Volume 91, Issue 76

Thursday, February 12, 1998



Shocked and surprised

Re: A time and place, Feb.3

To the Editor:
I would like to voice my concern about certain comments made by Kevin Shultz in his letter regarding the protest that occurred during the Israeli Day of Independence celebration. Upon reading his letter, I found myself overcome by two very different sensations; the first of which was a sense of amusement. The amusement that I experienced was a result of Mr. Shultz, a Philosophy MA, resorting to a "clever" ad hominem attack (which could be summed up as celebration day envy) on the student who staged the protest.

This laughable assumption aside, it is the cause of my feeling of shock that is the real reason for my writing this letter. In his letter, Mr. Shultz states that "in a democratic society like ours, everyone should be able to express his/her political views, but a university campus is simply not the proper place to do it." To this I say "What better place could there be to express these, or any other, views?" I say this for a few reasons, the first of which is because it has always been my understanding that a necessary component of a person's intellectual growth is being exposed to any number of varying ideas, even those that are controversial or contradictory to one's existing beliefs. And seeing as how universities are incubators for the intellect, stimulating this sort of growth, these views should be welcomed by all.

My second reason for feeling this way is precisely because there is an abundance of contradictory views existing on any given campus. The result of this is that if one forwards an asinine opinion, there is opportunity for people through rational discourse to expose it for what it truly is, much as is happening here.

The final reason for me feeling this way is that students (the very entity of a university) are a political force. This was evidenced in the recent Day of Action protests, National Student Debt Day and our very own USC elections. Therefore, I am dumbfounded to hear someone like Mr. Shultz say that none of these things, due to their political nature, have a place on a university campus.

It is my sincerest hope that when writing this letter that Mr. Shultz did so as a satire. If it was intended as such, I apologize for the way that I attacked it. But if it wasn't, I am truly shocked.

Robert Cranford
Hons. Philosophy II

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Copyright The Gazette 1998