Opinion: Should the School Remain Open?

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By Tristen M. O’Neal, Correspondent

This is not an interesting question; it is the question of a frightened, indecisive individual. Education is of vital importance to every person the world over. The combination of knowledge, skill, and opportunity can determine who lives a rich life and who lives a poor life. Education, then, is the most effective means of acquiring all three. To risk one’s life for such a pursuit, should be an easy decision to make.

In my own life, I can point to numerous pursuits I undertake in spite of the considerable risks they pose. I’ll embark on death-defying road trips to visit my family, for they are worth the risk. Without hesitation, I’ll sit under roofs and beams constructed by people I’ll never meet. I rise from my bed each morning because the majesty of living is worth the inevitable risks incurred along the way. Studying, learning, and gaining perspective in our glorious world is worth any cost, great or small.

Why, then, should my decision and subsequent ambition be subjugated by the fearful among us? Why should my colleagues be denied a proper education because of a risk they’re willing to take? The freedom to live under one’s own will – prepared to face any and all consequences – is immutable for both the fearful and fearless. Any institution that feels the need to decide which risks are too great for me is worthy of mockery and little else.

I used the word “indecisive” at the top of this article with considerable scorn. That insidious option – for it is an option – has infected the powers that be and the student body alike. It has butchered three semesters already and warped too many minds for my taste. I tire of the dread that hangs in the air of our glorious world, spurred on by hyperbolic headlines and threats disguised as suggestions. Life must go on, and a life locked indoors is far too plain for me to bear.

Thus, the university must stay open, my thinking goes. In pursuit of that reality, there are very few risks too great to bear.

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