Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Whining About "Student Rights"

From today's Daily Illini:

Josh Rohrscheib, co-president of Illinois Student Senate and graduate student, said he also believes that the University is abusing students' rights in an effort to end the student celebration.

"The Dean of Students, in punishing Irish Illini for having bar crawls - which is something that almost every organization does - is just targeting one group that they think has a part in (Unofficial)," Rohrscheib said.

WAAAA! Give me a break! Student rights? To do what? Get drunk and disrupt class? Binge drink and piss on Daniel Street? Puke all over the residence hall dining areas? These are the student rights worth fighting for? Rohrsheib is leaving quite the legacy for himself.

Students have rights. Those rights have nothing to do with public drunkenness. Students may have a right to a safe and productive learning environment. Students may have a right to equal access to University resources. But should we really be talking about Student Rights when it comes to the Irish Illini getting busted for following a very clear policy not to use University resources to promote and/or advertise alcohol use? Quit whining already. They screwed up. They got caught. Now, they can take their punishment.


Anonymous reed said...

Do you think the University would have done the same thing to a Muslim or Black student organization?

9:55 AM  
Blogger Don said...

Do you have evidence to show that the University was presented with information regarding a Muslim or Black RSO using resources inappropriately and NOT suspending them? If not, I might suggest your assumptions are out of line and potentially racist in nature.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous reed said...

What assumptions? I asked a question. One you haven't answered yet.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Don said...

The fact that you ask the question implies you are assuming the U wouldn't respond in equal fashion. I think it would act consistently, especially given the spotlight shown on this event.

If you have evidence to suggest otherwise, let's see it.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous reed said...

No, I just asked a question of you. Just wanted your opinion. You finally gave it.

Now that I know what "assumptions" you believed me to have (the University might act inconsistently), I'll add that if I believed the University wouldn't act consistently, I don't think that's racist at all. It might accuse the University of racism, however.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Don said...

The University racist against whom? The Irish Illini?

I think your question can be interpreted as racist. In my encounters with white, conservative men, this type of issue comes up quite often. "Look. They're picking on white people. Would they pick on Blacks and Muslims, too?" The implications are that 1) They wouldn't. 2)White people get picked on. 3)Non-Whites have it easy because such institutions are afraid to act against them. Then, the white conservative argument identifies the institution in question as being racist (or practicing "reverse discrimination...or BOTH).

Again, this is just my experience talking. I'm saying this about the white conservatives I've met, not ALL of them. And, I'm pointing out that your reponse is consistent.

The funny thing is, when these questions come up, the folks raising the question have no real answer themselves. They claim their rhetorical question isn't racist when in fact the implications may well be.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous reed said...

(Yes, the Irish Illini)

Of course, that's assuming quite a bit of the questioner, a dangerous activity. At least in this particular case, 3) is tenuous. Participation in an RSO is hardly a ticket to life success. 2) is also pretty questionable - the Irish Illini are a very small group of individuals. Probably don't stand for "white people" generally.

One could take another path of assumptions, just as plausible.

Asking questions should not merit accusations of racism, even if it is rhetorical.

Anyways, back to my original post. Very few know what the University knows, so it's nearly impossible to directly prove selective enforcement. However, there are literally hundreds of these mailings a semester, and I personally see about 20 in my inbox. I do know that if the University wanted to enforce the rule, it would be incredibly easy. So I have my doubts as to whether there exist many other organizations that would have received the same treatment - whether they might be a singing organization, a black organization, a republican organization, or whatever.

But the Irish Illini ended up with a punishment for a bar crawl, right around the time the University wants to crack down on Unofficial. Maybe I'm not giving the University enough credit. It would be a first, however.

I'm fine with the University wanting to enforce provisions consistently, but Rohrscheib has a point about selective enforcement. If the University wants to pick and choose their causes, that's fine. I don't have a big problem with that, so long as they act within the rules. But I don't feel they should be immune from criticism either. So I guess I don't see the "WAAA!" in all this.

I'll also note that your littany of "rights" is quite one-sided. Where is the mention of "have a couple drinks with friends, order a pizza, and sleep in?" How come all of the conduct involves rule-violating conduct? Is it fair for me to assume that you believe all students who drink necessarily commit misdemeanors every time they go out?

11:19 AM  
Blogger Don said...

Is it fair for me to assume that you believe all students who drink necessarily commit misdemeanors every time they go out?

If they are under 21, yes it is.

In addition, I don't think drinking, pizza, etc. are 1) Rights the University should provide or 2)Represent the type of behavior demonstrated on USPD.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous reed said...

How did underage sneak it's way into this one? We're not talking about that, are we?

And no one's asking the University to provide any rights.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Don said...

You asked about misdemeanors. Those drinking underage fall into that category. That's where the age issue arose.

As for rights, JR was indirectly quoted in the DI discussing rights abuses. Semantics aside, there's the source of the rights idea.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous reed said...

...but semantics are important here. JR did not ask the University to provide rights. In fact, drinking (assuming 21) and eating pizza are rights the students already possess.

And his direct quote did not mention rights in any case.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Don said...

If they possess these rights, and I'm not so sure "rights" is the best word here, then why is JR complaining about rights being abused in today's DI?

What rights are being abused? Where's Bam Bam when we need him? Can Bam Bam tell us where "beer and pizza" qualify as rights?

8:33 PM  

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