Sun. Jul 3rd, 2022

By the time this edition is printed, it will be Tuesday and the election will have taken place. It is good to know that the campaign is over, and that all of us political activists can finally get some rest. My personal prediction is that Bush wins Pennsylvania in a squeaker and the election overall by a solid margin, but we?ll see. I also must say the last couple of months have been really exciting, especially around here. Statewide, Pennsylvania has a politically diverse group of individuals eager to discuss the issues with college students on both sides.I wish I could say the same about campus, but in the last two and a half months, I was discriminated against more on this campus for being a College Republican than I ever have in my whole life for being an Arab, which is not a lot to say, but I still find it ironic. Discrimination is defined by Princeton University as “unfair treatment” of a person or group on the basis of prejudice.

What adds to this irony is that most of this discrimination came from the faculty and not the students.

Remember, I?m not talking about heated debate, or even yelling at each other on the issues — just downright spitefulness.

A few professors have left me with bad memories. A history professor badgered me because I didn?t know my recruitment table?s permit number, and eventually left echoing “I know who you are,” as if to suggest bad consequences for us. Someone actually did call the police, but they never came.

This is probably because the police, unlike this professor, know that a College Republican recruitment table is not a threat to public safety.

Then there was a biology professor who passed the College Republican table three times only to say loudly, “Shame on you” or just, “Shame.” It is ironic how he probably doesn?t even know who we are, but all he needs to do is see the Republican label and pass judgment. Don?t stop, it gets “better.”

There are even other professors who I don?t even know coming up to me to say, “You?re wrong” and walk away. However, among the many incidents to choose, my personal favorite is the philosophy professor who chose to tell his class that my writing is garbage. But hey, any publicity is good publicity, right?

Anyway, this handful of professors who chose not to debate me or discuss the issues, but instead simply resort to name calling and other ridiculous acts — in my view — chose to be prejudiced.

I?ve no doubt that my writing is provocative, and I?m sure that the left-leaning professors disagree. Paradoxically, I am a student who shares a common goal with these professors:

raising concern about voting and the issues. Amid my activism, I had looked forward to debate and discussion, but instead, I encountered cheap shots from intimidators who are supposed to be educators. It amazes me that individuals who hold such prestigious degrees could be so spiteful.

A different staff member told me that the degrees someone holds only shows what they have done in college, and that degrees in education do not equal degrees in maturity. After my experience on campus this past semester, I find myself forced to accept this. So, I would like to leave these few (and it?s really only a few in my opinion) bad apples with some suggestions.

First of all, if you don?t like what I write in The Quad or what the College Republicans believe, then you and I can have a discussion on that. There is no need to be obnoxious.

Secondly — and this is a golden rule — if you?re not going to say something scholarly (or constructive), then don?t say anything at all, just walk by. This campus has a civility statement that both students AND faculty ought to follow.

In expressing my frustration at a few bad apples, I want to leave you with the point that I don?t view the entire faculty this way, but I do get annoyed when a few professors do something to harm the good name of the faculty overall. I have chosen not to name the previously mentioned individuals out of respect for the WCU faculty, a group of distinguished individuals who, if I didn?t care about, I wouldn?t be writing this. That is the honest-to-God truth.

Yet I also care about fair treatment of students and democracy, with civility on both sides.

Therefore I must speak out, in hope that improvements will be made in the future.

I am going to note the one positive experience that I have had. Keep in mind that this is what democracy on campus is about. This is the way it should be. I had a history professor last semester who reads The Quad. This professor and I are opposites on viewpoints. He and I might spend our lifetimes opposing each others? policies.

So he e-mailed me one day concerning an article I wrote about how the movie “Fahrenheit 9/11” took away the memoriam theme of 9/11 (Sept. 14 issue of The Quad), saying that he read it and wanted to discuss it with me. The e-mail was appropriately titled, “Let?s have a discussion…”

So I went to his office hours and we discussed my piece, and then the professor showed me some of his publications to read. Not only did I get respect, but I felt a sense of fairness and educational value in discussing the issues. Again, I?m not going to mention names, but I will clearly say that this was one of the best educational experiences I have had outside of the classroom and co-curricular programs.

So given this one light in an otherwise dark room, I have chosen to be an optimist on my outlook of academia. I?m confident that civility in faculty-student discussion will remain a prominent piece in election years to come, but it?s up to the faculty: either educate or intimidate.

Anthony Maalouf is a junior majoring in political science with a minor in Spanish.

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