I am a proud alumnus of Tennessee State University, College of Engineering. My experience with TSU financial aid was completely different from what was depicted in the story "A Dream Deferred" (Nov. 13). I had a great relationship with my financial aid advisor and was always prepared at the beginning of each semester with funding and tuition for school.
There are several things that may be working against TSU and other universities at this time (economy, rising tuition costs), but the most prevalent may be the dissemination of information to students and their families prior to pursuing higher education. Students are being sent to universities often unprepared, and at many times by no fault of the parent; many students at TSU may be first-generation college students with parents who have little experience with systems of higher education. I believe it's difficult to expect an 18-year-old student, away from home for the first time, to negotiate thousands of dollars in financial aid, especially with unknowledgeable parents. Luckily, my parents took it upon themselves to seek out advisors such as my financial aid counselor and other local resources to help them help me prepare the information I needed. In subsequent years/semesters, I knew exactly what to submit and how to submit it in a timely manner. Therefore, the efficiency of service (TSU financial aid counselors) may be a direct reflection of the efficiency of the customers. (Try returning something you've purchased to a retailer without a receipt, and I bet you the transaction is not as simple as if you would have had one.) In short, students and parents, please have all of your "tigers" in a row prior to crying foul in the financial aid office.
Despite this, the Scene could have made the point it needed to make without depicting TSU as an institution with malevolent staff and lackluster campus facilities. As with anything, there are pros and cons. At TSU, the family atmosphere, caring faculty and staff (I still keep in contact with many of my professors), rich history and affordability outweigh the cons. So next time, please spend some moments highlighting the pros, and let the cons be nothing but the facts.Tifinie Adams
This is Tennessee. We vote for any person who will look out for rural white people ("White Out," Nov. 13). We do not care if this person is black or white. We are not racist—not even remotely close to it. We, like any other American, look out for our own kind. We would surely vote for someone like Clarence Thomas, who is black, over a Bill Clinton, who is white, in any election year.
Yes, we did not vote for Obama. This was not because he is black. It was because he might not be as close to our fears as we would like him to be. Anyway, our brothers and sisters who are African American in Tennessee voted for him and we now stand firmly behind him as one of the best people to lead our nation and the world. I for one support Obama.Robert Snider
Obama not built Ford tough
I know you're an intelligent guy ("White Out," Nov. 13). But you are flat wrong about Obama losing Tennessee because of race. Tennessee would have elected any number of darker-skinned candidates (Watts, Rice, Powell come to mind), but many voters (my ticket was a solid purple) would not vote for Obama's liberalness, even if he were white.
Surely the Democrat party can come up with a better excuse than racism—that's the easy way out. To decide we're all racists because we didn't vote for their guy—please! They'll want our votes next time around, won't they? Obama came in for a debate, but didn't bother to campaign here. (Taking Bredesen's advice? Not a brilliant move.) I voted for young Ford despite his family baggage. Ford did not gush liberalness. Ford almost won. The party should bear in mind that insulting those who didn't vote for Obama with the whiny racism cry will get the party nowhere in the future, especially if it wants those votes.Kelly
Me talk pretty one day
This makes me sick ("White Out," Nov. 13). Tennessee did what they thought was right for America. I am Jewish. Al Gore lost because of the hate for Jewish people. There is a whole lot more anti-Semitism than anti-black in this world.
Blacks, get over it. We will support Obama if he is a true American, not because he is black. I love black people, but don't make something on racism. We need together, not apart.Frank
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