LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Hilltoppers for life displayed was vandalized.

Joshua Bozeman

In regards to the vandalism of the pro-life display: 1) Elaina Smith’s actions were a clear act of vandalism. West’s Encyclopedia of American Law defines vandalism thusly:  “The intentional and malicious destruction of or damage to the property of another.” Smith intentionally damaged the crosses by altering the original intent of the display. Free speech is hardly free if anyone can come along and alter its meaning in order to obfuscate the original message.   

2) Professor Arnold makes a mockery of her position by attacking the pro-life display as an “…aggressive, politically-oriented piece with one point of view.” Newsflash — this is precisely what the First Amendment protects! She goes on to state the intent of the display is dishonest, that it is, in fact, a trick to “bait students into a response.” Not only is Smith not to blame, but the fault truly lies with HFL for having the audacity to exercise their Constitutionally-protected freedoms, begging for vandals to alter their display. Let’s hope few FAC (fine arts center) instructors take such a radical view.    

3) Finally, back to Smith herself. It’s rich that in her statement to the Herald, where she refuses to apologize, somehow foolishly believing that placing hundreds of condoms over crosses in no way “damage[d] any property,” she states that the student body had “tolerated this intrusion” for a week. Is that what free speech is to Smith — an intrusion to be tolerated by staff and students? With this mindset, no wonder she thinks what she did was acceptable.

-Joshua Bozeman

Bowling Green senior