Phi Beta Cons

Penn State’s School of Politeness

Penn State’s biggest rhetorical guns have been pounding its College Republicans. Until firing commenced, the CR’s “Illegal Immigrant Awareness Day”, planned for April 19th, was to feature an exercise entitled the “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game”. “It’s evident why many people would find this program offensive” said Terrell Jones, vice provost for educational equity. Although “protected by the First Amendment” the approach initially proposed “was unproductive and offensive to many”, echoed university president Graham B. Spanier. “Penn State is committed to ensuring respect for the dignity of all individuals within the university family”, added Vicky Triponey, vice president for university affairs. The campus GOP scrapped plans for the “game”, though not the event.
The pretended collaring of sweated labor may make for tactless play, but where was this overkill last November when members of the State College Peace Center gathered with placards reading “Drive Out the Bush Regime”, “Impeach them all”, and showing the president’s face behind prison bars?
Surely, Penn State’s top-dollar executives have better things to do than play Miss Manners in episodes like these. If not, the Supreme Court’s next campus recruiter case will likely involve the INS.

Stephen H. Balch was the founding president of the National Association of Scholars. In 2007 he received the National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush.

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