Letters to the editor

No need for tabloid coverage

I am a frequent reader and admirer of Daily Trojan news coverage. Daily Trojan news stories— for example, the recent feature on USC’s new fundraising campaign and the article on Cindy McCain’s involvement with the Rossier School of Education — often focus on subjects important to the USC community. The Daily Trojan has developed a reputation for real news coverage of important events on and off campus.

As such, I was surprised and disappointed to see the headline of the Aug. 31 paper — “Parties pushed to 901 bar, West 27th.”

I thought the Daily Trojan concerned itself with issues more important than the weekend fraternity/sorority social scene.

Quite frankly, I don’t read the Daily Trojan to find out whether parties took place on West 27th Street or West 28th Street.

Headlines like that are fit for a gossip newsletter or a social tabloid. USC is an important American research university that takes itself very seriously.

It deserves a newspaper that takes itself seriously as well.

I hope that in the future the Daily Trojan will focus its news coverage on the sort of important issues that it has covered so well in the past.

Isaac Weitzhandler

Senior, chemical engineering

Parking laws not enforced

I believe I speak for many clients of USC Transportation-Parking in complaining about scofflaw SUVs.  At any given time, my estimates suggest, as much as 10 percent of “Compact Cars Only” parking spaces are occupied by large pickups, vans, and especially SUVs.

Today it was a “Yukon” obstructing not only its own but an adjacent “compact” space as well with its decidedly non-compact bulk — driving me up another two levels to find a truly empty space.

Yesterday it was a “Tundra” that I squeezed my Honda Civic alongside — able to disembark only by crawling over the stick-shift to the passenger side and squeezing out a partially opened door.

Officers are quick to ticket for a missing or improperly displayed permit, but routinely ignore SUVs in “Compact” spaces.  USC Transportation’s General Parking Rules caution against misuse of “Reserved” or “Carpool” spaces, but say nothing about abuse of “Compact” spaces.

These spaces — like HOV lanes on the highway — exist in order to encourage efficiency and discourage big polluters.

Routinely ignoring violations, then, is tantamount to allowing single-occupancy SUVs in the HOV lane.

At present, USC’s compliance with this supposedly “green” policy is largely token; spaces for compacts are set aside, but anybody can use them.

Let these low-mileage, high-emission, space-hogging beasts park in unrestricted places on the structure’s roof, if none other are available.

Let parking officers enforce all, not just some, of the rules.  If it means some advantage for compacts and inconvenience for SUVs, well, that’s the whole point.

Robert English

Professor, international relations

1 reply
  1. Jett Rucker
    Jett Rucker says:

    ACTUALLY, Dr. English, different-sized spaces in parking facilities have the purpose of, in effect, squeezing smaller vehicles like yours into spaces whose size consumes less of the total space of the facility (in other words, taking advantage of their small size for the benefit of ALL sizes of vehicle, large AND small). They aren’t meant to favor or disadvantage anyone and, when used as intended (not always easy, or even possible), they don’t. That is, not unless one size or another is advantageously placed, as handicapped spaces are.

    This takes nothing away from your point. I just thought I’d offer a corrective to your theory as to the purpose (AND effects) of different-size parking spaces.

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