University action misplaced

Jake Tapley

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If you picked up last week’s issue of this paper, I’m sure you’re familiar with the various stories that made the front page news; but, let me jog your memory.

There was a story about electronic cigarettes and the university’s lack of taking action against them. Another story was about the state bill concerning same-sex marriage and how the university was not taking a neutral on the matter.

Am I the only one who found it odd that the only front page article demonstrating the possibility for university action was the one about the woman who had dressed up as Hitler for Halloween?

Needless to say, we’ve got our priorities wrong.

Not only does this woman not deserve university action against her – she is affiliated with USI rather than employed – but, she is not, and could not, be affecting nearly as many people as either of the other two issues. In fact, the only way she could negatively affect so many people, hypothetically, is if – oh, I don’t know – everyone blew it out of proportion and made a big deal out of something that was intended to be a more private affair.

Even if the pictures were on Facebook, they were still only seen by a considerably small group of people. It should be her decision to decide if the pictures were appropriate for that group. The university shouldn’t be able to take that from her.

Moreover, if she wasn’t representing the university and doesn’t work for USI, then she shouldn’t be asked to answer to the university.

Maybe the pictures were offensive. I don’t know because I haven’t seen them.

What I have seen is people smoking electronic cigarettes on campus when we have policies in place that prohibit them from doing so. If my math is correct, this is an issue that could be affecting approximately 11,000 people. We need to do something about it.

I can also think of several people, off the top of my head, who care deeply one way or another about the HJR-6 bill and don’t feel that the university not taking a stance is representative of our institution, or of the students that it represents.

I agree with university action. I just think it’s been misplaced.

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