The Crimson White

Protesting your future

Letter to the Editor

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 Henry Perkins, a junior in New College, was featured in the Nov. 8 edition of The Crimson White for receiving credit for participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Perkins is protesting a system that encourages attaining wealth (which is most often held by the best educated) through ambition and merit. Yet he himself thought it necessary to attain college credit within the system he is currently protesting before he went to protest?

The hypocrisy is unconscionable. By dropping French 103, a skill more desired than blogging, Perkins has only secured the future he so desperately protests. The Declaration of Independence states that humanity is entitled to the pursuit of happiness, not its guarantee.

And in regards to advising all students to “drop out of school and come to New York” – is he serious? That’s his advice – for someone who made sure he got college credit before protesting – to drop out of college? Does being the one percent sleeping on a marble bench make you more qualified to advise people than the 99% on a wood bench? My point is this: encouraging students to relinquish their competitive advantage is bad advice.

America has long been the source of innovation because men and women pursued it. For all those listening, if you want a job after graduating college (a reality that is ever dwindling as more people attain college degrees), you must make yourself more marketable to an employer.

So you have a degree from UA, big deal!  Say “Roll Tide” all you want. You are only guaranteed the opportunity to compete. One great thing about public schooling before college is that we all started on the same line.

To the faculty of New College, please value your college’s degree. I am not in New College but admire its innovativeness; i.e. creating a Chinese major (as only a minor exists), or a specific business minor for communications majors looking to better pursue their future, etc..  But credit for protesting?

My fear is that this decision will cheapen the value of another New College graduate’s degree. Yes, students should be allowed to fail, but not when core values are compromised. As stated on the New College website, and above, the program assumes that students are responsible for their education.

Might I point out “that problem-focused, general education experiences of an interdisciplinary nature…” are not as highly desirable as solutions. The world has no shortage of people highlighting current problems. As a friend of several New College majors, I plead with the college to make its priority innovation for the students in order “[to export] successful innovations to…the University”.  Furthermore, should the other 31,000+ of us enrolled at UA get credit for protesting the protesters by remaining in class?

There are two kinds of people protesting Wall Street. There are those who protest their future, demanding a guarantee in the current crisis. We need people like them in the workplace to shine a light on practices that aren’t in the world’s best interest. To say they need everyone to be nice is a child’s argument. I urge them to search their hearts and ask if they’re truly seeking a better world or just a world where they don’t have to sacrifice for others to be comfortable, because somehow it’s someone else’s job to pursue happiness for them.

The others are people who tried to pursue happiness the way America intended and faced the worst job outlook we’ve seen. They are right to protest, and I encourage them to continue to do so before Congress and the President!

It is the government’s job to create an environment where greed helps our fellow man while advancing our society. Government failed.

We had a worldwide recession. Obviously there is more to a global drop in cash flow than one blanket statement, but the point remains protesting those who led us down the path of recession does no good when you don’t address those who paved the road.

Dan Mirolli is a junior majoring in accounting and minoring in Mandarin.

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Protesting your future