FORUM: Grand opening?

Reopening a rash move by administration

Hilary Corgey

I was one of many Houstonians without power and phone service for several days. My area had no gas stations open for three days. The only access I had to finding out whether UH was open was a friend who lived out of town, and I had to call him on the only working pay phone in the neighborhood.

Many other students shared the same problems, and many were in worse situations. It was an insult to open UH during a time of crisis where ice was invaluable, the entire city was virtually shut down and a curfew was in effect.

UH President Renu Khator said she wanted to return students to a sense of normalcy. Nothing is normal when the power is out and one has no access to the rest of the world, especially when thousands of other students share the same problems. Nothing is normal when the gas lines are worse than the 1970s oil crisis and police officers are stationed at the gas pumps to ensure public order.

I would gladly have made up days toward the end of the semester, when there will be gas and power and most city lights are functioning, so I will not have to worry about getting into a car accident or whether I’ll have to stand in an hours-long line for food, ice or water.

Shame on the administration for being so indifferent to the plight of students.†

Corgey, a political science senior, can be reached via [email protected]

Campus concerns miss the bigger picture

Joshua Delano

On one hand you could label the University’s handling of the situation as foolhardy and say they were being too ambitious by re-opening campus. Others could say that keeping campus closed would have prevented access for the many who needed to bathe, use the Internet, phones and other amenities.

However we choose to spend time grumbling about how we should’ve or could’ve done things differently, everyone knows the old cliche that hindsight is 20/20. Instead of wasting time talking about what ifs, how about we drop the tone of regret and embrace the very undertone of our society and strive for progress to make the situation better? Is it more valuable to blab on about mistakes or spend the money or time on a study analyzing how we could’ve done things differently, or should we just fix the problem?

The University administration, like any administration, must weigh cost as well as the benefits of opening or remaining closed. They made the right decision to open as soon as possible, while understanding students’ situations and hardships by making allowances and moderating the semester schedule. Everyone’s semester will be affected, but that doesn’t mean we need to make the process of picking up the pieces more difficult.

Instead, pick up a hammer, donate clothes or food, volunteer your time and above all pray for and be kind to your neighbor.

Delano, a political science and history senior, can be reached via [email protected]

Act ignored primary concerns of community

Alana MousaviDin

The short answer to this question is a hard and fast "No." By suggesting faculty, staff and students risk so much to get to campus, UH President Renu Khator lost many precious brownie points she worked so hard to earn.

We all suffered some type of loss from Ike, and many will continue to feel those losses. In no way did UH make students feel their families and homes were of importance, but instead, we were pressured to get things "back to normal" more quickly than humanly possible.

The parking lots were and still are a big mess. Signal lights are out, adding to the frustrating traffic. The student parking lot off Elgin Street is now a temporary home to construction and clean-up contractors. Did anyone take into consideration where students that usually fill those spaces were going to park?

Attendance was low, and thankfully not counted, but having our campus tell us we had to come back so quickly put more pressure on us than we could handle. Emotions were so highly-strung around UH last week, you could almost smell the frustration in the air. Perhaps that was due to the fact that so many of us couldn’t even shower. Either way, last week stank!

UH students, faculty and staff will never forget Ike, nor will they forget Khator’s decision to reopen so early, but one hopes this lemon will not prove as sour as we think.

MousaviDin, a communication junior, can be reached via [email protected]

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