In response to Matthew Bray’s letter (March 30) concerning war protesters, I feel it is important to clarify a couple of points. The University of Maine at Farmington hallway where the event took place is where a wide variety of activities occur, including political events. Part of UMF’s responsibility is to provide a venue for the public.
Contrary to Bray’s assertion, faculty members are not paid by the hour nor are we solely to remain in our offices and classrooms. In addition to teaching and meeting with students, our responsibilities include fulfilling other university duties, conducting research, remaining active in our fields of expertise and having a private life.
The general role of education is to explore, explain, question and learn. The process of education should make students uncomfortable and challenge them to think critically. Most aspects of education are inherently political as are all facets of life. In the broadest sense we each have the right and responsibility to express our beliefs in a public forum, but that does not mean we must agree or that we have the right to demand silence from those with whom we disagree.
I hope that we continue to keep discussing issues that are important to us rather then seeking to narrow and control debate.
Kristina B. Wolff, Farmington