meaningofstrife

Seeing the best in life's challenges

UD Kicks the Dog

on October 2, 2013

You’re not really mad at the dog, and the dog didn’t really do anything wrong.  OK, well maybe it was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.  But it’s easier to kick the dog, because solving your real problems is much more difficult.  And you have to look like you’re doing something.  You have to let others know you are powerful and in charge.

So you kick the dog.

On September 9 in Newark, Delaware, a near-riot resulted from a party that got out of control, which was prompted by a visit by Youtube channel “I’m Schmacked.”  Google it.

So you’re the administration at the University of Delaware, and you have a big problem on your hands.  You cannot tolerate this kind of disturbance, for lots of reasons.  This incident makes you look bad.  It looks like you have no control over the student body.  Your campus now seems unsafe in the eyes of parents and neighbors.  You have to do something.

The party originated at a house referred to as The Rugby House, whatever that means I am sure many readers know more than I do (see the comment below from a reader for more info about the house.)  It’s not officially part of the Rugby Club, but a couple of rugby players (out of a team of 70) live there (maybe more?), and you find out they had something to do with the party.  (From what you can read online, it’s difficult to tell much more detail than this, and those at the University obviously know more than me.  Still…)

Aha!!  You found your dog.  You suspend the rugby program for five years.

By kicking the dog, you look powerful and scary.  By kicking the dog, you scare everybody else who knows how hard you kicked that dog, so if they are smart they will fall in line, not make waves, keep their mouths shut and behave.  They don’t want to be the next dog to get kicked in the gut.

Can the dog fight this battle?  No way.  Anything that poor dog does, he’ll just get kicked again.  If he’s smart, he’ll lay low and grovel for forgiveness.

I have nothing to do with UD or the Rugby Club.  But this pisses me off.

Because this dynamic is not unusual.  We use fear tactics and wield power in schools all the time to control kids.  It doesn’t matter if we’re fair.

And what do we teach the students?  We teach them that authority figures are out of control, unreasonable and are to be avoided.  Students can’t trust administrators to act fairly. We also teach them that if someone is in a position of power, they can pretty much do whatever they want.  We teach them that it’s ok to use fear of unreasonable consequences to control those you have power over.  We teach them that even when those in power do things that aren’t right, you just have to suck it up and get through it.

When students grow up and attain positions of power in business or government, and they use these same tactics that we taught them, THEN we get indignant and can’t believe what they’ve done.  Really?

Students learn that others will sympathize with them in private, but no one is willing to stick their neck out and say that IT IS WRONG TO KICK THE DOG.  Even worse, others say, “that’s just the way it is.”

And then we’re surprised when kids don’t want to listen to us adults??

Am I the only one who can see this??  Hello??

So, I’ve had a ton of views of this post, and I want to add this:

One of my most popular topics has been Conceptual vs. Linear Thinking.  This post provides a good example to apply the two ways of thinking.

If you look at this situation linearly — to the facts, to the cause and effect, to the actions and their consequences, to who is right and who is wrong, you would probably at least understand or expect the outcome that occurred.  Your opinion, after learning all the facts, would tend to focus on who was to blame, and who should have done what.  This is how most everyone has thought about things in the past.  This is thinking in black and white.

I tend to look at these situations conceptually.  By that I mean, I try to look at the big picture, at the overall concept of what is going on.  I try to understand the dynamics of it.  I’m not very concerned with the specific facts per se.  It’s not that the facts don’t matter, but they only matter if they change the overall concept.  And I believe that more and more people are looking at the world this way, especially younger people.  When you try to understand this kind of situation at the conceptual level, instead of seeing individuals who are doing something right or wrong, you see trends and tendencies, you get a better understanding of our culture and its effects.   When you see the overall picture, you are thinking in shades of grey.

