Healthy debateAs of right now – midnight on March 27 – there is a phenomenon occurring right here on campus. On the fourth floor of Lovejoy Hall, a debate has broken out regarding the war in Iraq. Now, I know that debates on this topic are occurring all over the campus between individual students and teachers, but what I am speaking of is the true statement of free speech.
In my two years here, most times when something of an opinion contrary to the opinions of others was posted, it was torn down. This has become a sort of tradition here at the UR, a stifling of free expression of ideas, whether favorable or not.
This tradition has ended. Around four days ago, the occupant of a dorm put up his opinion against anti-war protesters on his door. Initially it was torn down – like some many others – but when he put it back up, instead of it being torn down again, it was responded to by someone else.
This dissenting opinion was followed by a counter-opinion. Now, we have eight feet of wall space covered with opinions from the original two people plus others who have added opinions from different perspectives, both conservative and liberal.
What this brave occupant of Lovejoy 4 has done was willingly expose himself and his opinion to public criticism and then allow that criticism to stay right where it was posted. This – the free exchange of ideas without the fear of retribution – is what this country is about. I predict more shall be added in the coming days and I hope that more people will join in. Perhaps now we can reverse the shame that has befallen this campus regarding the repression of the freedom of exchanging information.
-Michael NewmarkClass of 2005
Dumbing of AmericaMichael Moore appeared at UR to a packed house. As a UR student in the ’60s, I witnessed the inane/profane rantings of Jerry Rubin at that same Strong Auditorium.
Although I was young, naive and impressionable, somehow I mustered the sensibility to see through the socialistic and violent rhetoric he brought to campus. As I recall, one of his statements included the admonition to forsake – actually, I believe he used the word “kill” – our parents and the establishment.
You know, not one of those pampered students, fully funded by those same parents, took his advice. There was, however, pompous indignation, sit-ins, promiscuous sex and drug use in the dorms – and a lot of it. Most thought themselves quite gifted intellectually and otherwise.I would gladly debate the illogical, anti-American and ill-informed conclusions of Mr. Moore – anytime, anywhere. His rhetoric is full of speculation and half-truths. His personal demeanor may amuse some. It sickens me. Such strong words seem evil coming from a baseball capped, overweight wise guy.
His accusations are strong. Mine are just as strong. His statement implied that the lightweight Dixie Chicks or the Pope’s opinion are the last word in truth. I might add I am Christian, but no fan of the Pope and I love music, including fiddle/bluegrass, but am no fan of the mediocre musicality of the chicks.
Thank God I escaped the lowerarchy, depravity and stupidity of most of the speakers that are held in high regard at institutions such as UR. Yes, thank you, God. I am most thankful to have left UR and received a full education elsewhere. I now seek educators who exhibit intellectual and moral integrity.
I see that UR hasn’t changed much. And to think that at the time I was a student there, I was worried I was the crazy one.
Now, here’s an alumnus letter I challenge you to print. You’ve given Moore a forum. I await your willingness to afford one to me.
As he stated, we have an obligation to air our views. Your denial of mine will reveal if you truly honor Moore’s admonition.
-Arlene Whittingham, rnAlumnas
D-Day about funUR is supposed to be based on diversity. We have dozens of student organizations based on the concept of inclusion, trying to bring acceptance while their very nature divides students into neat little groups. If diversity existed, the school’s administration would not have to support divisive race-based affirmative action in admission policies. In spite of the effort that goes into bringing students together, there is only one thing that this university does which succeeds. I am speaking of the campus tradition of D-Day.
The entire year, people work and push themselves to be successful. They join groups and speak their minds. They learn and they do and they press forward as they become more concerned with their own exclusive world. D-Day is the one day where people forget all of this. It is not some run of the mill frat party – it is a celebration that truly everyone is welcome to join.
On D-Day I am not a history major, I am not a Republican, I don’t have a paper due on Monday and I won’t be attending a discussion on gun violence. On D-Day I am a 20 year old who just wants to have fun. You can see friends you haven’t talked to since freshman year, hear live music, ride carnival rides and interact with people that you wouldn’t think twice about walking past normally.
Everyone is friendly on D-Day, and it is a huge event that many look forward to. The administration is seeking to give D-Day a purpose, but its purpose is it’s youthful pointlessness. I don’t want to go to a school where fun has to have an ideology.
-David PascoeClass of 2005