Letters to the Editor

I want to express how impressed I was with your coverage surrounding the death of USF student Rachel Futterman. In times when promising journalists compete for leading stories and big headlines, it pleases me to know that students who write for the Oracle do not succumb to the pressure of getting the big headline for the sake of sensationalism.

Local television stations reported that Rachel had passed on Sunday evening, Sept. 23, when in fact, it was not true. Rachel passed on Monday morning and the Oracle was the one newspaper that got it right. More importantly, though, was the sensitivity to the needs and concerns of her family and the entire USF community in reporting the story correctly.

Kudos to the Oracle for responsible journalism.


Dr. Kevin Banks

Dean for Students

Tickets to Bulls’ home games are a very hot commodity. It has become obvious (from the never-ending line around the Sun Dome on Sunday) that the demand is far greater than the supply.

I’m not writing this opinion to complain, but rather to discuss a way that could be used to fairly distribute the available student tickets for each home game. It may be too late in the season to try new methods of distribution, but it doesn’t hurt to start planning for next year. The method I think would be best to distribute tickets – and is used at UF and FSU – is a lottery system.

The tradition of both the UF and FSU football programs are much older than USF, so it would be a good idea to look at their methods, rules and policies for student ticket distribution. USF students can learn from what they have done and are doing, and the fact that both of these programs use a lottery-based system for student ticket distribution tells me that maybe that’s the direction USF needs to look in the future. I don’t know the exact details of how these lotteries are performed, but I do know that USF has all of the proper technology and man-power to make it happen.

Here is one idea of how USF could implement the lottery: Every student has a U number (student ID number). Students’ U-numbers will be the lottery ticket. If students want to go to the next home game, they would simply go to a specific Web site and input their U-number, password and whatever else was necessary to register for the lottery.

Maybe there could even be deadline for when students could register for each game – perhaps the Sunday before every home game.

So, on the Sunday before every home game, instead of thousands of students showing up and waiting in line for hours – rather than studying or actually enjoying one of their few breaks in the week – students would be pre-registered for the lottery online.

That Sunday evening, the lottery drawing would take place. Students could return to the specific lottery Web site later and input their information again to see if their U-number was selected. If their number was selected, then that student would schedule a time to pick up their ticket, between Monday and Wednesday, during regular ticket office hours.

If they didn’t pick up their tickets by Wednesday, those tickets would be placed back in a pool for the second tier lottery winners (which also would be drawn and announced Sunday). Those students who made the second tier lottery would know they were second tier when first checking to see if they won the original lottery. Thus, by Wednesday, they would know that they would have first dibs on the tickets that were not taken by the original lottery winners.

This is just one idea of how we could more fairly distribute the home game tickets. Obviously there are a lot of factors that would go into the creation of a lottery. But major college football programs like FSU and UF already use a lottery system, and I’m sure that they have gone through the same growing pains (but good pains) that USF is experiencing. I hope the athletic department – or whoever makes the decisions for tickets – will look into the lottery system, because USF fever – and the ticket frenzy that comes with it – has only just begun.

Dan Wiberg is a senior majoring in anthropology.