Monday, November 03, 2003

Ethics in College
Alexander Marriott November 3, 2003

Now that I am back on the job I have a few things I would like to say.

Unlike some, I will not name people in connection to what I intend to charge given that I have no direct evidence tying particular individuals to it.

What has taken place over the last few weeks was partly the doing of certain professors and authors who thought it would be fun to try to ruin the career of a student opinion writer, namely me, because they didn’t agree with his views and were apparently unable to rationally argue why. Fortunately for me they failed for a rather obvious and simple reason, they were wrong.

But what are the broader implications of what happened to me? Well, it means that some of UNLV’s professors are so unethical and irrational that they are willing to personally go after you and attempt to destroy your reputation whenever they see you have disagreed with them.

It means that instead of arguing the points you believe are correct, you must always worry that your professors will not miss the opportunity to disagree with you through your grades. Because if they were willing to try to ruin my chances of going to graduate school and pursuing a career as a historian then messing with grades based on subjective whim is not out of their range of unethical behavior.

It is sad that some professors think they have the right and the duty to smother debate through any means available. It is even sadder that they will not admit who they are so that everyone can know exactly who thinks it is perfectly good and moral to attack students and conspire to ruin them.

My case was just one that was public, think of all the students over the years who have probably been given lower grades merely for having different opinions. These types of actions are disgraceful and only create an atmosphere of stifling fear for anyone who may dare to think for themselves and not accept some of the garbage they are taught in certain classes.

There are great teachers at UNLV. Some truly fantastic people teach here, it is true. But the mere fact that the teachers who were partly responsible for the debacle that befell the Rebel Yell do not step forward only ruins it for the rest of the teachers here as well as the students.

All students have to be on alert now. In any class they take their teacher may be an unethical opportunist who is only out to stifle thought and persecute those they do not agree with. In that environment students will only do what they think their professors want them to do and say what they think their professors want to hear. This does not constitute a learning environment; it is approaching the level of a gulag. But instead of physical labor that means nothing the students must perform mental labor that means nothing.

Ethics are lost in college. People don’t think they should defend their opinions or engage professors in argument on interpretation, theory, or anything else. The reason is because of things like what happened to me, the students are afraid. Learning by intimidation doesn’t work and only destroys the desire to learn, and that may actually be the goal of those who tried to ruin me.

It is no surprise most colleges have no classes in Ethics anymore. Not too many professors seem to have any these days.

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