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Letters: Campus e-mail not for ‘political talk’

Last week an e-mail on campus-l stirred a bit of interest. The subject line “Talking Politics.” The message proceeded to identify two ranking members of the same political party and proclaimed that the “speakers will be discussing the importance of voting and becoming involved in the political process.” It’s called getting out the vote.

Now, not one person reading the e-mail expected that the dialogue would be seeking a bipartisan consensus on the lofty democratic ideals of the American constitution. We were just supposed to wink and nod.

I made two private inquires and one member of the campus community made a public inquiry about this political use of public resources. All three inquiries received the same response ... “The e-mail was legal.” So somehow naming the event something other than what it was, made the event legal.

According to that rationale, a student can keep a pet in the dorm if it is called a paperweight instead of a pet. A rose (or other) by any other name smells the same.

As I understand it, Philosophy 160 is to be deleted from the list of required courses. Perhaps in its place we could offer “Legal Loop Holes — Essential syntax for getting around the laws that place limits on you.” We could label it Life Skills 101. Any department want to sponsor this?

But seriously, if “being legal” is the yardstick for behavior in our campus community, we are moral pygmies. This campus community should teach a profound respect for the law, not how to circumvent the law. Only as we treat each other in an upright and forthright manner will this campus reach its highest potential.

Anthony Harmon Department of Chemistry Martin