More Opinions on the SAE Incident

Today, President Boren expelled two young men in response to the SAE racist chant.

I support President Boren in the administrative action. Sadly, names are beginning to be thrown around as instigators and “leaders” of the chant.  My opinion only, of course, but we do not need to be trying to run them out of town on a rail. Do we support what they did? Obviously, absolutely not.  Just as this has been one of the worst times for the University during our college careers, this will likely be some of the worst times of their lives. These kids (yes, they’re still kids…) made an absolutely horrible mistake, and they’re being justly punished for it. We don’t need to be making death threats, making fun of them on social media, and the sort. We should be praying for them and, if we know them personally, be helping them to understand their mistake and help them get on with their lives.

Live On, University

Late yesterday, news broke about members of SAE at my alma mater, the University of Oklahoma, chanting racist things. Honestly, I initially thought that people were overreacting, as we often do.  Then I saw the video (I won’t post that video on my page.  I’m sure you can find it very easily if you really want to, which you shouldn’t.).  It wasn’t a single member saying a single racist word; it was a whole bus full of members chanting a racist song, a song which was definitely taught, whether that be officially or unofficially (that is, I believe, still under investigation).  The song, quite frankly, is disturbing on so, so many levels. I am ashamed that this would happen at OU and that all of OU is shaded in controversy for what a small group of people have done.

Thankfully, both SAE National and President Boren have taken a strong stance against OU SAE. Here is President Boren’s statement (from his Twitter @President_Boren):

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Luckily, the University’s quick response has softened the blow from SAE’s actions.  In fact, the White House has applauded President Boren’s actions.  One thing we must remember is this: as outrageous as what SAE members said is, we must make sure to remember that people make mistakes.  We should condemn the action, but not the person.  It is not wrong to express outrage, but we should stop short of judging the people.  This isn’t to say they shouldn’t be punished: there has already been some punishment and there is sure to be even more coming down the pike.

If nothing else, this has united the University and exposed a problem in our culture.  Through prayer, hopefully this will be resolved.

Reflections on the Last First Week of Class of my Undergraduate Career

This week has been full of emotions… haha who am I kidding.  No it hasn’t.  The only emotion I have experienced is the emotion that many would call “senioritis.”  However, my primary vocation and job at this time is to do one thing: graduate.  I have quite an interesting class schedule this semester.

I have learned many things so far from these courses.  Some of them I am about to share with you, along with my opinions of the classes (if there’s nothing interesting).

  This quote was taken from my Life After OU class, a class which pretty much does what the course title says.  The goal is to promote awareness of issues that many students do not know about, such as taxes, healthcare, etiquette, etc.  It seems to be a great class so far.  Best of all, it’s a 3 hour pass/fail.  Yippee!

Next comes from a required reading from my Adventures of Digital Humanities course (a course that is Presidential Dream Course at The University of Oklahoma).

The Internet represents the ascension of yahoos, a victory lap for plagiarists, the end of culture, the beginning of the dark ages inhabited by glassy-eyed chronic masturbators who judge truth by the number of thumbs up, wisdom by the number of views, and knowledge by whatever is most fun to believe … Our task is to learn how to build smart rooms – that is, how to build networks that make us smarter, especially since, when done badly, networks can make us distressingly stupider.

-Prologue, Too Big To Know by David Weinberger, pp. xii-xiii

Hmmm… Weinberger uses some harsh words.  But you know, he’s right!  Many of us both hate the people that this describes, yet fall into it ourselves.  I have been known myself to be proud of the fact that something I posted on Facebook got 209 likes (true story, by the way).  Our world is so full of self-gain, it’s hard not to get caught up in it.

Economic Geography is a geography requirement for graduation.  The course, taught by Dr. Travis Gliedt, is not the most interesting class it seems I am taking, but will help me understand even more about the geography field.

My Origins of Christianity class seems to spur my interest as much as (or more than) my geography classes (go figure, I’m going to seminary after all I guess).  The class is taught by Dr. Kyle Harper, a classical culture historian and Provost of the University.  We have assigned Bible readings, including from the Maccabees (!), The Golden Ass by Apuleius, and Confessions by St. Augustine, among others.  While it is not exclusively from a Catholic perspective, I feel that this class could deepen my understanding of the roots of the Church.

My Capstone project is Representing China Through Late-Night Humor. The project focuses on popular geopolitics and humor. The importance of this project can be seen by looking at the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris this month. The popular geopolitics field is growing by leaps and bounds and will continue to grow. Expect to see more about this project on my Geography
page.

Overall, it looks to be a fun semester, but a busy one as well. Between applying to St. John Vianney, March for Life (be looking for a new blog post on that soon), presenting at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting in Chicago this April, and, of course, graduation, I’ll probably be pretty swamped. I only need to remember this: only 15 weeks keep me from obtaining a degree from the University of Oklahoma. Boomer!

The End of the Christmas (Break In Name Only) Break

Well, it is the Thursday prior to the resumption of classes for the spring semester.  Christmas Break has been fun, but there’s been one thing that has been missing: the break part.

Over the past four weeks, I have been taking an online Intersession class that makes it where I don’t have to take 17 hours in the Spring.  The class, Hot Topics of Wildlife Conservation, has been pretty easy but has been chock-full of busy work.  Each day, we had to write a 2-page reaction paper to an article or group of articles, compose two posts in the discussion board, respond to three other posts, and read all of the posts.  There have been 16 days of “class,” while we had Christmas Eve, Christmas, the Day After Christmas, and New Year’s Day off.

Saturday evening, I plan on returning to Norman.  Monday, classes resume.  The following Tuesday, I might finally get the break that I have been wanting, as I, along with a few other OU Catholic students, will be traveling to Washington, DC, for the March for Life.

Anyway, I’m going to call it a night, as I have to take a final tomorrow.