On why Barrett should have resigned.

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Barrett is an amazing person. He has done much to make life on Stew 4 better for all of us. In this piece I hope to explain why I feel the administration made the right decision in letting him go as an FYC. I am in support of Barrett remaining on the hall as an important member of our community, but not as an FYC.

Let me start however by commenting on the decision of some other FYCs to resign if the student led appeal fails.

Threats have little place in civilized discourse. By announcing in advance that they will resign if Barrett is not reinstated, the FYCs in question are holding the administration hostage. They are going against the most central tenant of liberal discourse, that it is OK for others to disagree. If this move stemmed from a principle that they feel was infringed and they were doing this to show solidarity and not issue a threat, they should have resigned after the fact and not made preemptive statements. The fact that they made this announcement before a final decision was made makes it quite obviously a threat. I would love to hear their explanation if this is not the case.

I also wonder if there is a lack of consistency in the arguments the FYCs are putting forth. They argue (and I have no reason to disagree) that Barrett being removed will cause tremendous damage to the hall dynamics. Will their decisions to resign not cause similar harm? When the college put forth its arguments for Barretts dismissal a lot of people consistently argued that the interests of the students of the hall should always come first. I urge you to consider your actions in the light of your arguments.

If you are still with me, I want to quickly explain why I think the college’s decision was right.

From a legal standpoint, if the college does not fire Barrett and something goes wrong in Stew 4 because of Barret or even with no involvement on his part, the college will be left vulnerable to lawsuits. It could very well be argued by anyone who sues the college at the point that the college provided insufficient care by having someone who has demonstrated a lack of judgement in a supervisory position. The college does not deserve this because of a personal mistake on the part of one student.

From a personal responsibility standpoint, Barrett should have resigned after the incident and not waited for the college’s ruling. If he sees the level of threat posed by having an absolute stranger living on the hall, he should feel the violation of trust that some of us felt in his decision. If he feels that there was no such threat, I invite him to explain, 1. why based on the little time he knew this man he is so sure and 2. what could we have done (given that we did not know his complete identity) if he had committed a crime and left.

Once again, I think Barrett should be allowed to stay on in the hall as a student. But when it comes to his employment contract, he clearly violated important provisions of this contract. We should have no say in the decision his employer has made especially given the legal ramifications discussed above.


5 Responses to On why Barrett should have resigned.

  1. Chad Brower says:

    They should let him say in school… But its not up to us..

  2. Anonymous says:

    Agreed, anon. “tenant of liberal discourse?” no, how about “tenant of liberal bullshit.” the only real strides ever made in political and social movements are ones that don’t say “let’s agree to disagree.”

    Stick to yr guns, FYCs.

    Institutions don’t have feelings to be hurt and aren’t people to be worshipped–please, you pay them to pay other people to pay them to look good so they can do the cycle over and over

    Hello. History wants a chat with you.

  3. Anon says:

    “Threats have little place in civilized discourse. By announcing in advance that they will resign if Barrett is not reinstated, the FYCs in question are holding the administration hostage. They are going against the most central tenant of liberal democracy, that it is OK for others to disagree.”

    This bullshit is mind-boggling. You make it sound like this is some philosophical disagreement between friends; it is in fact a dispute where one side (the administration) has all of the power. Erasure of power differentials is just one more reason why “liberal democracy” is so foolish.

    Kudos to the FYCs for their threat. I hope they stick to it. If this is about acting as role models for first-years, perhaps it’ll teach those students what it means to give this institution the giant middle finger it so deserves.

    “The college does not deserve this [risk of a lawsuit] because of a personal mistake on the part of one student.”

    Perhaps you’ll make a great administrator someday, Abhishek. Or CEO, etc. You’ve already become awfully good at treating institutions like people (when in reality they’re all about controlling people and subsuming them to the interests of capital).

  4. Anonymous says:

    Finally a post that focuses on the rational, not simply “I like Barrett.” I lived with Barrett freshman year and yeah as everyone has said, he is the man, but I agree with you, the school had to fire him. This was a terrible lapse in judgment and the man’s removal had nothing to do with race whatsoever.

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