Honoring the student strike, Kim cancelled class for Thursday, recognizing that not everyone in the class necessarily opposed the war but saying that we should take the time to think about the issue and inform ourselves. She said it’s important to listen to the arguments of, and be sensitive to, other people who disagree with you. She said that anyone who is absolutely sure of their position knows more than she does, ‘cause she doesn’t know everything (because one can never know everything). She also said that education is about moving out of your comfort zone, and i wondered if i have a comfort zone. I’m always problematizing things, having issues with things, coming at things differently than those around me. She also said something like we don’t have the right to be complacent, and i had to take issue with that a little, because i think some people need to avoid issues, for their own emotional/psychological well-being, and i think that’s entirely valid. [Yes, as Allie pointed out, everything is either “valid” or “problematic” according to me -- and sometimes both ;)]
In Soc class on Tuesday we watched the FX docudrama The Pentagon Papers. Watching it reminded me of what i had only known vaguely and intellectually before -- that a lot of the modern distrust of the government comes from Vietnam. Four presidential administrations. Wow; i hadn’t realized it went back that far. But somehow, i think the reality of Watergate and Vietnam and everything have made the government less likely to engage in such conspiracies, knowing the possibility that it could blow up in their faces again. But then, who would ever have thought we would have such infringement upon civil liberties in the name of homeland security, so perhaps i am just naive.
The student strike reminds me in some ways of the preppy guy who spoke at the War Resisters of America thing at Haverford College in 1969 in the movie. He said he was your basic born-with-a-silver-spoon kid, but that he was going to go to jail because he opposed the war. He said he didn’t want to register as a conscientious objector and be brushed off as some dilettante dabbling in ideology, that he was going to go to jail, which would mark him for life and prohibit him from attaining such high positions as he had always been expected to attain, but that he would wear that mark with pride. My understanding of conscientious objector status is that it’s something of a process, otherwise anyone wanting to avoid the draft for any old reason would claim it, but perhaps i’m wrong or perhaps it was easier back then. But my major thought was that he is wealthy and privileged and therefore that black mark won’t hurt him much. Not only is this something of a class issue in that people in a lower class who had more going against them would be more hurt by such a black mark but he will still go on and be successful, but while people over in the war area are fighting and dying and suffering. It’s essentially a make believe sacrifice he’s making. And writing about it now it reminds me of all that “I’m more oppressed than you. ... Look, see, I was discriminated against too. ... I have more [insert subculture adjective here] cred that you. ... etc.” crap. Go out and DO something, don’t just make a statement. No, that’s too simplistic. Making a statement is good. But be careful how you do it. Go for effectiveness over ego-stroking.
Offices of the College send all-college e-mails, but student orgs use their own mailing lists and often utilize the phonemail system (send a message to the HPs and have them forward it out to the members of their respective houses) as well as of course flyering/chalking the campus. Smith anti-war students have frequently sent mass e-mails advertising protests and related events recently.
I don’t think i actually have a copy of the Smith Student Handbook, but a Jolter says that on page 30 it forbids the use of college e-mail for “canvassing,” and it makes sense to me that the college policy would be something like that.
That's what we need! A walkout to protest inappropriate use of Smith email. Who's with me?
we are in the middle of war, people are dying, business cannot go on as usual. If this means "abusing" the college's e-mail list then so be it, i am in total support of these people.
Ah, let’s break the law (or, in this case, college rules) because we are at war. That’s always such a good idea.
And of course it’s a slippery slope, because if people can mass e-mail asking people to oppose the war, then surely supporters of the war should be able to counter, and oh, it could become like those zinesters list “discussions” of old. (Sadly, offbalance will be the only who gets this analogy.)
That was the Jolt this morning, and so far this afternoon 3 people utilized the “reply all” on last night’s mass e-mail.