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I Dare You…

I have several friends who attend college at the University of California, Davis, and have therefore maintained a particular interest in the developing controversy regarding Friday’s “pepper spray scandal”. As has been highly publicized throughout popular media outlets, a group of seemingly peaceful UC Davis undergraduates were doused with the substance by university police officers after refusing to vacate the central campus quad. While the incident has generated public admiration for the individuals involved in the actual demonstration, I have found myself particularly enamored by the response of the general student body to the actions of campus officials.

Whereas the police department had resorted to riot gear and physical violence to exert their will, UC undergraduates, graduate students, professors, and alumni united in a peaceful yet compelling campaign against administrators and security personnel. The spirit of the movement is captured in this video, in which UC Chancellor Linda Katehi walks to her car amidst an impressive gathering of silent protesters. Without having uttered a single word, UC Davis students have come to inspire an entire nation.

I cannot help but wonder whether or not a similarly motivational demonstration would be possible within the context of GW culture. If one or more of our own classmates were mistreated, would our student body have the same resolve to initiate a peaceful revolution?

At times, it certainly does appear as though our community lacks any rebellious spirit. Protests of any sort are considerably rare, and we have yet to speak out against our administration on matters of true importance. Then again, GW students don’t have all too much to be upset with. Although tuition rates remain astronomically high and the J-Street Café shows no signs of improvement, our student body enjoys an unparalleled sense of safety and security.

If such an incident did occur that violated the rights of students, you can bet that we would take a stand. Regardless of the average attendance at basketball games, our community fosters school spirit in all the ways that really count. The GW family, however dysfunctional, would make a point to protect its own.

Come on, pepper sprayers. I dare you.

 

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Haysoose
    November 26, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Gotta love pepper spray. You guys hear about the black friday shopper who sprayed 20 people with pepper spray to get what she wanted? No compassion. No mercy. Fellow shoppers are merely pests.

    Imagine, seeing your fellow shoppers as little flies, spraying them away from your prized apple pie. It’s quite funny if you think about it. If you don’t think about it at all, it shows how we as a country are degrading. We are animals.

  2. Haysoose
    November 26, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Hey bud. I’m down for protesting.

  3. November 27, 2011 at 1:28 am

    When coming to GW some friends of mine asked if that was where the students swarmed the white house. Also they liked to point out that it is one of the most politically active universities. So I think if there was a similar incident to the pepper spray one on our campus, our student body would let everyone know what they thought. At times I do feel like we aren’t a very active student body, until I walk towards the Marvin center and hear students pushing for smoke free spots on campus, or any of the other random protest. I agree that GW students would protect their own.

  4. November 27, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    I remember watching the news and seeing that Osama Bin Laden had been killed, and what were they showing? A huge crowd gathered by the white house and if you looked closely a bunch of them were wearing GW sweatshirts. The keystone pipeline protest had a lot of Green GW students there as well. So I have seen GW students in protests but I think it has to be about something bigger than just the crappy food in J street. Lets face it we already have more dining options than most schools thanks to colonial cash, I have friends at schools that have the equivalent to Metro and 5 other restaurants that deliver and that is it, not even a grocery store. So while I think we are an active student body I think it has to be for something big, and most likely something political before the whole student body gets involved. So yes I think GW students would get involved if the cops started pepper spraying our own.

  5. ms
    November 27, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    While I agree that the sense of community fostered within the walls of GW is seemingly unparalleled, I wanted to bring attention to a different aspect of the UC Davis incident. In the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a float of the police spraying pepper spray was exhibited. It can be seen by scrolling down on this website: http://inagist.com/jaraparilla/139919257952722945/

    What does that say about our media’s attitude toward such an incident? I myself was appalled at the idea that a float depicting such a tragedy would be displayed in a joyous parade.

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