Dear Dean Kirby,
I forgive you.
Surprised right? Don’t be.
Yes, despite your lackluster performance as dean of students this year, I know buried underneath the right strap of your suspenders, you have a heart. A heart, filled with Rattler love, spirit and pride.
That is why today sir, I forgive you.
As the on-again-off-again advisor to student government, your obligation to oversee the operations of the student-run entity has been, in Twitter lingo, ‘a fail.’
Had your oversight been as effective as you thought, perhaps you would have recommended to SGA that the promotion company that they went with was insufficient to plan the Homecoming concert.
But I forgive you.
After all, how were you supposed to know what was going on, especially with a busy job like the Dean of Students?
The way you had everyone thinking the email was going to actually be concerned with student safety on campus or that the letter would include an apology for the behavior of the promoter.
Oh, and the way you semi-threatened the Dean of the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication-One word, classic. But the “gotcha” moment came when you told the dean of the SJGC to essentially silence 90.5 for voicing any negative opinion about the heavily protested Homecoming concert because it would affect ticket sales.
Then, brazenly mentioning that 90.5 is funded by activity and services fees; the same fees that paid for the Homecoming concert.
I forgive you because as someone who practiced law, I am sure you forgot Healy v. James (1972)-The Supreme Court case that affirmed public college students’ First Amendment rights of free speech and association.
Perhaps you had forgotten that the case said that a school official cannot deny recognition simply because they disagree with the philosophy or ideas advocated by the students.
You may have also forgotten the Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier (1988), case that says as long as published or broadcasted speech does not interfere with educational concerns or missions (not mentioning concert ticket sales), it is protected by free speech.
In Rosenberger 515 U.S. at 837, the Supreme Court says public schools cannot use funding as method of dictating the viewpoint of student media.
But, it’s obvious that you forgot.
And that is why I forgive you.
I forgive you because now I know you will not have the fortitude to send another letter or email to any dean of the university threatening funding or hushing the voice of the students.
If you do have the unmitigated gall to do so, we will sadly accept your letter or email along with your resignation letter.
And with that, I sincerely forgive you.
Kianta Key is a first-year public health graduate student from Atlanta. She can be reached at www.twitter.com/kiantakey or firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Note: this is a satirical piece.