So I wrote a letter to president J. Bernard Machen, expressing my personal opinion on the videos and reports regarding that disgusting portrayal of law enforcement (see post below). Below is my letter to the president followed by his response.
My letter to President Machen:
I am a student in my fourth year at West Virginia University, and
would like to express my view on the subject of Matt Meyer’s arrest.
Though I am not sure where you stand, and I doubt that my e-mail will
contribute to any sort of conclusion of your opinion on the subject,
I feel that as a 21 year old college student, I am affected by this
circumstance, albeit indirectly. I was not there during the situation, so I can only attest to what
I’ve seen through media outlets, such as The Huffington Post, as well
as your official letter to students on the home page of the
University of Florida. I am sure that there are many complicated issues and rights
surrounding this situation, but I could not understand what Mr. Meyer
was doing to deserve being seized by police. Yes, I’ve watched the
video over and over again, but still can not see any clear evidence
of any illegalities. Though asking questions is usually frowned upon
by many governing forces, Mr. Kerry seemed more than willing to
answer the question, and not threatened by the situation, in my opinion.
Because I am an English major here at WVU, my free speech First
Amendment right is constantly exercised and encouraged. I also feel
that everyone, including Mr. Meyer, who as far as I know attends the
University of Florida, deserves this right equally. After the dust has settled I would only hope that you, the
administration of the University of Florida, and/or Sen. John Kerry
would give Mr. Meyer the opportunity to finish asking his question,
about which he felt so passionately. Thank you for taking the time out of what I am sure is your very
busy, and hectic schedule to read this e-mail. I look forward to
hearing from you soon. Respectfully,
John N. Thrasher President Machen’s response to me:
Your message was among those I have received since Monday afternoon when
University of Florida student Andrew Meyer was tasered and arrested at a
town hall forum held by Sen. John Kerry.
I want you to know I hear you loud and clear and share many of your
concerns. What I regret most of all about the incident that occurred
during a political forum is the lack of civil discourse, which is the
keystone of an academic institution such as ours.
We have begun several steps to gain a full understanding of how events
unfolded on Monday and to determine what protocols need changing.
Students and faculty will play an active role in this process, and every
aspect will be open to public review. We have not and will not assign
blame until the investigation is complete.
Updates will be posted regularly on http://www.ufl.edu.
We appreciate your patience as we allow the process to take its course.
J. Bernard Machen
President, University of Florida
Seems a bit like a generated response, but it did take a few days before I received it so maybe he did actually write it to me. Who knows. I thought it was worth mentioning at least for those of you that read the blog earlier.