There is a social media campaign, allegedly led by Ohio University students, in opposition of the November school levy, calling itself “Students for Athens Education.” It focuses on a series of things one could theoretically buy with the money that can be paid in additional taxes, most notably “three cases [of beer]” and “six slices [of pizza]” per month.
This campaign should not be given the time of day, let alone any serious consideration. The fact that there is an organized campaign to attack this levy in this way is absolutely disgusting. There are so many problems here, not the least of which being the fact that a case of beer is more important to these people than the youth of Athens.
As a student, I am embarrassed that this campaign exists. The organizers clearly have zero respect for our city. This community does so much for Ohio University's student body and so much of it gets ignored. An argument based on pizza money is simply a disgrace to the people of both the Ohio University and Athens communities.
This campaign is the quintessence of entitlement and privilege so often exhibited by certain segments of the student body. The level of disrespect that many of my colleagues show this town is a disgrace, but this campaign crosses a line that I didn’t know could be crossed. This group’s attempt to have this kind of impact on policy for beer money, just to leave the people of this great city to deal with the aftermath, flies in the face of what it means to be a Bobcat and a resident of Athens.
I would like to note that I take no issue with a campaign in opposition to the levy, as I haven’t personally made my decision yet. Discussions about the merit of a proposed policy is necessary for the health of our democracy, but the public commitment of this group to put more importance in a slice of pizza than the youth of Athens is shameful. These students will leave this town in a few years, but the youth of Athens will have to live with their decision on this issue for the entirety of their school career, and honestly, their lives. This is one of the cheapest, most petty and disappointing campaigns I’ve ever seen, and the organizers should be ashamed.
Dominic Detwiler is a junior studying sociology at Ohio University.