Liberalism gone wrong

This is in light of the recent ROTC article published in the November 13, 2007 Cynic issue. I am deeply concerned to read that our fellow classmates, who have chosen to take a path in serving our country, are being discriminated against on our campus. The article quotes a senior military instructor saying “[Some cadets] can’t study, they don’t feel like they can go back to their rooms until late.” I am completely shocked by this quote and very disheartened. Being a senior at the University of Vermont, I have seen many changes, some good and some bad. I have become increasingly concerned about the behavior of some members of our student body. I continuously hear of discriminatory acts against faculty, staff, students and community members by our fellow UVM students. When did UVM become a place of fear and hatred? When I walked into this school four years ago, I remember falling in love with the beauty and peace of such a uniquely wonderful place. I come from a very conservative background where manufacturing and money hold more importance than the beauty of the land. I have learned that what we take for granted, we must cherish. How lucky we are to wake up every morning to such a beautiful part of the country. But I see a dark cloud fall over the community when hateful, prejudice acts are initiated on our campus. I came into this school as a right-wing conservative and, yes to my parent’s dismay, I will be walking out as a left-wing liberal, but I hate how this word has become tainted. To be a liberal does not mean acting out in an irrational manner, and I’m afraid to say it appears that is what my fellow classmates are doing. Discrimination and bigotry are inappropriate in all forms, and these actions reflect poorly on the community and the University as a whole. To make change, you must be the change you see fit. Lashing out against others who choose to serve your country, even though it may be for a cause you don’t respect, is out of line. Put yourselves in the shoes of our fellow ROTC members, they themselves may not agree on the war in Iraq, or other disputes our country faces. But what they do believe is serving our country the best they can. They are not succumbing to hatred acts of prejudice, but are choosing another path less chosen, a path that is by all means a difficult one. Without the support of these young men and women, we could be living in a very different world. So I ask you, as the world moves on let’s keep moving with it. Let’s be the leaders we need to see. I believe UVM and the state of Vermont are at the forefront of a changing world, and there are few that realize or want to accept these changes. As my class graduates and moves on to other things, I hope our legacy will be left in the hands of motivated, upstanding students who fight for justice in the world, but choose to do this with the utmost respect and dignity. Respectfully,Elizabeth Mazer Chair, SGA Public RelationsClass of 2008