As we start the New Year I have to share one more thought on the recent protests brought on by unarmed Black men and boys who were killed in a police action.
While I support the right to peacefully demonstrate for whatever cause you feel appropriate, doing so is, in fact, a personal choice. When you make that choice, you accept the time and effort you give to that cause along with any consequences.
That is, unless you are a student at Oberlin College.
Oberlin College, a small private college with a yearly tuition of $48,682, is located in Oberlin, Ohio. Currently there are approximately 2,900 students enrolled.
I have to admit, I knew nothing about Oberlin College until the following news report appeared on CNN:
“More than 1,000 students at an Ohio college want administrators to suspend their failing grades because they were protesting.
Students at Oberlin College skipped classes and studies to protest the recent deaths of Americans by police, including the shooting death of 12 year old Tamir Rice in Cleveland.
A petition signed by more than 1,300 students called for a ‘no-fail mercy period’ that would eliminate failing grades and make a “C” the lowest grade they could receive.”
You have to be kidding me.
Almost 45-percent of the Oberlin College student body want guaranteed “Cs” or better because they “skipped classes and studies in order to protest.”
This is both an affront and an insult to the tens of thousands of men and women who go to class – who do their assignments – while going to work every day.
This is both an affront and an insult to the tens of thousands of single men and single mothers who manage to attend class and keep up with their assignments while struggling to raise a family and, often, while working one or two jobs.
And, it is an affront and an insult to the Professors and Adjuncts who spend their lives working to provide the best education available to their students.
None of this seems to matter to students who pay (Actually, they probably don’t contribute a nickel.) $48,682 to attend Oberlin College. It is obvious to me, many of these students feel they are buying their grades – that they do not need to earn their grades.
I think there are two appropriate responses to these students who protested so much that there was no time left to attend classes or do assignments and thus feel they deserve nothing less than a “C.”
The first response has already happened.
The Oberlin College administrators announced that while they gave the issue serious thought, they would not grant the reprieve. (I hope the thought given was not real serious.)
The second response needs to come from potential employers as each of the next four or five Oberlin College classes graduate.
If I was recruiting college graduates from Oberlin College, I would require a copy of the petition that was signed and submitted by the more than 1,300 students who felt they deserved no less than a “C.”
Then, I would refuse to interview any student who had signed the petition.
My reasoning is simple:
If a student feels he/she deserves a grade that was not earned – because that student spent so much time protesting there was no time to do assignments, what kind of employee will that individual make?
I would not want to find out.
I would want to hire someone who earned a C, or even a D, while working one or two jobs and raising a family before I would consider someone who felt he/she should be able to buy a “C.”
Money does not buy responsibility.
Responsibility should be the first lesson learned.
Last week was a good sports week for me. I wanted to see Ohio State beat Alabama – not because I like Ohio State that much, but because I don’t like Alabama.
Ohio State won.
Then, last Sunday I wanted to see the Indianapolis Colts beat the Cincinnati Bengals – not because I don’t like the Bengals, but because I like the Colts almost as much as I like the Chicago Cubs.
The Indianapolis Colts won.
While I cheered the Colts win – the Bengals have nothing to be ashamed of.
Many Bengals fans do not agree. Before the busses carrying the Cincinnati Bengals arrived back in Cincinnati there were demands that Bengals coach Marvin Lewis be fired and/or Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton be traded or released.
After all, the loss to the Colts was the fourth straight year the Bengals failed to win the first game in the playoffs. Four playoff appearances – no wins.
I have only two comments:
First, the Bengals have made the playoffs each of the last four years. This puts the Bengals in an elite group of National Football League teams. Three-fourths of NFL teams would be content with a playoff appearance in three of the last four years – or two of the last four years.
And, guess who the coach was who led the Bengals to the playoffs four years in a row – and, guess who the quarterback was?
Marvin Lewis and Andy Dalton.
Second, be careful what you wish for.
If Marvin Lewis is fired, is there a better alternative available to replace him? Keep in mind, when Lewis became the Bengals head coach, the Bengals were often considered the laughing stock of the NFL. He has led the Bengals to six playoffs six times in 12 years.
The Bengals lost the first playoff game each time. So, is it time for a new coach?
No – there is no better alternative. There are a lot of maybes. A lot of potentials. But no better alternative available.
Then there is Andy Dalton.
vterback – but, he is also not a bottom 10 quarterback. And, he is probably closer to the top 10 than to the bottom 10.
With getting rid of Andy Dalton, the problem is the same as that faced if Marvin Lewis is replaced. There is no, and will be no, available quarterback that even comes close to the talent and ability of Andy Dalton.
Can the Bengals win in the playoffs with Marvin Lewis and Andy Dalton?
I don’t know.
But, I do know the Bengals are better with them than they would be without them.
- Mike Cooney