Monday, December 17, 2007

Is it really all over?

The latest news is in. The ordeal is over.

The events of the last three days have shaken my conceptions of Princeton University to the very core while at the same time pumping adrenalin through my veins.

First I felt sadness, panic and outrage at the thought that Princeton students might resort to such brutal methods of silencing dissenting opinions.

Then, confusion: The story didn’t quite add up; questions swirled through my mind as we tried to piece together the clues. Why Nava? Why now? What were the details?

Paranoia: What if it was a random attack? Would it be safe to walk to the Wa after sunset? Could it be a hoax, as some people were arguing on the comments section?

Guilt: How could I think it was a hoax? People don’t just give themselves concussions (I’m still unclear as to the extent of Nava’s injuries), and in any case, one ought to believe the victim unless evidence is found to the contrary (isn’t that what those speakout signs in the girls’ bathrooms say?).

Anger: How dare the conservative element (or at least, some vocal conservatives) attack the liberals on campus in such a way? The acts of two rogue thugs do not represent a complete political spectrum.

And then, perhaps most draining of all, there was a certain sense of abandonment. Something drastic had just happened. From the beginning it was clear that no matter how Nava’s story developed, it would be bad. Yet, for two days students were forced to dig up our own (contradicting) clues while we were supposed to be writing papers and studying for exams. Not a word from the University. Not a word from Public Safety.

Now, the latest news is in: it was a hoax after all. To a certain degree, relief has set in. There are no violent ideological Mafiosos, no men in ski masks (or was it funny hats?) walking around dragging students into dark places to beat them senseless. Instead, it was all the work of a single individual, the alleged victim himself…

But, I still feel uneasy. Nothing Nava has said to date has been reliable, is this latest statement really any more reliable? And did he do this by himself? Why? Are these the actions of a poor soul who has in the past suffered from mental illness, or is something more sinister afoot?

Whatever the truths of this case, I hope with all my heart that it is the former and that Nava will be able to recover fully and come to terms with what it seems he has done. I hope that the investigation will be continued in an effort to remove all doubt from the minds of students, but also to ensure that justice is truly done.

I hope that people will reserve final judgment until all the facts are finally assembled, and once that is done, that we may come together as a campus to discuss the deep issues which divide us and then bridge them. We have in the past failed to really rise to the task of fostering debate and creating a truly inclusive community. Past shows of solidarity have been lacking. Let these three days serve some purpose, let it be the thing that finally unites us and causes real radical change.

14 comments:

Broadsword said...

This puzzles me,"How dare the conservative element (or at least, some vocal conservatives) attack the liberals on campus in such a way?" Who attacked whom? In what "such a" way? Irrespective of the attack now admitted to have been a hoax, I continue to recommend vigilant awareness. Predators look for the weak and inattentive; don't make yourself easy pickings anywhere. Be confident.

Anonymous said...

"the conservative element" just sounds so shady and sinister. and beware, they behave "in such a way!" bad, bad conservatives.

come on, martha, you can do better

Anonymous said...

Oh Martha, don't beat yourself up over it (tee hee).

MasonMcD said...

But, I still feel uneasy. Nothing Nava has said to date has been reliable, is this latest statement really any more reliable?

Oh, dear. I hope you're pre-law.

"Your honor, my client has proven himself a liar! Why trust his confession?!"

Martha Vega said...

'"the conservative element" just sounds so shady and sinister. and beware, they behave "in such a way!" bad, bad conservatives.

come on, martha, you can do better'

If the term "conservative element" sounds "shady and sinister" I apologize. That was not my intention, as I thought was made clear by the parenthetical comment.

Martha Vega said...

MasonMcD, no, I'm a history major--my research requires me to not believe anyone. ;)

Anonymous said...

Nava is a shameless, dishonest liar- though what conservative isn't these days?

Broadsword said...

Here's a quote; can you guess the speaker: "There you go again". Anyone, anyone, Bueller?

Anon #5 said, "...though what conservative isn't these days". Hmm...Martha said: "in the past failed to really rise to the task of fostering debate and creating a truly inclusive community." Martha, I'd say the past has returned. Although I don't give a rats rectum about being included, I am certainly up to debate. Although the Anons ought to show themselves; it's very difficult telling them apart. They all look alike you know. I"ll keep it simple. Anon #5, have you met or sampled all conservatives? No. Then you, sir, are a political bigot. Yes, that's a gauntlet at your feet. You have the choice of weapon. I suggest you not choose invective, as it can be refuted by merely standing upwind.

Anonymous said...

Wow this Broadsword dude needs to chill out...

Anonymous said...

I'm glad this is over. Can we move on and forget about it? I'm sick of hearing about it every day.

Broadsword said...

Chillin' out here...The quote came from Ronaldus Magnus. Does Anon #5 have no seconds willing to support his assertion that all conservatives are shameless, dishonest liars? Or is this the type of anonymous attack in the dark OK, even though also, made up? I have opened the lists at Where are the Isotopes I Ordered, if anyone wants to enter the field there to argue the virtue of anonymous slander.

anon #8 said...

broadsword,
after even a cursory review of your blog, I find it ironic that you should call other people bigots...

Anonymous said...

Gladly broadsword
I just want to offer my congratulations - you somehow managed to convince yourself that using a nonspecific four word quote makes you witty (so much so in fact that you felt compelled to quote yourself again on your own blog).

Your writing skills are almost as impeccable as your reading comprehension. After all, when anon #5 responded with his provocative line, "Nava is a shameless, dishonest liar- though what conservative isn't these days?" there was clearly hyperbole or unstated reference involved. No, anon#5 was simply making an inductive observation based on the one case of Nava, touching none of the countless public scandals that have dropped the republican party and president in opinion polls to historic lows. If you want names, just pick up a Sunday newspaper - there's generally a high-level scandal or a mid-level resignation each week.

No one thinks all or even most conservatives are liars. But a comment like "these days, it just seems like they're all crooks" does not imply an actual blanket belief, but merely a trend or impression now reinforced by further evidence. This effect is why honest conservatives such as Girgis, Hwang, and George spent so much time berating Nava for the damage he'd done to their legitimate cause, and why a lot of conservatives I know now despise the Bush administration's for the damage that its willful incompetence has done to other legitimate conservative causes (like military non-intervention and budget restraint).

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I feel really bad for Nava. Here's clearly the only one who was physically harmed. The rest of us were alarmed and confused. I think the best course of action for the University would be to help get this guy some much-needed help. It's clear that he has some kind of behavioral disorder. I wish the PRINCE would give him some privacy and just move on. I know Nava and can assure you that if you did, too, then you would want the best for him. This guy is terrific, brilliant, and extremely kind to others.