By Liam Kerr, Columnist
This week, Professor Cassie Hays of the Sociology Department used her position of authority as a Gettysburg College professor to single out and bully an upstanding student in the college community. Ironically, Josh Wagner, an editor with The Gettysburgian newspaper, has always displayed the utmost respect for all viewpoints, as demonstrated by his willingness to publish opinions of all students in the opinion section.
Wagner’s satirical article titled “13 Places Safer Than Fiji Basement on Friday Night: Number 11 Will Shock You” was clearly intended as part of the April Fools Day series released by the Gettysburgian staff every year. But Josh Wagner’s contributions to the school newspaper and other facets of the college community run much deeper than this light-hearted article. His selection as commencement speaker was well-founded and heartening.
Professor Hays, taking offense to his satirical piece on the grounds that it makes a joke of sexual assault and contributes to rape culture, has seemingly misdirected her frustrations. Intended to highlight the sexual assault perpetrated by members of Greek Life, Wagner’s article quite literally seeks to diminish the rape culture on campus. Although, it is entirely unsurprising that any voice critical of Greek life on Gettysburg’s campus would be subject to a public protest as consequential as this petition to be removed as the commencement speaker.
What’s worse, the professor’s pinning of posters targeting Wagner’s selection as the commencement speaker is a gross abuse of power from an individual who is supposed to promote the free exchange of ideas at a liberal arts institution rather than using gestapo tactics to pressure administrators and community members to team up on a single student.
I call on the administration to demonstrate solidarity with one of Gettysburg College’s finest students and reprimand Professor Hays.
Editor’s Note: Josh Wagner has recused himself as Opinions Editor from all matters related to Commencement. He had no part in reviewing or editing this article, and editorial control was exercised by Benjamin Pontz, Editor-in-Chief. Anyone who wishes to submit an opinion piece on this topic is welcome to do so by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org. (-B. Pontz)