Letter to the Editor


A foundation of this country, a fundamental right and ideal that thousands of Americans have died for and thousands more risk their lives to support is freedom.

Being a citizen of the U.S., we have the right to freedom, in all its forms: freedom of religion, speech, the press, expression and assembly. With these rights comes the responsibility to understand the fine line in expressing one’s own beliefs and asserting them onto another person, let alone on an entire class or campus.

After reading the foolish remarks made by Edie Pistolesi, I would be remiss if I did not retort. First off, this art project was a politically driven assignment in a class. I can almost guarantee that had nothing to do with politics.

My good friend, who wishes to remain nameless for fear that her grade might be altered, felt that she had no ability in voicing her opinion against this project. As students, though we have the right and ability to disagree with a professor’s subject matter, many of us refuse to for fear that our grade and GPA will be at stake.

I asked my friend after reading the article if she was forced to contribute to it or if she had a choice to abstain. She replied that “we weren’t given an option and I was under the impression that it was mandatory.” She added that “the art project (at first) wasn’t presented as anything political, just that we were transforming G.I. Joes. But it later became clear that there was a political undertone.”

When Pistolesi attempted to defend her project with the excuse that “students had the ability to voice their opinions (in class),” it defended nothing. Her project had an obvious political message, one that her students and the students in other participating classes were tied to whether they agreed or not. She chose to display her art project with a lack of taste and the utmost disregard.

Pistolesi has every right to defend herself and her art project, but when she resorts to using ad hominem attacks, she does nothing to support her stance on peace and only vilifies herself.

Being a professor in the university system gives a person a certain level of power along with the title, a level of power that should never be abused. When there is an instance where even the slightest possibility of an abuse of power has occurred, it is imperative to investigate the concerns of students until it has been redressed.

I am thankful that Pistolesi is facing an investigation. If no action was taken, then I would have to make my own miniature figures in support of an inquiry.

Jessica Peterson

junior Criminal Justice major