USF student paper to AAU: Don't let USF in
In a biting "open letter" to the prestigious, invitation-only Association of American Universities, the editorial board of USF's student newspaper is urging the 62-university organization to tread carefully before adding USF as a member.
USF's recently released 5-year strategic plan makes working toward AAU membership its primary, overriding goal. UF is the only Florida university now in the AAU.
But the Oracle asserts that administrators want the AAU "to overlook certain aspects of their institution," chief among them the thin-ranked police department and students' security concerns.
For example, USF is poised to require freshmen from outside Tampa Bay to live on campus, a move toward meeting AAU's requirement that its member institutions be "residential" campuses, with a quarter of students living in dorms.
But, the Oracle tells the AAU, "what you won't see is the dangerous line USF is walking regarding student safety. ...As USF is one of the largest universities in the nation, the administration has a responsibility to its students to provide a safe environment for learning and research, but they seem to keep dropping the ball."
The editorial board sarcastically gives USF officials credit for being "focused" by noting "USF has proved to be incredibly successful at ignoring outcries from local media and politicians who feel the school is unsafe. The talks have dried up and are reportedly nearing an impasse."
The letter ends with this feisty kicker:
"If there is any ray of hope USF can boast about when it comes to its police force, it's that you need not worry about a student being Tasered in front of a major politician, as happened at AAU member University of Florida.Our police force can't afford Tasers."
Read the whole thing here.