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Another Walk Around Campus

I needed a little time to clear my head. With all the political debates and the normal stress of school, I really needed a break. Fortunately, it was a pretty fall day, so I decided to take another walk around campus (once again taking an apple for a snack, and one again forgetting to take my phone so I could get pictures… eh).

I took a similar route to last time, and I also managed to make my snack last until I got to admissions (yay me). The biggest difference from my last walk was that there were now plenty of leaves on the ground, and almost all the trees were different shades of yellow, brown and red. It was a little colder outside, so next time I’ll probably have to bring a heavier coat, but it was still pretty nonetheless.

But the biggest part of this walk was how it helped me clear my mind. I’ve been thinking of a few things I need to do this week, such as getting a paper or two done, registering for classes on the 18th, Monon Week, the list goes on. In a word, I’m stressed. But getting out on campus, seeing all the pretty trees, watching the squirrels run about gathering nuts and other seeds, that really helped. I was able to focus my mind on what I have to do, and now I think I’m ready to get back on track and get to work.

See? Walks help a lot!

Don’t Pee in the Chapel

Don’t pee in the Chapel

This weeks Chapel Talk really reminded me of the greatness of the Gentlemen’s rule. The entire talk, which was given by Dr.Hollander, was about how many stated rules should be a given. A rule such as “Don’t drop the F Bomb in all campus emails” is not a stated rule because no person should be told not to do it. But when a person starts to break untold rules, society has to deal with it by making some dumb laws.

This brings up the “Email Wars” that have been going on all week long. It’s started with disagreements on President Hess’ public announcement to support HJR-6 with President of Depauw.

As students we did not elect President Hess, Trustees and Board of Directors did. The student body elected the S-T-U-D-E-N-T B-O-D-Y president. So as students, there is no basis or point to be upset about his decisions that do not directly effect us.

Easy as that.

He did not take our voice away. As students, we still have our voice and opinions. The evidence is these email wars. I think they are great because they actually allow Wabash students to argue with meaning. Until someone comes around and drops the f bomb. It kinda just kills the mood. Nice that the same guy that dropped the f bomb volunteered to take pies to the face for charity.

 

Get on with it

See, this is why I hate politics; people never know when to just shut up and let the topic drop.

I’m speaking about the dozen or so e-mail wars that have started since my last blog post. Seriously, one email war was enough, but people just decided to drag it out. At this point, I’m actually embarrassed by the email wars. Yes, having ideas and opinions is good and all, but using them as a club to beat “sense” into your opposition does no one any good and does not reflect well on us. We are Wabash Men, for crying out loud! We can do better than blind, knee-jerked flame wars.

Also, another thing I have noticed is that some people, left and right wing supporters each, have used this opportunity to play the victim card and preach their own political views. This did not start out as an argument over whether gay marriage was right or not. It was an argument over whether or not President Hess had overstepped his power and agreed to something without seeing if the student body would support him. And trying to spin that topic off into an argument about gay marriage is both immature and insulting. I thought Wabash men were intelligent enough to stay on topic and construct a valid argument without resorting to “Woe is me! I’m (not) gay and the entire world is out to get me!” You’re not making yourself sympathetic, you’re making yourself annoying. I would expect that kind of argument from a high school cafeteria or Day 1 of Rhetoric 101 at some other college, not at a place like Wabash.

So yeah, I’m angry that we can’t make original, independent and relevant arguments. But now’s not the time to dwell on that. We need to move on.

Zombies before Politics!

Monon week is coming up. We need to be united as a student body so we can go out and beat DePauw. Heck, we need to be united so we can go out and beat Whitman tomorrow. And I’ve got a Zombicide game on Wednesday, and I would rather look forward to that than deal with a bunch of whiny people. There are other things we

 need to focus on, and all of us are suffering because some people just want to focus on old news.

So, in the words of Monty Python:

GET ON WITH IT!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1YmS_VDvMY

My opinions on President Hess’ Decision

As a preface to this blog post, let me just say I have a dim view of all politicians regardless of what color tie they wear. I blame my taste in history.

It used to be that back in the day, politics was fun. You could sit around with your buddies and talk about what was going on, and most of the time the politicians would be honest with you and actually work to get stuff done. There was actually a time where the world owed the U.S. money instead of the other way around (as brief as it lasted; there was an economic crisis soon after).

Now, though, everything’s all about polls and statistics (also what killed the TV industry; Firefly is way better than Two And a Half Men, in my opinion, yet the former was axed half way through its first season while the latter has dragged on for who knows how long and gets stupider every episode). Politicians don’t care about the opinions of the American people any more; all they care about is the opinions of the stockbrokers and investors that keep them in power. Was there a popular vote when Obama considered going into Syria? I don’t think so (note: the last time that the U.S. formally declared war on another nation was World War II). I would probably like politics a bit more if they just asked us a bit more about topics like war, domestic rights, etc. instead of just having some guy who I most likely did not vote for saying that I agree with him when in reality I do not.

Why am I bringing this up? The recent e-mail war.

For those of you not at Wabash, a few days ago President Hess and President Brian Casey of DePauw announced that both institutions were opposed to House Joint Resolution 6, which would recognize marriage as only between one man and one woman. Reception of this news was… mixed, to say the least. This eventually spawned an “e-mail war” with multiple people supporting or opposing President Hess’ decision. I hadn’t checked my e-mail at the time, so I ended up missing most of the conversation (although it was more like a flame war than a conversation; glad I stayed out of it when things got a bit heated).

So now I have a chance to voice my own opinions, and get back to my opener of this post: Was Hess’ decision really based off the opinions of Wabash as a whole, or just the opinions of a few investors wanting to curry favor with a specific group of people? If it’s the latter, I cringe at the stupidity of the move.

I’m not saying I’m some rampaging homophobe, I’m just thinking of logistics. If an institution or company says it supports Side A in a heated topic, then everyone on Side B will become alienated with said institution. That might not seem like a big deal at first, but in the long run think of all the support and money you’re not getting from the people who are favorable to Side B. Think of the prestige and accommodations that you’re not getting from that brilliant student that turned away and went somewhere else because you supported Side A and they didn’t. Think of the merger that your company missed because the other executive did not want to be associated with a group that supports Side A. These examples are a bit extreme, but they are still relevant; contrary to the belief that “all people can get along”, there are many intelligent people who hold those views, and they will distance themselves from those that disagree with them.

Also getting back to my original opener, I had no idea that Hess was making this move until the flame war started. It seems like a pretty important topic to not tell anyone about, and I’m sure there are a few people who would like to discuss whether or not it was a path the college should take. But Hess seems to have ignored that. While I have the utmost respect for President Hess, why does he assume that this decision reflects the feelings of Wabash as a whole? Wouldn’t this have been less polarizing if he had just asked us students what we felt? I think all this could have been avoided if there had been some kind of public debate rather than a snap decision that some of us didn’t even know about.

Fortunately, there have been steps to rectify this; there’s a debate at 8 on Friday, and I encourage any students reading this to go and make your opinions known. I’m no rhetoric major, so I’m sure that the debaters would be able to explain the situation a lot better than I’d ever be able to.

As for my own reply to the resolution of “Wabash, as an entity, should take sides in political issues”, I would say “No, unless you’ve asked the members of the entity what they thought first”. What’s the point of an entity of one guy makes all the decisions without stopping to see if anyone might disagree? I normally stay out of politics and debate such as this, but I just wanted to get this out in the open. Go to the debate; I’m sure it will be a lot more enlightening than what I can say.