A hoard of uniformed offic-

ers entered a building

then scoured rooms seizing contraband. A scene from Iraq? No, a scene at a fraternity house before the holiday.

Enforcement of sanctions caused the house raid, the administration will say – an alcohol violation.

Soldiers risk their lives daily to give Iraqis what we hold dear – freedom – an interesting concept on a private university campus today. Once a bastion of intellectual discourse where long-haired hippies protested a different war, universities now play fast and loose with our constitutional rights.

Where else can Orwellian surveillance cameras monitor random campus walks or your living room? Or student e-mails be reproduced for public dissemination? Or free speech, offensive or not, curtailed regularly?

In history, tragedies have sprung from ideologues enforcing such “right.” With a complacent citizenry watching, some people were treated differently.

Arguably, fraternity boys can be inappropriate, unlike other males ages 17 to 22. Activities I’ve seen at Greek houses could have been at any other campus living area. Will the upperclassmen living centers be next?

And then what? Will someone sue the university over a pregnancy or a revelation of a child’s sexual orientation? Will the school decide sex is “illegal” and monitor student rooms for premarital relations? Perhaps confiscate condoms?

Isn’t part of college supposed to be maturing and transitioning from kids to adults?

The experience I sought – one with the freedom to learn from my mistakes and triumphs – was taken away by the school’s fear of legal liability.

How ironic that as the fun was drained out my college experience so was the value of my degree. Maybe social scenes play a part in development of adults.

When I arrived here, the College of Arts and Sciences was ranked among the nation’s top 30 colleges. Now, despite reforms, or possibly because of them, we have slipped.

As we idly watch, UR will be reformed into the administration’s utopian vision. As long as everyone sheepishly follows dictates, the educational experience will be that much “better.”

Students must support each other in these battles. Instead of watching fellow students singled out for special treatment, find out what is going on and support them to maintain your rights as much as theirs.

I wish everyone here goodbye. Maybe I should have saved myself $150,000 and taken the free ride to the University at Albany.

At least there, maybe I would have kept my freedom.

Dubowsky can be reached at edubowsky@campustimes.org.



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