Friday, October 31, 2008

Respect of Opinions?

Yesterday an egg toss took place on the campus of A&M, only this egg toss involved a picture of Obama. The Young Conservatives of A&M said they were holding the event so others could throw eggs at an image of Obama, which represented his economic policies and how they are hurting the nest eggs of Americans. A large crowd gathered and things got quite heated. The video from the local station even made CNN. One football player even stepped in front of the poster to stop others from egging it. The event broke up and the President of A&M issued this statement, which I will comment on in BLUE below.
To the Aggie Family:

One of the fundamental and most important rights that we have as Americans is freedom of speech - and this is a right that we firmly support here at Texas A&M University. As a native of Cuba, I personally understand the consequences of not having the right of free speech, or the many other freedoms that we, as Americans, so often take for granted. (It is fundamental and important, correct.)

The recent actions of the small group of students at Rudder Plaza claiming to make a political +statement concerning the presidential election have been widely interpreted as being much broader - and certainly contrary to the core values of Aggies everywhere. (I think it was not a smart decision or a good way to express your displeasure with a candidate.) Here at Texas A&M, respect is one of our core values that are fundamental to being an Aggie. We should always respect each other (I agree), each other's opinions (I partly disagree - explanation below) and express our own opinions in a respectful way (I agree).

Political disagreement is to be expected, particularly as Election Day nears, but it can - and should - be addressed in respectful dialogue (I agree). This was certainly the case when the Texas Aggie Democrats and the Aggie College Republicans conducted a joint program earlier this week under the auspices of the Student Conference on National Affairs (SCONA), which is sponsored by the Memorial Student Center.

Aggies have a long and proud tradition of honor and respect for one another, for our school and our state and nation - and are so recognized and admired. We must do nothing to tarnish our reputation.

I strongly encourage everyone in the Aggie Family to respect the opinions of others, especially if you disagree with them. Even more importantly, I urge you to express your opinions and ideas in a respectful way, as they can serve to enrich the educational environment here on our campus. Let's respect each other, for that is what Aggies do.

Elsa A. Murano,
President of Texas A&M
Overall her statement is well written. The one point of slight disagreement comes from when she asks everyone to respecting others opinions. I think the point is that we have to treat the individual person with respect, even if we disagree. This is true and a good sign of maturity. But, we don't necessarily have to respect each and every opinion. For instance, while we should certainly respect every human being and their freedom to hold any opinion, we don't need to respect evil opinions (e.g., that slavery is good, that adultery is ok, etc.).

One thing many forget is that we represent others. When an A&M student does something of this nature, in our digital age, it can certainly reflect badly on the entire University and that was the purpose of writing the letter.

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