Letters to the Editor
USF handled gun incident well
Re: “Scare leaves students gunshy,” by Joshua Neiderer, April 25.
I would like to applaud USF in their handling of the situation. I believe the e-mail was sent out in a timely fashion considering the situation. The man had been detained with no threat to students, faculty or staff. MoBull Plus was certainly not appropriate in the situation, as it would have caused undue panic. If students had received a text message at 4 a.m. that said, “Man arrested with guns on campus,” what response would they have had?
Off-campus students could do absolutely nothing but be worried about a situation that had already been contained, and on-campus students would be even more worried and wonder if they should evacuate their dorms or barricade themselves in their rooms. All it would have caused is panic.
I understand that after the shootings at Virginia Tech, people believe that universities need to do a better job in informing students of potentially dangerous situations. But you have to look at each situation individually and consider the impact of causing a mass hysteria if incomplete information is relayed to students too quickly. This did not have the same circumstances as what happened at Virginia Tech. Therefore, it should not have been treated the same.
For one, this incident happened when almost everyone was sleeping, meaning that no one would have had direct contact with the man. Also, Leatherman was parked in the University Police parking lot asleep, which does not indicate that he was trying to shoot anyone. Most importantly, no shots were ever fired, whether by Leatherman or by the University Police. Considering these circumstances, one cannot expect USF to send out a University-wide text message that is supposed to be used for emergencies only.
Perhaps the email could have been sent out earlier in the day, but what did students lose by not knowing immediately after the situation happened? Would their day have been different if they received the email at 7 a.m.?
Amanda Newcity is a junior majoring in biology.
Traffic cameras would save lives
Re: Editorial “A filmed traffic death is still a traffic death,” April 23.
I take umbrage at your editorial regarding traffic cameras. While I won’t argue that there are special interests looking to make money involved on both sides of the issue, I will argue your claim that accidents are unavoidable.
In your editorial, you give an example of a preventable accident: A red-light runner killed a woman’s husband (and soon-to-be father) in an intersection in Bradenton. A red-light runner also seriously injured me, and I believe that these “accidents” are indeed preventable.
Each day on the roads in this area I witness many red-light-runners, and it is time for those impatient and dangerous drivers to be held accountable for their actions. It is rare that I see any law enforcement officers in the vicinity of the offense, so those who do run the red lights get off scot-free, that is, until they harm themselves or someone else. Traffic cameras would at least be an attempt to hold those who run the red lights accountable for their reckless and selfish behavior, and sometimes the only way to do so is to hit them where it hurts: the wallet. Maybe after having to shell out some money for their irresponsible driving some of these drivers will change their ways, leaving the roads a little safer for the rest of us.
Azurede Ross is a graduate student majoring in French literature.