To the Editor:
I was thrilled to see the article on “The Facultyʼs Right for Free Speech” on the front page of The Quad. It showed that someone beside myself realized the insult of Dr. Welchʼs sign and had the courage to speak up about it.As a female Bush supporter, each time I pass by the “When women vote, Democrats win” sign in a window of Ruby Jones is a slap in the face. In a misguided attempt at feminism, Dr. Welch is insulting millions of women around the country and hundreds on campus by implying that unless they vote Democrat their input is invalid or worse: misogynistic. This goes against the very feminist values it attempts to uphold, which are encouraging women to think and decide for themselves.
I canʼt help but wonder what backlash would occur if a sign reading “When men vote, Republicans/ Democrats win,” or even “When
whites vote, Republicans/ Democrats win” appeared in a professor ʼs window. Iʼm pretty certain that the same people who buy into the sign that is currently displayed would be outraged. Given the current political climate, it is difficult to publicize a political stance without making others uncomfortable.
While that comes with the territory and life in general, negative campaigning by the teachers we pay to teach without bias and encourage an educational environment that is diverse and tolerant is entirely inappropriate. For example, I recently made a visit to the Learning and Research Center. I was lead to an office covered with “Bush hate,” including a large poster making fun of the presidentʼs verbal slips. This lack of compassion in a remedial learning environment is a disgrace. Iʼm
willing to bet that poster does nothing to encourage a student with a learning disability or one who jumbles their words under anxiety (as
I myself do), let alone make them feel comfortable asking for help.
The right to free speech is wonderful — Iʼm a big fan. Anyone who wants to hang their Kerry, Bush, or Nader signs should go right ahead and feel safe doing so. However, asking a little restraint from teachers to limit their displays to positive campaigning while on campus out of respect for the diversity of opinions of the student body is not too much to ask.
Our country is split enough as is; we should be working to unify, not isolate. Please understand that I am only attributing my initials to this piece not out of shame, but fear of unfair treatment from any of my current or future professors who disagree with the opinions expressed
here. Sadly, that is a precaution I have to take.