Saturday, November 02, 2013

A plea to the LSU community

No matter how you feel (or don't care) about the UL name issue, this opinion article is a disaster. In addition to its unbelievably snotty, condescending attitude (and possibly the worst choice of headline adjective possible in "uppity"), its facts are almost entirely wrong. It is beneath the quality and integrity of the Reveille, and it should never have been published.

I've been asked a couple of times recently — once from an LSU grad and again from a Louisiana expatriate friend who didn't attend either school — why many people in the UL community have a grudge against LSU.

This is why. 

When someone has lots of money, tons of clout and a solid reputation, they look incredibly small when they habitually pick on the little people. It reeks of bullying and lots of insecurity. Disparaging an entire group of people (inaccurately, at that) stretches it to an even more unnecessary extreme. It undoes every attempt to depict the home team as the superior institution of education.

I know for a fact you're better than that. Some of my best friends and many of my cousins graduated from LSU. I've met several inspirational faculty members. The campus is magnificent. I had a blast when I attended an LSU football game. For seven years working with the UL track team, I had a second home at LSU's indoor and outdoor track facilities. When I lived in Baton Rouge, I rode my bike around University Lakes every chance I got. So I know firsthand that the positive aspects of LSU far outweigh its negatives.

Unfortunately, such assets are often overshadowed by juvenile rhetoric as that spewed by John Ryan McGehee. Which is why I think every level-headed member of your community should distance themselves from this article and what it represents — bullying, ignorance and untruths. To your credit, many of you on the comment thread already have. I think the Reveille should take the next step and officially call for more responsible discourse.

We've disagreed much in the past and no doubt will again in the future. But I hope that such debates take the form of equals with differing opinions, rather than class warfare with different facts. 

Don't do it for me. Do it for you. Live up to your level.

Rage on, Tigers.

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