A storm has been brewing around campus, and it has nothing to do with the weather.
It’s about an issue between a student and professor that has escalated at an accelerated rate, thanks to the Internet and social media world we live in. Last week, The Spectator ran an article about Dr. Frank J. Rybicki being arrested for battery charges, which were filed by Krista Bowman.
In only a few days, the article garnered national media attention with articles on the HuffPost College’s website, Inside Higher Ed, and TIME NewsFeed. On The Spectator’s website alone, the article has collected over 26,000 views and nearly 80 comments, a record when compared to any other article in recent times. Comments range from the inane to the insane and it is becoming increasingly clear that no one is coming up with a definitive solution.
We have a solution. The problem originally could have been solved between the two parties privately. That is what we are suggesting should happen now. Both parties should take action and apologize. The consequences from the charges are heading in a direction of costing a professor his career and hurting a student’s social and academic life.
These people need their lives back. The administration should do the right thing, not the most expedient, and reinstate Dr. Rybicki. The VSU community should stop treating Bowman as an outcast, and understand that people make mistakes—unfortunately, this mistake has gotten national attention. Remember, those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
The internet exposes and can skew everyone’s life. In this electronic world we live in, social media is all encompassing and we have to be cautious with how it is used and how quickly it helps news travel.
The other issue that this incident exposes is the changed relationship between the professor and students. We feel like the relationship between professor and student, the role of a student in a classroom, and what students owe to each other should become more defined. Our ultimate goal as a university is to establish an institution for learning, and that attention to learning is what we all need to be focused on.
As the editorial staff of this newspaper, a vehicle for free speech, we ask for your opinions. Students, what do you feel your role is in a classroom and what do you feel like you owe your fellow students, if anything? Share your opinion by commenting online at www.vsuspectator.com or in the chatbox below, or by sending your opinions to Opinion Editor, Molly Duett at firstname.lastname@example.org.