Bonner’s behavior similar to Rowling’s Dolores Umbridge



If you’re familiar with Harry Potter, and if you keep up with campus news, then you’re sure to see how recent events at the Capstone have paralleled Harry’s fifth year at Hogwarts and how President Bonner’s behavior closely resembles that of Headmistress Dolores Umbridge.

Consider the following: This year, we had a change in the University’s highest administrative position. This change occurred shortly after our former president made controversial decisions regarding pledgeship, much like Dumbledore’s ousting after his actions convinced many he was overstepping the limits of his position. (There isn’t conclusive evidence connecting the two in the University’s case, but there was a leadership change, and the events were only two weeks apart.)

Moreover, following this vacancy, the committee of mostly old, wealthy, powerful men charged with overseeing the institution’s operations filled it with a female whose unquestionable loyalty made her a perfect candidate. (Bonner was picked by the Board of Trustees, Umbridge by the Ministry of Magic.)

This new administrator is more conservative than her predecessors and pushes her ethical and moral agenda onto those with whom she doesn’t see eye-to-eye. (Bonner’s drug email and Umbridge’s educational decrees.)

Because of her antiquated prejudices, Bonner aided investigations and raids of student residences for harmless behavior that’s common at universities. Likewise, Umbridge oversaw the persecution of many harmless wizards during her ‘Muggle-Born Registration Commission.’

Furthermore, when accurate reports of sexual consent problems on campus were published, Bonner denied these facts and responded by calling the whistle-blowers liars, just as Umbridge did when Dumbledore professed Voldemort’s return.

Finally, as intellectual freedom and quality of life at Hogwarts were jeopardized during Umbridge’s fictitious reign, our freedoms and quality of life have also been threatened by the actions of our president and her minions, which she used as weapons against the students they’re supposed to protect.

As humorous as some parallels might seem, we should be concerned by how this administration observes and reacts to problems troubling our university. Sexual violence is not a fictional antagonist. It’s a real problem that’s being swept under the rug, and anyone believing it doesn’t warrant prosecution to the fullest extent of the law (whilst simultaneously cracking down on marijuana users) has no business administering a university.

Also, when four football players were arrested following the beating and robbery of two students on campus, there was no email stressing those responsible would “receive sanctions up to and including expulsion,” or that the University has a “zero tolerance policy” for muggers. Text alerts weren’t even sent out after a second student was attacked.

Being unable to walk across campus, or to attend a party, without the fear of getting mugged or raped is the antithesis of security – something listed as one of the University’s “top priorities” in her email.

I hope President Bonner reads this because, she should know that if she’s truthfully “committed to leading the way for every student who chooses to be successful in (their) academic and personal endeavors,” then she can start by getting out of our way; we already made that choice when deciding to attend this university.

If she’s concerned about drug use on campus, she should use her resources to help those she feels need it, but an arrest record and expulsion doesn’t help anyone succeed, and it certainly isn’t an achievement worth celebrating.

She ended her email with, “Together, we will focus on the highest possible ethical, moral and legal standards.”

Unethical is the behavior of a president who spends months supporting an operation with intent to imprison, fine and expel her students for committing a victimless crime, leaving them with no degree, a police record and little chance of attending another institution of higher education.

Immoral is a president who disregards factually sound articles about serious issues as “not as accurate as we would hope.”

So with all due deference, Madam President, I ask that you keep your disingenuous emails to yourself from now on (and try to avoid any meandering herds of angry centaurs).

Chris Brummond is a junior majoring in international relations.

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