Next is thinking in color.  But that’s another post altogether.  🙂


7 responses to “UD Kicks the Dog

  1. JACKIE CLINGERMAN says:

    I AGREE WITH YOU ENTIRELY! I AM A CONCEPTUAL THINKER AND I AM A BETTER PHARMACIST BECAUSE OF IT-THE WORLD DOES NOT EXIST IN BLACK AND WHITE-THERE ARE MANY SHADES OF GRAY. WITH THAT SAID, I BELIEVE THE UNIVERSITY IS MAKING AN ASS (LITERALLY-A STUBBORN AND QUITE STUPID MULE) OF ITSELF. IT TAKES A BIGGER PERSON TO ADMIT THAT YOU ARE WRONG THAN REFUSING TO COMMENT TO THE PARENTS. IF THEY WOULD SAY-LOOK IN LIGHT OF FURTHER INFORMATION AND UPON THINKING OF THE BIG PICTURE THIS IS WHAT WE SHOULD DO…SAY ADJUST THE SUSPENSION TO THIS SEASON AND INCLUDE A MANDATORY TALK TO THE STUDENTS REGARDING SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF IT. IT HAS BEEN PROVEN THAT THE CAUSE/EFFECT PORTION THE THE BRAIN DOES NOT FULLY DEVELOP UNTIL THE AGE OF ~25. THEREFORE TAKE THIS EVENT AND MAKE IT A TEACHABLE MOMENT !!!! ADDRESS SITUATIONS LIKE THIS AND HOW TO KNOW WHEN TO WALK AWAY BECAUSE FRANKLY WE ARE ALL LUCKY THAT NO ONE GOT SERIOUSLY INJURED. UNDER AGE DRINKING ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES IS A REALITY BUT TURNING A BLIND EYE OR JUST SAY NO ATTITUDES CAN LEAD TO MUCH BIGGER CONSEQUENCES THAT CAN NOT BE UNDONE. BE SMARTER-TEACH THESE KIDS ABOUT SITUATIONS THEY WILL FACE AND HOW TO HANDLE THEM. WE CAN NOT HOLD THEIR HAND EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY AND IF WE WANT THEM TO BE RESPONSIBLE ADULTS THAT MAKE OUR WORLD A BETTER PLACE THAT IS RULED BY FAIRNESS AND AS A TRUE DEMOCRACY AS THE FOUNDING FATHERS INTENDED–ONE THAT TAKES THOSE WHO LET POWER MAKE THEM THINK THEY ARE BIGGER THAN THE COLLECTIVE SOCIETY AND PUTS THEM BACK IN THEIR PLACE-THAN WE NEED TO GIVE THEM THE TOOLS TO DO CRITICAL THINKING AND DECISION MAKING IN THESE TYPES OF SITUATIONS BY USING TEACHABLE MOMENTS. IF THE UNIVERSITY WANTS TO SAVE THEMSELVES FROM THE BAD PRESS AND AN IMAGE THAT THEY NOW HAVE-NOT SO MUCH FROM THE SO CALLED RIOT BUT FROM THEIR INCOMPREHENSIBLE MANNER IN WHICH THEY HAVE REACTED TO IT– IN LIFE YOU ARE NOT JUDGED SO MUCH FROM THE SITUATIONS YOU FIND YOURSELF IN BUT FROM THE WAY YOU RESPOND TO THAT SITUATION–THEN THEY NEED TO WAKE UP UD BEFORE YOUR NAME IS PERMANENTLY SMEARED BY THE WAY YOU RESPOND TO THAT SITUATION. A DOG WILL ONLY ALLOW YOU TO KICK IT SO MANY TIMES BEFORE IT WILL TURN ON YOU AND ATTACK BACK.

  2. Can not wait to reply to the next solicitation for money from the University of Delaware. $0

  3. WestBMore says:

    The “Rugby House” on S. College has been known as the “Rugby House” for years and during that time it has always been occupied by members of the Rugby Club team. Rugby Club members have themselves referred to it as the “Rugby House” in general and specifically when talking about their annual Homecoming Tailgate. So when people refer to it as the “Rugby House” it is not some arbitrary designation as the author was led to believe. Having said that, the punishment is too long.

    • jlcmom says:

      Thanks for that information. I am obviously not “in the know” about those kinds of details, which is the reason for my “whatever that means” comment. So this clarification is helpful.

    • Catching Dinosaurs says:

      You can call it the Rugby House if you want but either way but that still does not mean that all 70 plus men on the rugby team were in attendance to a party thrown by two on the team. Most of them weren’t accounted for at the event and therefore the whole team should not be punished for the actions of many students of the university. There were people from every sports team there and involved in this so called “riot”. It would be interesting to see what would have happened if the party originated at the “Football House”.

  4. starlight says:

    Oh many people aren’t fair! I find it frustrating too. What I’ve been kindly taught recently is ‘those who have power, can bend the truth!’ They can’t hide from the god-mind though.

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