The University of Alaska Anchorage breathes a fresh, crisp air of peace despite the explosive headlines of activity in Afghanistan. Students walking to and from class leave their footprints in the freshly fallen snow, releasing burring sighs.
Entering into the environment the university accommodates, students, staff, faculty and visitors are required to follow an unspoken set of principles. These principles, available in the student handbook, represent basic codes of conduct to assure safety and fairness to all occupying the university premises.
Generally, one might assume that students attending the university are good, honest, hard working individuals, aspiring for a higher education. Granted the wise must remain weary, but an open-minded outlook is imperative to perceive the positive aspects within the dwellers of a given surrounding, unless proven otherwise.
But it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch. Despite the obvious clichÈ, John Locke suggests that no matter how many agree on a preliminary standard, one person without fail will undermine the ideal utopia. Infringing upon the rights of every rule abiding participant, the perpetrator who acts upon contrary personal liberties, steps out of the boundaries acceptable by the common good.
Frequently though, as Locke states, dodging the actions of petty actions lead to much worse and catastrophic scenarios. Many blame Osama bin Laden for the recent terror, hating through vulgar bumper stickers and re-mastered computer generated shoot -`em- up programs on their desktops. They have every right to want to pump digital lead into the mystery man in the turban for violating their pursuit of liberty, but they need to harness their energy in a positive fashion.
Before the era breaking moment in mid-September, bin Laden was a name in the sky, some far off rogue with a whole lot of cash. He remains a rich rogue, but now is an international fugitive, hiding underground someplace so deep that an atomic bomb couldn't touch his canned goods.
Nonetheless, instead of directing hatred at bin Laden and the war on terrorism, a nation grounded in liberty must introspectively examine how terrorism could escalate from plane hijackings to collision impacts.
Citizens must be aware of their national role. Students must likewise be conscious of their role within the community microcosm existing within a university. Recognizing personal codes of conduct in a fashion that parallels basic guidelines are apparent in common sense and the student handbook. Refusing to conform to basic principles is unacceptable behavior when interacting on an academic, national or international level.