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Letters to the Editor

The Pointe doesn’t care about tenants

Re: “A violation of personal rights?” by Joshua Neiderer, Feb. 8.

The Pointe does not care about its residents. I have lived at The Pointe for two years and have encountered many problems. Their maintenance ethic is nonexistent. My apartment has no towel racks and has been that way since I moved in. My air conditioning was broken for a month. My microwave was broken for more than seven months.

People will enter my apartment frequently and without reason or warning. I keep hoping that they will repair the broken items when they enter, but they have only entered for maintenance purposes twice of the dozens of times they have entered. If you are not there when they enter, they do not leave a notice. The only way I know they entered is that my security alarm has been disabled.

Their “safety checks” obviously are not working. Over the summer, two cars had their windows broken out within a two-week period, and that was just outside of my building. Who knows the total number of incidents across the whole complex over that period of time?

The unsafe environment does not only affect personal belongings, but can cause physical harm to people. My roommate was shot with a BB gun in the parking lot outside our apartment in broad daylight. We had to wait an hour to speak with property manager Jamila Nicholson, and after all that waiting, no investigation occurred. Maybe The Pointe should perform background checks on future residents.

Maybe they should have repaired the broken security gate at the complex entrance instead of having it removed. Maybe they just need to look into other options.

The Pointe is definitely going too far with these searches. It seems they are not for “protection or preservation of the premises …” or for dealing with an emergency situation. When The Pointe changed management last year, I had high hopes that things would improve, but the exact opposite has happened. I urge all students to avoid living at The Pointe. You might save some money, but you will lose your privacy and your safety.

Meghan Mapes is a junior majoring in physics.

A thank you to the University police

It is with great admiration, respect and appreciation that the USF advocacy program would like to acknowledge the outstanding work of the USF Police Department.

On a daily basis, the program is fortunate to witness their unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our community, while at all times maintaining the highest ethical standards of conduct and service. This standard of excellence was never more clearly demonstrated than by the dedication, integrity and care exhibited while investigating and solving the tragic murder of Ronald Stem approximately one year ago.

This terrible tragedy may have gone unsolved were it not for the heartfelt conviction, exceptional diligence, outstanding police work and selfless efforts of the entire department. They were steadfast in their treatment of this case as not simply a job, but a mission, while never losing focus of Mr. Stem throughout the investigation.

Patrol Officers worked around the clock and conducted an amazing 500-plus interviews within a six-day period. Staff with unique expertise in video image enhancement and vehicle identification worked diligently “behind the scenes” to collect valuable evidence, while records, employees and dispatchers tirelessly assisted the investigators.

USF lead investigator Mike Conway, detectives Jeff Collins and Christine Bennett, under the direction of operations commander Capt. Bob Staehle, along with FDLE agent Lee Strope, dutifully put service before self. Drawing on years of investigative know-how, exceptional character and sound judgment, they spent countless hours relentlessly working and solving the case. Their commitment to public service was further evident in the advocacy and support they provided to Mr. Stem’s family and friends, Magnolia residents, and the entire University community.

The USF Police Department went above and beyond the call of duty not just to solve a crime, but to bring justice for Ronald Stem, relief to his family and friends and hope to the USF community.

For your continuous dedication, sense of duty, remarkable work and extraordinary service, we sincerely thank you.

Cheryl Fitzpatrick is the Interim Program Coordinator of the USF Advocacy Program.