As the luck would have it, Cholly Robbins, a member of the GSU Foundation Executive Committee visited me many years ago when we were trying to get our fund raising program off the ground, quipped, “Mandes why don’t we just try a campaign in one day.”
The story of this wonderful man’s comment is now copied by universities throughout this country.
The point is this, I did not like it that Bill Ayres came to campus. He may be a qualified academician who directs doctoral research, but his political position about my country makes me sick to my stomach. Still, the point is, his appearance was financed by funds from student activities fees, which support other areas of student expression i.e. the George-Anne, WVGS.
So all our local commentaries who are aligning death to a Day for Southern, lay off. GSU president Dr. Brooks Keel could do nothing about it and had he tried, every winger from here to hell and back would have stormed the campus with riotous ranting covered by NBC, CBS etc. What then. National news of a dumb southern university letting radicals run rampant.
I can assure you Ayers’ appearance under the guise of diversity, which in balance is a good thing for the thinking process of GSU students, was attended, observed and he went away.
Was he full of sound and fury? I don’t know. Didn’t go. But does that mean my absence was right? Not on your life. It just meant my personal opinion was not to listen to Ayres speak whose past jargon and demonstration rushed against my grain as a U.S. veteran.
Give Keel a break. And to the legislators who are kicking our lobbyist all over the place in Atlanta about the Ayres appearance, the same goes for you as well. If you and our locos who threatened A Day For Southern did your homework, each of you would know funding from student activities fees, are guarded and directed to a large part by the students, who often make daring decisions.
But in the end, isn’t that what GSU is all about, four years of confirmation of our students’ beliefs, faith and hope even if means allowing darken figures to yell from enemy lines?
And as for A Day For Southern, it will continue on and will be signal of the support of this community for GSU, which is what my friend Robbins had in mind a couple of decades ago.