‘The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on’
I am the widow of a professor emeritus of the former Department of Foreign Languages at West Virginia University.
As I’ve been reading the various letters from former students, present and former faculty, etc., and watching the TV footage of the students’ walkouts on the downtown and Evansdale campuses, I’m reminded of one of my husband’s favorite sayings: “The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.”
No amount of protesting will stop the moving caravan; only by removing the lead horses can this be accomplished. Therefore, only when President Gee and the Board of Governors are relieved of their duties can we even begin to see an end to this insanity!
I arrived in Morgantown just prior to the beginning of the fall semester of 1950. If you were not in town at that time, you cannot fully appreciate what a wonderful institution WVU was then. We had excellent leaders who recognized and supported the efforts put forth by our faculty and staff to ensure that the university would continue to function along the path of excellence for which it was known.
My only hope is that cooler heads will prevail to stop this caravan that is presently galloping along the path of destruction.
Why no sidewalks in student-heavy areas?
No sidewalks. Why? Do the leaders of the community, WVU officials, mayors, county commissioners and Division of Highways officials ever drive or walk through the community at night and observe the dangerous areas with no sidewalks where the students must trek daily to get to class or to the city bus?
They may need some calming medication before they attempt this.
The parents of the students spend thousands of dollars for tuition, food and housing, expecting leaders’ top priority would be the safety and security of their child.
This is not the case from Chestnut Ridge Road to Bakers Ridge Road, where there are hundreds of apartments and townhouses and where students who can’t afford private transportation walk along the edge of the road through weeds, garbage and rocks in addition to the area that floods on Van Voorhis Road.
And the lighting is minimal, if any at all. At night, some students carry small lights, but some wear dark clothing with no lights. Maybe local politicians could divert some of the surplus money to install lights. I realize there are many projects that need attention and completion, but this area needs attention.
Why hasn’t there been any mowing along the roads? The absence of clearing weeds and brush along the roadways creates more dangerous situations. Road signs that indicate dangerous curves, hidden driveways and crosswalks are covered with weeds and brush. This is a dereliction. A tree extending into the road caused a wreck on Bakers Ridge Road recently.
Apparently, there is some progress. According to DOH engineer Joe Pack, Van Voorhis will be widened with enough space for pedestrians to walk without fear of being hit by vehicles or stumbling over the garbage and rocks. Installing more lighting should be considered before this project is completed.
The problem with tolerating toxic leaders
Trouble was evident in Spanish Women’s Soccer in the past few years when over a dozen women athletes refused to play under the team’s coach. The team won the World Cup in 2023 anyway and then the president of the soccer federation started a firestorm by kissing a player without consent during a widely televised celebration.
It’s difficult to assess the level of wrongdoing because of differences in culture and the lack of a transparent investigation. But we can look at how society treats powerful men.
For instance, consider the TV show “House.” The conceit is that a misogynistic and generally nasty man can be tolerated because he saves lives with insights no one else sees. This conceit works well enough that it’s interesting to watch medical mysteries be solved as we minimize House’s personal crimes.
To illustrate the effect House has, when Dr. Allison Cameron is no longer on the medical team supporting Dr. House, members of the team go looking to hire a female doctor to replace her. One doctor, eminently qualified to replace Cameron, gets offered the job, but she rejects it due to the timidity of the hiring doctor. This subplot goes to show how toxicity can infect organizations from the top down. Power games go with toxic organizations, and the forced kiss at the celebration may have been one such game.
Looking back at the Spanish Women’s Soccer program, a good solution may be to remove the current leadership and start anew. One can hope that the women will get a chance to pursue their sport in peace.