I read Abdullah Awad’s column in the recent issue of the Record (“Working for the Week,” Sept. 30) with considerable unhappiness and feel obliged to respond on behalf of an entire College community that I believe his unfamiliarity with the campus has led him to judge unfairly. Since Awad apparently saw fit to base his opinion in part on the first few weeks of a class involving classical philosophy, I will quote Homer on the subject of alcohol: “Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, / Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.”
Awad argues that drinking has a negative impact on the campus due to the mistakes it can facilitate; I would respond that one can just as reasonably condemn driving because car accidents happen, sport because injury happens and an entire class of students because a few of them allow themselves to expound sanctimonious, close-minded opinions in print.
I encourage Awad and all who have jumped to conclusions about the College during their three weeks (or, indeed, first three years) here to abandon them and take a second look at the community they so wrong with their sweeping generalities. Not a day goes by without an Eph shocking me with a previously unsuspected skill or unmentioned font of knowledge. I recommend Awad reserve judgment until he’s really gotten to know the student body; condemning it as a mob of willfully ignorant sybarites wrongs both it and him.
Though responsible, legal social intoxication is a personal choice, I further urge Awad to give it too a second chance. As Aeschylus would have it, “Bronze is the mirror of the form; wine, of the heart.” One should be able to refrain from looking in that mirror without disapproval from those who gaze into it regularly, but just as importantly, one should not rush to judgment about those who, according to Aeschylus, know well the reflection of their own hearts.