It seems like too many things are happening and not enough is being done about them. After former Napoleon councilman and current BGSU adjunct instructor Travis Sheaffer’s sickening tweet about Rep. Ilhan Omar, the first woman in Congress to wear a hijab, Bowling Green State University needs to re-evaluate their current tolerance towards the degeneration of our ethical values.
Sheaffer tweeted on his personal Twitter account: “Rep. Omar needs to be tried for treason and hanged.” As this tweet was brought up to the university, their response didn’t seem to do any justice for many of the students.
BGSU’S response was:
However, his comment is protected under the First Amendment and the University’s policy on free speech and expression. While we respect Mr. Sheaffer’s right to share his views, we will always speak out against individuals or groups that espouse intolerance or hate. (2 of 2)— BGSU (@bgsu) December 1, 2019
Unfortunately, words alone will not establish a new standard; action must be taken to ensure the safety and security of the students who are impacted by the university’s complacency when faced with these aversive situations.
I feel like many students agree that he should be fired from the university, but with BGSU’s application of the First Amendment, he is protected from that happening.
A question being pondered is, “Where does the university draw the line?”
This university attempts to promote their diversity, inclusion and belonging values. However, there are not adequate processes being upheld when it comes to issues and biases that happen within the university.
No matter where students are or what they do, it all falls back on the university. Even when off campus, students are asked to act in a way that would represent the university, so why isn’t it the same for faculty and staff? How come faculty and staff aren’t held to the same standards? Or is it only for certain faculty and staff?
I, along with many other students, believe that if a faculty or staff member of color or from a minoritized identity was the antagonist, there would be immediate repercussions including possible termination from their position. If an administrator of a marginalized group made a similar comment about President Trump, I along with many other minority students have no doubt in our minds that the university would sit down with them and “discuss their actions.”
There is a huge difference in stating an opposing opinion about someone rather than expressing pure hatred and inhumane threats.
As a student of color, I would not appreciate being in a class that is being taught by Mr. Sheaffer at BGSU, or at any university for that matter, and I’m sure many students would agree.
These recurring situations should not affect students alone; they should be a concern of BGSU’s community.
This is another example of how the education system needs to be re-evaluated. One shouldn’t be comfortable that people with these opinions are the influencers of the future leaders of our world. Whether you have a negative opinion or not, as a professor you should not be publicly exposing yourself for the racist and bigoted views by which you choose to live.
Minority students don’t feel safe with Travis Sheaffer and neither should the university.
If he feels this way about a woman of color who has more power than him, imagine how he feels about his minority students with no power?