What Does B.A.D. Really Stand For?
Madison Cooney | firstname.lastname@example.org
The election of President Trump into office has seen many things for the country, but also for Bucknell. One of the biggest things that Bucknell’s campus has seen is the rise of a new group called B.A.D., or Bucknell Alternative Delegation. I affectionately call this group Babies Against Donald, which fits their acronym and their purpose on campus. Since the founding of B.A.D., Bucknell has seen an absurd amount of unnecessary protests and many students have learned just how entitled our peers feel.
Bucknell was first introduced to B.A.D. through an open letter that was sent out to all of the student body that was full of demands. While the letter provided some things that may have been legitimate talking points, I lost respect for those who wrote it from the very beginning. The fact that the students felt so entitled that they could demand things from the President and the University was astonishing to me. I have never seen such a sense of entitlement. Who are they to demand things? Request things, sure, but to demand something requires power and that is the kind of power that students do not and should not have. If these students have such a problem with the way the University is being run that they feel as though they can - and need to - demand things, they should really consider going to school that has already implemented their demands. No one is making them stay.
This letter started off by demanding “Bucknell become a sanctuary for all marginalized community members who have chosen to pursue their education here.” Almost anyone should be able to pursue an education at Bucknell, not just the marginalized community members. The key phrase in that demand is “chosen to pursue,” meaning that the students they are demanding sanctuary for chose to go here full well knowing what the university was like. The demands have subsections and one subsection that I found appalling was the section that stated the Bucknell should provide financial support for the undocumented students because they cannot receive federal funding. It amazes me that this is not common sense to students on our campus. There are intelligent people on this campus who think that Bucknell should be providing support because undocumented students are unfairly kept from federal funding. Of course undocumented students are kept from federal funding because they are not in accordance with the laws of the federal government. Why should Bucknell support someone’s illegal activity?
There are many other problematic subsections under the first demand, such as the demand for “the right to live, party, and mingle in a space distinct from university housing restrictions and limits of conduct.” The only spaces that are distinct from university conduct violations are the downtown houses. I know conduct violations take place in Fraternity houses on a regular basis, but Bucknell does not willingly let that happen. If misconduct happens and the University is made aware of it, they address it. The only place to be mostly free from University conduct policies is in downtown housing and even then, some University conduct rules still apply So why would Bucknell give something to this organization that they do not give to everyone else?
The second demand states, “the university become a sanctuary for open dialogue of political discussion and practice regardless of ideology, barring hate-speech, personal attack, and/or threat to the safety of individuals and groups.” While this would be great, it is almost completely unattainable, mostly because of the members of B.A.D. or other students who signed the letter. It is not the Conservatives on campus who have problems engaging in dialogue , it tends to be the regressive liberals, as I know from personal experience and more than one death threat from people of that political persuasion on campus. This demand is also problematic because the use of the phrase hate-speech which has a loose definition that has never been clearly defined. When it is defined, almost anything said on campus should be hate-speech so should we just stop engaging in dialogue because heaven forbid we offend someone. If B.A.D. has a problem with campus political discussion, they should address it within their own community, not as a campus-wide discussion.
The Bucknell Alternative Delegation has since that letter caused many disruptions on campus for seemingly no other purpose than to disrupt campus business. They have held two student walkouts and a day of protest, but the only thing I see happening throughout those events is those students losing out on class time and the significant amount of money they pay to be in class. While peaceful and nonviolent protest is absolutely their right, I simply do not understand what change they think they are causing on Bucknell’s campus by doing so. It is not as though the national news is going to notice the protests that are happening and applaud some Bucknell students for it.
It is my firm belief that one of the most problematic element of the campus activities initiated by B.A.D. is the open support they have from faculty. I think it is great that Professors want to support their students and should freely speak their opinions on political matters, but not to the detriment of other students in their classes. There have been many instances where Professors have canceled class and all but forced their classes to participate in the protests through their actions of following their classes outside. If B.A.D.’s entire purpose is for everyone to have the freedom to speak, then Bucknell students who do not support them should not be forced by Professors to attend these protests and students who do not support these actions should not be academically harmed because their Professor decided to not have class. I completely support a freedom of expression in almost whatever form you choose but I wish that the Bucknell Alternative Delegation would wake up and see they appear as entitled babies to those who do not agree with them.