College Republicans at Penn State University wanted to enter the debate about the nation's borders by playing a "Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game."As you might imagine, this caused quite an outcry.
People would be invited to "catch" group members wearing orange shirts symbolizing illegal aliens.
Yesterday, about 150 students and some faculty opposed to the idea rallied in the student union building. And the university itself joined the fray, urging the College Republicans to "re-think their approach as a step toward fostering civility on campus."The students relented and called the event illegal immigration awareness day, but several students were still puzzled by all the fuss.
Penn State President Graham Spanier labeled the original idea "unproductive and offensive."
Even as groups such as the Black Caucus and Latino Caucus registered passionate objections, others said they viewed the Republicans' plan -- the game included -- as a reasonable way to highlight concern about the nation's porous borders.I think the students showed poor taste and a lack of concern for people's feelings - not exactly the values I would be proud of in my own children - but they do have the right to free speech as the Penn State officials pointed out. Considering there are similar events planned by conservative students on other campuses, including the University of North Texas, this might be the time for them to season their creativity with a dose of civility and consideration.
"You have to be creative to get students to listen to you," sophomore Chuck Knight wrote in a letter to the editor published recently in the student newspaper, The Daily Collegian. "For that matter, you have to be creative anytime you are trying to raise concern about something."