Recently, we as a campus have been dealing with free expression issues and, though I must admit I am not a regular reader of The Northerner, I have been following the issues through this student publication. I, too, believe strongly in the sprinted exchange of ideas but, when it becomes more important to insult than to report, it makes no sense to me to read The Northerner. This brings me to my concern.
The March 28 issue contained an article, “The Fix,” by Regan Coomer. A short paragraph discusses something about the divorce between Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. The paragraph starts with “Paul McCartney’s one-legged soon to be ex-wife Heather Mills …” Though free expression is important at Northern Kentucky University, our Core Values state that this expression supports “scholarship and the advanced learning process;” That remark encourages ignorance and stereotyping. How could The Northerner be so insensitive as to publish a description of someone as “one-legged?” I am also a “one-legged” individual. I was fortunate enough to have two biological legs for 43 years, but for the last seven I have had a prosthetic right leg.
We have a number of students using wheelchairs who have no use of their legs. I would like to know what The Northerner staff was thinking. Once you’ve lost an arm or a leg, or have any other physical issue, life changes for a person. I, for example, not only had to learn to walk again, but also had to learn to drive with a left foot. None of us wants this to happen, but we learn to live with our new reality.
I hope the next time The Northerner discusses anyone with an eye patch, a pronounced limp, crutches or any other “difference,” it treats them with dignity and respect. Let’s leave the name calling and stereotyping out of our community.
Chuck Pettit Operations and Maintenance