Letter to the editor: Alumnus responds to Romney reactions

TEMP ORARY October 17, 2012 4

As a first-year at Elizabethtown College in 2004, I found it incredibly exciting to be living in a “swing state” during presidential election season. Thanks to the Electoral College, living in New York never permitted me the opportunity to see any candidate, as a state that has been blue since Ronald Reagan hasn’t been worth anyone’s campaign time. That October, I had the chance to see President George W. Bush at HersheyPark Stadium on the re-election trail, a thrilling moment for me. It wasn’t thrilling because I was voting for him. It was thrilling because the President of the United States was appearing 15 minutes from my dorm room. I told my professors I’d be missing class for this. None of them were voting for President Bush, and all of them encouraged me to attend the event.
Fast forward to 2012. On Saturday, Oct. 13, I was ecstatic to see that Ann Romney would be appearing on campus. How exciting is it to have a potential first lady appear on our small college campus? It was a wonderful, well-attended event in Leffler Chapel. It was terrific Public Relations for the College, and I was proud as an alumnus and employee to have such a notable event at Elizabethtown, just three weeks away from Election Day. Elizabethtown student reporters attended the event and interviewed supporters, an experience many do not get to have. Soon after the rally, I became quite disappointed in my former fellow Blue Jays.
Every person who attended the Ann Romney event was respectful, and I’d be willing to bet some students attended who are supporting President Obama. Some students held an Obama rally in the parking lot, and it was orderly and polite. Nothing was out of hand, until I found out what was happening in the world of social networking. The hash tag #AshamedToBeABlueJay appeared, and was “re-tweeted” by several former students. I was outraged. I suppose these alums would hope Elizabethtown would refuse a Romney event, but what would that say about our college?
The alums that started this hashtag and have complained to the College have it all wrong. Nowhere did the college state that it was endorsing any political candidates or party, and it shouldn’t have even needed to issue a disclaimer through Campus News on Monday morning. Romney’s people contacted the College, and there are some Elizabethtown alums working for the campaign. The Chapel would be open to any other political organization or candidate wishing to use it. Elizabethtown College has always promoted political tolerance, meaning that anyone has a right to be heard, even if you disagree with them. This event was a pure example of not only political tolerance, but the fact that exciting things are always happening on this campus. Any prospective student with an open-mind should note this event when choosing a school. I know I would.
Our Office of Alumni Relations ends its publications with its new trademark “Blue Jays. Always.” It’s apparent that some of us don’t take this to heart.

4 Comments »

  1. LizSteiner1 October 17, 2012 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    Wen I was opinion editor, we never allowed anonymous LTEs. Mostly because it allowed cowardice behind the written word. You want to be disappointed in my hash tag? My disappointment stems from the renting of space for profit against all of the colleges values. I’m disappointed in your lack of bravery. I am a blue jay – always. But sometimes, I’m a bit ashamed of it. Just like sometimes I’m ashamed of my family, it’s allowed to happen. Still family.

    • The Etownian
      The Etownian October 17, 2012 at 9:08 pm - Reply

      Hi Liz– we’re always appreciative of feedback, but the author is indeed listed.

  2. LizSteiner1 October 17, 2012 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Eric, apologies – was not a byline moments ago.

  3. EricKopp21 October 18, 2012 at 10:04 am - Reply

    Apology accepted.  I too would be upset if anyone wrote an anonymous opinion article.

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