The Cynic would like to call on President Fogel to sign on to the Amethyst Initiative. Refusing to do so would constitute not a disagreement with the arguments favoring a lowered drinking age, but with a refusal to discuss the matter.
What would be gained by this?
It may be that you feel extremely uncomfortable with the notion of a lowered drinking age, and that signing on could give steam to a proposal that you disagree with on a fundamental level, but outright refusing to discuss the matter comes across as, well, unfair.
And such an action could be destructive to your own ends. If you feel confident in your thinking on the matter, then you should embrace the opportunity to sway your opponents to your side. Remember, this initiaÂtive is not an outright call for a lowered drinking age, but the simple recÂognition of the existence of a drinking problem on our nation’s campuses and a desire to address that problem.
And we see this as a fantastic opportunity to gather some much-deserved attention for our University. By signing on, you would signal UVM’s enthusiasm to engage other colleges, and an opportunity to work constructively with our brothers and sisters in the academic world.
The University of Vermont will never grow in recognition and respect if we continue to sit quietly and contently in this little corner of the nation – content in ignoring and being ignored by the greater community.
What this boils down to is that we would like to see UVM take on a greater role as a vocal and active body. Infused with so much intelligence and creativity as we are, doing anything less would be a disservice to the many talents concentrated here.
We would more frequently like to see UVM join the leading edge of debates of all sorts, and this initiative presents an opportunity to do precisely this. Really, this can be thought of as a call for you to guide the University and take on an increased voice as a general principle – this is just one of many opportunities to do so.
Of course, this decision is entirely yours, but if you decide to walk away from the initiative, we would respectfully ask for justification, beÂcause frankly, we see none.
We would very happily run your response should you send it our way – if you do not wish to discuss the matter with the larger academic community, please at least discuss it with your constituency.