Letters to the Editor

Voting too personal for people to talk about openly

I was brought up with the notion that it was uncouth to ask the question “Who did you vote for? ” In 2004, not only is that question asked ravenously after we exit the polls, the answer is followed with either a cry of rejoice or a marked sigh of disgust. Since when did one’s private choice become such a public matter?

I still am weighing the pros and cons of either candidate as Tuesday approaches. And other people’s inquisitions and attempts at swaying my mind have reached an all-time low. I’ve been called “too heartless” to be a Democrat by some friends, and on the very same day been accused of being a “flaming Democrat” by another. The term Democrat is equivalent to, in this case, a stifling racial slur. But when all is said and done, I am not a Democrat at all. Originally I chose No Party Affiliation, but all that changed when I decided to take action and sign a petition encouraging life sentences for repeat sexual offenders. I am now a member of the Republican party, I suppose. But that little paper card still doesn’t soften the blow of reading “Kerry Loves Terrorists” on the USF sidewalk under my feet. The people writing those things may be old enough to vote physically, but mentally I wouldn’t let them choose between chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies. Everyone is behaving badly in this election; I’m not sure if I’m proud enough of my country’s electoral ideals to even vote at this point. What’s my motivation? To be prodded about my selection for the next few months? To be called a “flaming Democrat” for that choice? If that’s the case, all I have to do is show them my voter registration card. That will set them straight.

Aaron Rogge is a sophomore majoring in chemical engineering.

Voting scam continues to trouble students
Re: “USF students rocked by voter registration scam,” Oct. 26

It is an almost weekly occurrence that I come upon somebody outside of Cooper Hall or the Phyllis P. Marshall Center either handing out flyers for something or asking me to sign a petition of some form. Upon reading the article, I am appalled that these people would stoop so low and con people into changing their political party without their consent. When I first heard about this story, it was on a message board on USFBS.com (a non-USF-affiliated web site for use by USF students wanting to communicate and meet new people). It has been a pretty hot topic on these message boards. What is this group’s purpose? Yes, it may result in more registered Republicans on paper, but doing it this close to the election keeps these people from voting.

After reading this article, I know from now on that no matter what, I will never sign any petitions on this campus unless they are approved by the university.

Garrett Konrad is a junior majoring in geography.

Messages on sidewalks cross the line of nuisance

Walking to class, I saw graffiti covering most of the sidewalks surrounding the education building and Cooper Hall. It is a low move by supporters of Bush to force their ideas onto others. Not only is this being done to support Bush, but also for Mel Martinez in front of the dormitory named after his opponent Betty Castor.

It’s nice that the perpetrators are interested in the future of their country, but it is deplorable that they resort to such childish means to push their ideas. The USF student handbook states that, “students have the right to a learning environment free of harassment, discrimination and violence.” While not violent, the graffiti harasses those who dare to differ from what Bush says. The Student Code of Conduct prohibits under Article 2, Offenses, section A, “Destruction, damage, misuse or defacing … on the campus of the University”

I implore students of the university to confront anyone you see defacing this university with disgraceful pro-Bush slogans. I hope the university will take action and clean away the filth. To those who take pride in defacing the campus, you are only hurting your university with your childish actions. All you are accomplishing is making the campus look ugly, stirring up bad feelings, and wasting the couple of dollars you spent on chalk.

Rebecca Meyer is a junior majoring in English and American literature.