As a nation that cherishes the First Amendment, it is vital for us to express our views in order to let the leadership know what we want.

Whether or not people agree with the war, it is truly positive sign that UR students are organizing protests for both viewpoints – perhaps we are not as apathetic as we are so often portrayed. People, however, need to express themselves in a respectful manner so that their method does not detract from their arguments.

Last weekend, stop signs across campus were spray-painted, making them read “Stop war.” This is may be valid statement, but it vandalizes private property. Each sign will cost around $55 to clean.

This act shows blatant disregard for fellow students, as this money comes directly out of their pockets. It also discredits the anti-war movement, as one cannot champion the rights of others abroad without respecting the rights of citizens at home. A protest for peace must use peaceful means while remaining in the realm of the law.

There are plenty of ways to protest without being destructive, many of which have already been utilized. Posters, banners, demonstrations, editorials and vigils are all productive ways of getting the message across without harming anyone.

The person or people responsible for this act of vandalism should come forward and offer to pay for the clean up in order to prevent further damage to their cause.

Sadly, this act of vandalism is only one of many similar incidents to occur on campus in recent months. Posters have been ripped down from walls or otherwise defaced, and thefts are commonplace at UR.

When, for example, the Student Activities Office renovated the Pit in order to improve the atmosphere, someone attempted to steal a planter the same night they had been placed there.

The residence halls are an even better example of the fundamental lack of respect for fellow students and various people’s properties on campus.On weekends especially, the elevators in Towers are battle zones. It is not uncommon to see puddles of beer and uneaten food covering the floors, along with posters that have either been removed or purposely defiled. Currently, the Anderson Vending Corperation is considering removing the soda machines in the tunel beneath Towers due to excessive vandalism.

These are not trival matters. Opinions should be expressed, above all, with respect so that people will take them seriously. Protests are fine, but nobody’s opinion will be changed by destroying property.

Schnee can be reached at cschnee@campustimes.org.



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