Support other universities in difficult times, students have similar end goals to embrace

Erika Heck and Erika Heck

Earlier this week, my Twitter timeline exploded with news articles about a “vintage” Kent State sweatshirt.

The sweatshirt, if you have not seen it, was created by Urban Outfitters. It is dyed red, torn and frayed, which makes it look blood-stained.

The use of the word “vintage” in the sweatshirt’s description indicates that [as the definition of “vintage” states] it is from a specific period of time.

This sweatshirt was perceived by Kent State students, faculty and citizens all over Northeast Ohio [where Kent State is located] as not only extremely offensive, but as a way to make profit off of the May 4, 1970 incident where four students died and nine others were wounded at the university at the hands of the National Guard.

News stations from my hometown [where a lot of the news anchors are KSU alumni] took to Facebook and Twitter to ask others what their opinions were of the sweatshirt.

Even friends of mine from high school who attend Kent State took to their social media sites to verbalize their upset over Urban Outfitters’ sweatshirt blunder.

Normally, I can’t help but cringe when I see some comments on a news site, but surprisingly I was not appalled by what people were saying about the sweatshirt.

I was more appalled by what some of my fellow Falcons were saying about the controversy on Twitter.

I flinched at every tweet that told the KSU student body to get over it.

I cringed at one tweet that told the student body they had no right to be upset because the massacre happened way before our time.

And what upsets me even more is that I know that we, as a student body, do not treat each other this way.

If there is something happening that is upsetting our university community [say, for instance, the recent visits from bible thumpers telling us all that we are going to hell] we take action and support one another through it.

So if we can give each other all this support when things in our own university community are rough, why did we not extend this hand of support to Kent State students in the wake of this sweatshirt controversy?

If the shoe was on the other foot, and something like this or similar was happening to the University, I would want as much support as possible.

I would want to be comforted by the idea that other students who don’t even attend the same college support my university in a time that is tough.

I would want people from other universities to express that they are just as offended and upset about something as I am.

Instead of telling others to get over it, we should be supporting the Golden Flashes in this debate.

At the end of the day, we are all students. No matter where we attend college, we are all aiming for the same end goal.

Support others in hard times and maybe, when you least expect it, others will support you.

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