002 and thanks to the SSS staff, I found out about ENLACE. Through ENLACE I learned about the Latin American Student Association.

LASA’s concern is where do we (Latino students) go once the ENLACE grant is over next year? Where will incoming Latinos go to get help? The point made by Esque Dollar is on target: We need to have someone we can call upon that can understand our culture, increase our comfort level and relate to us. Student Affairs is beginning to address the need of diverse students.

We do have the office of multicultural activities that is great because it gives students the opportunity to learn about other cultures through events and programs. But where do we Latinos (and other diverse students) go from there when we have problems or concerns we feel only someone of our own background can understand?

My friends and I want to be able to speak to someone that understands the diversity within our culture, someone who knows the difference between a Cuban, Mexican or Colombian and understands the obstacles that Latinos must face. We hope university administrators realize the need to hire more Latinos, as well as Native Americans and Asians, to better serve USF’s growing diverse student body and create an office that truly serves these students who struggle with a sometimes hostile bureaucracy.

Juan Pineda is a sophomore majoring in international studies and president of the Latin American Student Association.

Liberation of Iraq not worth the price
Re: Column, “Free speech, criticism need not resort to name calling” March 25

First of all, I would like to say that I do agree with the fact that Iraqis deserve to be liberated from the cruel debauchery of Saddam Hussein’s reign. However, it bothers me that Adam Fowler’s whole spiel in his column is an exact replica of every other pro-war (propaganda-infested) argument.

That whole column wasn’t necessary. I could have saved The Oracle some room and summarized it in one sentence: America’s invasion of the Iraqis is a benevolent act of concern and anyone that disagrees with it is insensitive to human life. Now, as great as that sounds, we’re forgetting about one small detail. We went to Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction.

I’m so sick of hearing the liberation of Iraq as the main justification for the war. Hussein has been slaughtering his people for 20 years and the U.S. did nothing. But that doesn’t keep people like Fowler from believing that America actually cares about other interests but its own. But hey, what else are you supposed to say when the WMD evidence runs out? The propaganda party begins, and Fowler’s the host! I love when he says, “The real crime is what Saddam did to his people over the years.” I’d like to address him personally and say: “When did you first care about the well-being of the Iraqis?”

Think back five years. Were you trying to expose the tyranny of Hussein’s travesty? Wait, maybe your concern began when you became a Political Science major. That’s probably when you learned the genius of political manipulation. In this case it’s using a human rights argument to justify a war. Wow, Fowler, you’re on the road to becoming a great politician.

Lukasz Sokolewicz is a sophomore majoring in mass communications and is a former Oracle correspondent.