Thursday, February 27, 2003

Peace Protest Blues
By Alexander Marriott
UNLV Rebel Yell: November 25, 2002

Meghan L. Young reported in the November 21 issue of the Yell that on the 20th the Peace Coalition Protest didn't actually materialize and Young speculated that the cause is "UNLV's increasing reputation for apathy among both students and faculty." But what are some possible reasons, other than just apathy that might be holding a Peace Coalition movement back?

It certainly can't be a lack of academic support, there are plenty of leftist professors at UNLV who are quite vocal in their opposition to the war and the United States in general and would love to take their message to the students, though they do that voluminously in their classes anyway (even though none of these classes is called, "Basking Bush and the War on Terrorism.") But UNLV is lacking a really famous leftist intellectual like Noam Chomsky, John Rawls, or John Kenneth Galbraith to whip the lesser professors into order and get them working together for the untied goal of world domination.

Also, the constant berating that I've witnessed of the war and Bush seems to be having lesser effect than maybe the professors are hoping for. The people I've talked to in the classes where it has occurred find it offensive that the professors, whom we are paying to learn about given subjects, waste class time with their own political views. Consequently these professors get lower teacher evaluations than they would have gotten had they simply remained objectively tied to their subjects rather than going on tirades.

Of course, they don't believe in objectivity and tell us not to believe in it either, which is a clever way to excuse their blatant and shameful irresponsibility to the profession of teaching. That doesn't mean all leftist professors are like this, some of them realize that they are here to teach and not mold a new generation of hippies, therefore keeping their views to themselves mostly. (On a side note, I haven't had a rightist professor yet who used the class to grandstand or tell us his/her views, I may have had a rightist professor and just not realized it because they chose to teach rather than preach.) But the really diehard "antiteachers," as I like to call them, and we've all had at least one by now, will not see anything wrong in what they're doing and will not understand why the Peace Coalition cannot get its members together or convince the student population to go along with their ideas.

If there is any apathy on campus, it isn't general apathy, usually called cynicism, but apathy towards the anti-teachers and the Peace Coalition, who were opposed to the war in Afghanistan, a thoroughly indefensible position (unless of course your goal is selfdestruction as opposed to self-preservation.) The students on campus aren't uncaring or stupid as the peace coalition and the antiteachers like to imply, but just the opposite, which is why the students bypass and ignore the Peace Coalition as little more than an amusing sideshow.

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