Recently, my alma mater made national news when the student government organization decided that the American flag conveyed “nationalistic sentiments” and was a “cultural artifact… [that] has been flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism.” As such, the representatives of the associated student body, voted to remove the American flag from the lobby of the ASUCI building on campus. Since the passing of the legislation, a lot has happened. The school has been thrust onto the national stage and state legislators have begun lobbying to ensure that this can never happen again. The executive representatives of ASUCI has also vetoed the resolution, returning the flag to its rightful place in the lobby of the building.
I find two very troubling elements to this story which will surely burn the name of UCI (the University of California, Irvine) into the minds of all the concerned citizens of this great nation. The first is that while there were misguided and utterly ungrateful individuals who voted in favor of this resolution there were those that decided that abstaining would be a much better option. In my mind, an abstention here is a vote in the affirmative, especially since the process is an open one. Thank you Alvin Phan (Rule Chair) and Jamie Louie (Finance Chair). The second troubling fact is that while the individuals that drafted and supported this resolution see fit to take advantage of the freedoms that this country affords all individuals, they didn’t see it as reason enough to defend the one symbol of the US that hung in the lobby of an organization that exists solely because of tax paying citizens. At best, this is a slap in the face of every citizen of the state and it should not be tolerated.
Let’s tell it like it is. We live in an age of understanding and cowardice. We refuse to defend the very ideals that we depend on day-to-day. The only answer is to hold individuals accountable for their actions, because clearly, they don’t feel like they are. Based on the apology posted on the ASUCI Facebook Fanpage (which since this disaster has achieved the highly coveted one star rating), they feel that they were justified in pushing the resolution because some students decided that they did not want to see the flag in the lobby. That they would point to the “privilege” of being able to have “these kinds of conversations” but maintain that they meant no ill will toward our nation is laughable.
So today, I am going to be putting all these people on blast:
John Salazar (Public Info Chair)
Naty Ric0 (Advocacy Chair)
Matthew Tsai (Rules Vice)
Khaalidah Sidney (Public Info)
Matthew Guevara (Advocacy Vice & Resolution Author)
Negar Fatahi (Advocacy)
Alvin Phan (Rule Chair) Abstained
Jamie Louie (Finance Chair) Abstained
Shame on you all. This group of eight entitled troglodytes have managed to sully an entire institution and literally make me hide my diploma in shame. As the son of a serviceman, a child of first generation immigrants, and a citizen of this great nation, you make me sick. Nothing short of your resignation from the governing body will suffice, since it would be totally unAmerican to remove you from this educational institution, even if you are past educating. I hope this incident will follow you for years to come.