Indiana Daily Student

Demonstrations defeat purpose of college

It's the fourth day since the incident, and I am still ashamed. And no, I'm not ashamed of our University's president or its former basketball coach. \nI'm ashamed to call myself an Indiana University student.\nThe events that transpired Sunday night make me wonder about some of my fellow students. \nWhat happened this weekend has little to do with Coach Knight or President Brand or even Kent Harvey. Looking at footage of the demonstration was like watching a documentary about misguided youth.\nIt seems odd to me to think that people who say they love Indiana basketball, clearly have no respect for Indiana University. If they did, they wouldn't have destroyed certain parts of our campus.\nA lamppost was pulled out of the ground near the Bryan House. A sign in front of Franklin Hall was pushed off its base. The fish in Showalter Fountain were stolen. How do any of these actions show support for Coach Knight?\nThey don't. These are not the actions of a protest. Acts in protest actually make some sort of sense or a statement about why there's a protest.\nThe statement students made with their twisted parade was that they think one man is more important than any one of us. \nCoach Knight was not Indiana University. He never was, and he never will be.\nWe are Indiana University. \nThis school has always been about the students. \nWe are the collective heart that pumps blood throughout the campus. And it's sad to think that one man could make us go into cardiac arrest. He made us stop living our lives, and we started to live like the worst parts of him. We forgot our responsibilities to authority figures and to one another. \nWe forgot that the important thing we gain from college is knowledge. The knowledge to be professionals. The knowledge to communicate with other people. The knowledge to deal with adversity.\nBut our actions show that we haven't learned a thing in college. \nWe let our emotions get the better of us, and we went to the president's house … and we told him to go to hell. \nThe question of why seems like a stupid one to ask here. But asking how all this happened feels more pertinent.\nHow could this happen? How could people seeking to learn sink to such a low level?\nIt's about time we pulled the red sweater off our heads, and it's time we started to see the light. \nOne of my professors put it best this week when he said Coach Knight was a great dichotomy: He has done many good things and many bad ones.\nWe need to realize that in 29 years of coaching at IU, Coach Knight did some great things for the University and the surrounding community. But we also need to recognize that he did many things to embarrass us.\nIt's somewhat ironic to think the event most people identify with Coach Knight's firing is the civility run-in with Kent Harvey. Coach Knight wanted to teach the kid a lesson because the student seemingly had no respect for his elders.\nWith that said, it's strange we showed our support for the coach's civility lesson with an uncivil demonstration.\nThe truth of the situation is that in behaving badly, we showed that we too have a problem with respecting our elders and this school. We also showed that we are the one thing we all say we despise. When all is said and done and the rest of the world goes on with its life, we'll all know the horrible truth.\nIn the end, we're really no better than Kent Harvey.

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