College is a time for maturation . . . starting now
Two commentators in the Sept. 10 edition — Andrew Ginsburg, in a letter to the editor (“College is a social experience — surely, Northeastern knows that”), and Billy Baker, in his humor piece (“This college pledge will totally solve everything,” Metro) — argue against Northeastern University’s suspension of 11 students for violating clearly communicated COVID-19-related regulations, claiming, in Ginsburg’s case, that “college is and remains a social institution,” and, in Baker’s, seeming to excuse their behavior as typical adolescent immaturity.
Social distancing, the wearing of masks, limiting group sizes, and other precautions are designed to protect not only these students but also their classmates, professors, and the general public. If, as both writers imply, 18-year-olds frequently exercise immature judgement, perhaps we should also waive their right to vote, drive a car, marry, and purchase and possess certain kinds of weapons.
Perhaps it’s time to recognize that college is not only a social experience; it’s also a maturing experience, and here’s a good starting place for students to learn about the responsibilities connected to being a full member of adult society.
Kathryn Ruth Bloom
That rarity — a stance both the right and the left would decry
Andrew Ginsburg has managed to accomplish something few others have this year. He has expressed an opinion that both conservatives and liberals will vehemently disagree with.
Viewing college students as victims of circumstances clashes with conservatives’ expectation that everyone is responsible for his or her own actions. Yet that viewpoint sounds like a position liberals would love.
But anyone who has had access to a news source this year knows that all card-carrying liberals hate anyone who breaks a law or rule related to COVID-19.
Those students, kids, whatever you choose to call them, and Ginsburg will receive sympathy and support from few of their fellow citizens.
Harsh consequences for students, yet not for gym owners, Pastor Bell, Trump?
I do not think it is fair punishment to dismiss college students and keep their tuition when the president flouts social distancing and mask rules, as do Pastor Todd Bell of Maine and other religious leaders. Some gym owners flouted the rules for months.
Yes, the students were wrong, but the punishment is too harsh.
I do not have a dog in this fight, but this is wrong.