For some time now I have been following your campaign for a living wage at the University. I am a professor of American history at the University of Texas in Austin and an alumnus of the University of Virginia where I was an English major in the late sixties.
I am the School of Continuing and Professional Studies representative on Student Council, but let me emphasize that I do not speak for that body; rather, I speak to you as a full-time University employee, probably the only primary stakeholder in this entire discussion of a living wage. Jared Brown, in an email which I gladly will forward, calls us on Council apathetic and too ignorant to even read a local, let alone national newspaper.
Edward Rothstein's Jan. 27 review in The New York Times of the new National Museum of American History's exhibit, "Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty," notes that American Indians, indentured servants and women need a separate historical examination than that offered by the Smithsonian exhibit, which is also opening at Monticello. How I wish Mr. Jefferson's University of Virginia would heed Rothstein's advice.
I most heartily agree with Katherine Ripley's Jan. 19 column about the establishment of religion, titled "(Ripley's) Believe it or not." There is no way the Founders would have ever allowed any elected official to make any political decisions based on religious conviction. Can you imagine the chaos that would have ensued if the people who wrote the Constitution had believed that political decisions could be made based on a religious belief in rights given to them by "Nature's God" or a "Creator"? Why, they might have even declared independence from Great Britain!
While I am disappointed at the apparent outcome of Johnathan Perkins' honor proceedings, I was even more disappointed to read the January 18 lead editorial, "A degree of injustice." We are able to infer from Law School Dean Paul Mahoney's recent statements that Perkins was subject to an honor trial.