Re: Oct 6. commentary “Professors abuse their power with Peace Project”
I found the op/ed by Sean Paroski to be insightful into the purpose behind the Peace Project. However, I do have some comments and thoughts of my own to make on both sides.
To be perfectly honest, I am a liberal. Specifically, I am a hodge podge of political beliefs. Some of them are quite standard in being the usual anti-Iraq war, anti-Bush administration, pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. But others, such as my dislike for the government and the traditional “hands off” privatization (but not the new Christian right) would persuade me to register as a Republican.
Unlike many liberals out there, I am not opposed to the idea of war. There are many circumstances where war can be undeniably justified. With the example of the Iraq war, however, there are also many wars that are unjustifiable.
I must confess that the military is one of my three disliked institutions (the others being the church and the government). The ROTC on the other hand is not something I typically think of as being akin to the military. I think of it more as being half way between that and the Boy Scouts. I didn’t quite grasp the intent behind creating an art piece with peace as it’s theme in front of the ROTC building only because I didn’t see the message that was supposed to be conveyed to them.
What does world peace have to do with the ROTC? Is it the ROTC’s responsibility? How is the ROTC supposed to transform the globe into one giant peaceful commune? Are they really supposed to do that? Is ending world war and conflict what the ROTC are obligated to do? You see, it seems to be a little vague. The ROTC are just a bunch of college kids playing military. They’re not responsible for anything. The organization itself isn’t even based on combat training or experience.
The project probably needed more thought development. But aside from that, the issue which Paroski expressed in his article needs some addressing. I agree that it is probably wrong for a professor to project their own political beliefs on students, but nevertheless I still do not see it as an excuse for the students to not voice any objection.
I don’t believe that their silence is so much attributed to the professor’s ability to intimidate as it is to the student’s lack of self confidence or conviction. That is the real world for you right there. At times you just have to speak up.
Why should the students be afraid to speak up? They can just put it simply and say that they don’t wish to participate in the project because they have different beliefs. What can the professor do? If they oust the student or give them an F, the student should stand up and report the professor’s actions. After all, it is wrong for any professor to do that isn’t it?
When I was in high school there was a teacher who was a real right-winger. He made derogatory comments and ousted students for their opposing beliefs on several occasions. Many angry students and parents voiced their disapproval of this teacher and just last year he was transferred. If a professor wanted me to do a project whose theme was against my belief system, I would protest.