Letters to the Editor

Declaring not possible when not permitted
Re: “Have you declared yet?” April 7

There is a new policy requiring students to declare their majors after a certain number of credits, and if not declared, they will have holds on their registration process. This policy, however, does not seem consider students who cannot declare their major unless they are first accepted into a school like the School of Business, the School of Nursing, or the School of Mass Communications.

I am a freshman trying to get into the School of Mass Communications, and cannot declare it as my major unless I get accepted first. However, in order to get in, a student must attain several requirements including taking an English Diagnostic Test.

The new policy says you must have declared your major by the time you have 45 credits. With all the requirements a student must accomplish before entering, it may take more than the amount of time it takes to gain 45 credits to get in.

The purpose of this policy is to help students graduate in four years and to get them to use the advising system. However, putting registration holds on students will only delay them in getting the classes they need. Perhaps we can find another way to deal with this.

I really hope the academic board takes into consideration those students who must be accepted into a school before declaring a major.

Haya Radwan is a freshman majoring in mass communications.

Speakers should portray both sides
Re: “British reporter ‘disappears’ behind burqa to cover war” March 31

I heard about the 7 p.m. lecture given by British reporter Yvonne Ridley through WUSF announcements. I was particularly interested in going because of its advertised description. I expected to hear from a woman with a desire to encourage peace in hope of discouraging the type of hate that has created an enduring Middle East conflict.

She reports for The Sunday Express and went to Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 tragedy to interview people living there under Taliban rule. Her story was one I appreciated because it was unlike any I had heard before.

It was wonderful to hear that the Taliban were respectful to her, because the news focuses on mostly the negative. Just as was indicated in The Oracle, she had expected the worst when she was taken as a prisoner by the Taliban, yet she came out unharmed and more appreciative of the people that had fed her, sent a doctor to check on her when she would not eat and even provided her with cigarettes.

Ridley was freed on humanitarian grounds and thus respected those who she had met enough to convert to another religion and lecture about her unexpected experience. If the story had ended there I would have been satisfied, but instead, Ridley shared opinions that were completely one-sided and only spoke from the tragic perspective of the people she interviewed when in Afghanistan.

In a war, people lose many loved ones and that should be incentive enough for why it needs to stop; otherwise a continuous cycle of deaths-anger-vengeance-deaths will never end. She did not speak about suggestions for a peace process or even as if she wanted peace.

I was perturbed that they allowed a person to come and speak to such a large crowd of people when her words only incited conflict and not camaraderie. Misunderstandings can easily occur when a speaker gives a lecture and is one-sided. I want to make everyone aware that there are two sides to an issue. Hopefully people will realize that only one side should pertain to this one and that is the side for amity and no more tragedy.

Alisa Hamilton is a sophomore majoring in psychology.

Law doesn’t care about homeless ‘wellness’
Re: “‘Do-gooders’ not above law they protest”

After reading Jon Mishner’s letter, I had a double take when I read that he was majoring in wellness. I am not exactly sure what this major entails, but it is obvious he is missing the boat when it comes to the majority of homeless people.

Most people who are homeless don’t choose to live in squander and not know where their next meal is coming from. A great percentage of the homeless suffer from differing chemical imbalances. It is difficult to “educate them a little” when they are hearing and seeing things that don’t exist. It’s difficult to motivate someone to get a job when they are suffering from a bipolar disease that doesn’t allow you to be motivated enough to keep yourself clean.

If Mishner would take the time to look at , he would read that according to our government, about one-third of the homeless on the streets have served our country in the military.

The Web site states that 45 percent of these veterans suffer from mental illness, including post-traumatic stress syndrome. With the amount of troops now serving in Iraq, it is inevitable that more will be destined to this type of lifestyle.

Mishner’s writing espouses views that are similar to the view that Republicans have on the homeless. If he is a supporter of the President, then what sacrifices is he making in this so-called “war on terrorism?”

Many say they support the troops, but when they come home after fighting for us and making the ultimate sacrifice, so many like Mishner not only don’t want to help feed them they sound as if they don’t want to see them.

The audacity for Mishner to write that anyone who takes the time to help feed a homeless veteran — as the statistics suggest — should be arrested is not only naïve, but largely ignorant for someone majoring in wellness.

Michael Scholl is a senior majoring in chemical engineering.