I’m a little upset right now so let me apologize beforehand if this post comes off as whiney. My mom is in from out of town this weekend and all I really want to do is enjoy her company, introduce her to some friends and share some of what Indianapolis has to offer. It’s hard to do that, though, with the university, its president and its lawyers after me. So I don’t want to write too much.
This has been going on for over 10 months. In fact, it’s closer to 11 months ago that the vice president for student affairs demanded a meeting with me to discuss the True BU blog. After that meeting, the administration let it go and I didn’t hear about it for over five months and during that entire time the True BU blog was silent. Oh, the posts from the original blog, cached in some far recess of the net, made a brief appearance on another Butler student web site, but those pages were removed relatively quickly when fear entered the consciousness of the new bloggers.
The administration didn’t forget about me and my opinions, the were just waiting to raise the issue for a time when it was useful to them: when my dad was starting to make some waves over a completely different, and separate, situation, even though the president is quoted in the faculty senate notes from last week as saying that their desire to pursue the blog had waned. “Our intent is not to police the internet and the blog, however hurtful, was essentially let go,” he is quoted as saying. Well, it might have been “essentially let go” for them, but it certainly hasn’t been let go for me or for Butler’s high priced attorneys who seem fixated on this issue. For the last 4 months, the lawsuit and the threat of disciplinary action have been held over my head and threatened repeatedly and, frankly, I’m sick of it. It makes it hard to concentrate, it affects my classes, and it doesn’t get anyone anywhere: The University has nothing to gain and I certainly am not enjoying this. It seems to me that pursuing this right now is bad for every single member of the Butler community and all I want is for it to end. It seems that the only thing they want is for me to be quiet, and I really have no interest in calming down now just so they can threaten to do something later. It needs to end, and soon, because, no matter how hard I try, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to succeed in the classroom and in my other responsibilities.
The US constitution, a document I discussed in my post on Thursday, and a document that Butler seems to ignore in favor of its own rules, addresses this point. The sixth amendment to the constitution provides defendants with the right to a speedy trial. In New York, for example, the prosecution must be "ready for trial" within six months on all felonies except murder. Now I understand that even the administration isn’t claiming that I’ve committed any felonies, but if people accused of those sorts of crimes have a right to clear their name in a reasonable time frame, why don’t I? The constant threats feel completely inhumane and, honestly, it feels like harassment. The president, on the other hand, told the faculty that I’m a bully. With the university’s disregard of the rights outlined in the US constitution, I ask, as I did in my post last Monday, “Who’s the bully?”
Your voices are helping. They’re demonstrating that people on and off campus, people locally and around the country, are watching to see how the administration conducts its business. You’ve asked them for apologies and an end to all of this. I hope our voices get through to the administration. Occasionally, I will publish more posts written by others, like yesterday’s, in the hopes of encouraging more people to come forward, face their fear, and stand up for Butler. I also want to commend those who have already done so, even anonymously. I certainly am not one to judge people for feeling too afraid to use their names: I simply hope that someday soon they won’t feel so afraid.