UCF has an official student newspaper too, not just a student senate and a student union handy for religious services.
So you may well wonder (I do) if its student editors and reporters will receive threatening letters and risk removal from their campus responsibilities should their coverage or commentary upset powerful Catholics and/or the university administration — and I wonder if it’s occurred to THEM yet, that once even one student is thrown to the dogs by the system, anyone can be.
What do kids get taught by public universities these days, particularly political science, history, journalism (and religion?) majors, about how human power of story plays out in real life? Do they still study the view — whether attributed to Mencken, Dunne or Twain (would they know to care?) — that journalism’s responsibility is “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” or that “the most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos?”
Do they study this cautionary tale? Do they think about meaning and human power of story at all, or just career competition and how to use rules against each other to get ahead? The history of their student newspaper since 1968, and its proud name, “Central Florida Future” suggests reason to hope, but the latter seems sharper and clearer and more real with every morning’s news.
“Let me begin by addressing an issue that’s recently received a great deal of attention and cast a negative light on our efforts within the Student Government,” [Brian] Peterson said.
“The situation involving Senator Cook and the Catholic Campus Ministry is an isolated event and one that has interfered with our true purpose.”
Huh?? What could possibly BE the “true purpose” of their “efforts” in this government incubator, if practical experience handling such difficult human conflicts isn’t it, and indeed interferes with it?
Supporters and opposers of Cook’s actions were present in the audience during the meeting.
Okay, I think the reporter and his editor should face charges for letting the word “opposers” slip past as the antonym of “supporters” instead of the correct word, “opponents.” I received a journalism and communications degree cum laude (from a better Florida university than this one btw!) and I should therefore be able to raise “a great deal of attention” to cast this student newspaper in a negative enough light, to get them impeached. Right?
Sara Wong, a political science major, had a banner around her waist that said “Respect the Jeez-its,” mimicking the label of the popular cheese cracker with pictures of tiny Eucharist.
Wong, who is Catholic, said she was happy to see Cook impeached, but also hopes that he has a chance to state his side of the story in front of everyone.
“I’d like to see it as a positive chance for Senator Cook,” Wong said.
She said she would continue to go to the meetings until the ordeal came to an end.
It chills every part of me, that this girl as public university political science major and private Catholic, apparently understands so little about why America’s civil procedure keeps them clearly in separate realms. She can’t grasp the stark reality that her fellow student has everything to lose and nothing to gain in this set up, certainly not the “positive chance” she’s fantasizing.
And here’s yet another creepy sign of Church interfering with our “true purpose” in governing ourselves through mechanisms like a representative Senate, and even interfering with our ability to think clearly about what’s gone wrong: the word “ordeal” — apparently it’s the student reporter’s word choice rather than Wong’s, since it wasn’t placed in quotes, but I wonder if either of them or anyone else reading this story, has a broad enough education to realize how chillingly appropriate that word is, to what’s really happening in this very religious secular case?
On the other side of the issue, Daniel Winstead, a political science major and member of the Campus Freethought Alliance, was also in the audience. Winstead has been offering free advice in understanding the legal aspects of everything that has happened with Cook.
“I foresaw it going this way,” Winstead said. “It appears as if there are outside motivators.”
Hmm. The Campus Freethought Alliance. Let’s try the moral musical chairs test. If one of the Freethought Alliance members came to a meeting at the student union but refused to swallow some too-outlandish-sounding belief, would that student be grabbed and held by leaders, for resisting? If that person also were a student senator, would the Freethinkers bring impeachment charges against him, and post guards to force freethinking at national political conventions across the country, and would the UCF student senate take the secular Alliance’s side against that individual student beginning to lean away from free thought and toward religion?
If you can honestly think the answers above might be yes, then I believe your education needs to be impeached.