Shameful conduct can't be tolerated

Shameful conduct can't be tolerated

Homecoming is a proud tradition that was begun at the University of Illinois 117 years ago — when alumni return for a weekend of celebration and warm memories, when the children of the future are greeted by those of the past.

In contrast, the 2017 homecoming parade was an embarrassment, an insult to our visitors, a slap in the face to those who matured at the UI, learned how to overcome life's problems and turn disagreements and obstacles into solutions.

Instead, mob action and intimidation ruled. The rule of law was conspicuous in its absence.

This was only the latest in a series of out-of-control rabble destroying while contributing nothing toward solutions. Shouting down the governor, threatening violence in response to unpopular speakers and disrupting a student group because someone didn't like its guest speaker are but a few recent examples of rabble trumping civil discourse.

Most disappointing is Robert Jones' failure to grasp the problem on the spot.

He experienced a perfect "learning opportunity" up close and personal, and missed it. A real leader would have faced the protesters face-to-face and demanded they express themselves in a civil, mature, orderly way, as adults do, or face the consequences

(See the University of Chicago and University of Wisconsin policy on disruptive behavior.) A leader would have continued in unity, not disbanded in divisiveness. Instead he slipped away, only speaking from the safe space of his office.

Jones' belated response? Form a committee.

TOM NAPIER

Champaign

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