Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

I was thrilled to see the article on “The Faculty’s Right for Free Speech” on the front page of The Quad- it showed that someone besides myself realized the insult of Dr. Welch’s sign and had the courage to speak up about it. As a female Bush supporter, each time passing 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 can’t 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’s window. I’m pretty certain that the same people who buy into the currently displayed sign would be outraged. Due to 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 through tuition and taxes to encourage an educational environment that’s diverse and tolerant is entirely inappropriate.
I recently made a visit to the LARC. I was lead to an office covered with “Bush hate,” including a large poster making fun of the President’s verbal slips. This lack of compassion in a remedial learning environment is a disgrace. I’m 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- I’m 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 of 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.*Meghan Coppola

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