Ron Paul is trekking up to Ithaca on Thursday to address Cornellians, and it goes without saying that having a presidential candidate speak at your campus is a pretty big deal (even one with as negligible a chance at the nomination as representative Dr. Paul). And if Ron Paul is known for one thing at this point, it’s making his views heard, however unpopular or offensive they may be. Just like that time when he told a room filled with a largely Hispanic audience that he opposes the DREAM Act, which would offer in-state college tuition to certain undocumented students. But he opposes it for “economic” reasons.
That doesn’t sit too well with Cornell’s aptly named DREAM Team, a student organization created to support undocumented students and the recent recipients of the James A. Perkins Prize for Interracial Understanding and Harmony. As ambassadors for interracial understanding and harmony, the group plans to protest Paul by, you know, throwing things at the candidate because they don’t like what he has to say.
According to a copy of the DREAM Team’s meeting minutes from Sunday, their protest ideas range from the rational and respectful, “flyer outside of the event, encourage non-supporters to attend and boo,” to the blatantly anti-authoritarian, “throw something at him diplomas and pillows,” to the just plain bizarre, “wear pajamas.”
Throwing things seems to be the popular choice, but I think the fine details need to be worked out a little bit. Pillows make sense, especially considering Paul’s age and fragility, but how are you going to sneak it in? I don’t think the “I was planning on catching up on some sleep” excuse works at a rally. As for diplomas, if they’re unframed, the pieces of paper aren’t going very far, but if they’re framed, those bad boys could do some real hardcore damage. Food for thought guys.
However, not all of the DREAM teamers are on board with this option. In emails obtained by IvyGate, one member sent out a plea to the team’s googlegroup detailing her personal disagreement with the plan:
“The Cornell DREAM Team should think carefully before engaging in activity that would compromise our status as the winners of the Perkins Prize for Interracial Understanding and Harmony. We should NOT “boo” or throw ANYTHING at the stage. By doing this, we aren’t really promoting interracial understanding very harmoniously.”
Uh oh, trouble in the ranks? But this seemed like such a solid, well thought out plan … What’s going to happen to all the pajamas?
Pajamas aside, this dispute did invite a response from a member of the googlegroup, in favor for some sort of action against Paul. He writes, “However, personally I feel that it is my responsibility to legally protest a documented racist politician that is against birth-right citizenship, welfare and the Dream Act.” And in speaking for the group:
“There was consensus in the room that this is something that we should participate in. There wasn’t necessarily consensus about throwing things at the stage but it is something that we need to talk about. By protesting this we will take away the aura that college students blindly follow Ron Paul and hopefully encourage our peers not to do the same.”
That’s right everyone, follow the pajama-wearing pillow-throwers.
Well, there you have it. Two sides of the case, to throw or not to throw, the eternal question. What will happen Thursday remains to be seen, but pillows, diplomas, or just sharp words, it should be a good time.