Indiana Daily Student

Riots only add to negative image

When orchestrated in an effective manner, a protest is a powerful thing. Empires have risen and fallen because of the voice of the people. Meaningful protesting helps to end slavery, misogyny, war, famine and social injustice around the world. To protest is to stand up for one's rights using one's voice, presence, witness and mind.\nA protest is not violent. A protest is not destruction. A protest is not about being disrespectful and disregarding the rights and beliefs of other human beings.\nThe destruction and violence that happened on this campus Sunday night was not a protest. It was not noble, it was not organized, it was not effective … it was a riot.\nMembers of the student body had every right to protest. Coach Knight supporters had every right to make their voices heard. What a shame that what could have been a rally of support for Knight turned into a "battle cry" of "Show us your tits."\nHow unfortunate that hands which could have raised together in solidarity for one of the most effective coaches in basketball history chose to destroy this beautiful campus. How saddening that students with genuine interest in supporting "the General" were drowned out by students who wanted to mar the beauty of Showalter Fountain. Students who simply wanted to bear witness to the magnitude of the event were joined by people who took advantage of the anonymity of the crowd to lay waste to the campus.\nA sometimes weak administration and a sometimes temperamental basketball coach have already given our University a negative image. The student body had an opportunity to show the world that we are better than the media hype; we are more than a sound bite. We had the chance to give the administration something to seriously think about. \nInstead, some of us decided to further make a mockery of this institution.\nFortunately, the student body still has a chance to do the right thing in a difficult situation. We can choose to go to class. This only makes sense, as some of the "protesters" were complaining about the lack of funding Knight's termination will bring. We're paying for these classes, and it would be hypocritical and wasteful not to go. \nWe can respect the rights of Kent Harvey, whether we like him or not, whether we believe him or not. We can take care of our business and stay out of his. We can show him that even if we don't think he treated Knight with respect, we will honor coach with our future actions and treat Harvey with respect.\nAnd most of all, we can show the world that we are proud to be students at IU. We are proud of our campus, we are proud of our academic integrity, we are proud of our athletics, and we are proud of our city.

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