The Terrapin Times

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Clayon D. Mote's Ambiguous Holiday Wishes

In his holiday e-mail to students, conveniently timed about 10 days before Christmas, university president Clayton D. Mote takes the time to wish students a "happy holiday." How nice of him.

He also directs students to the university's online greeting (, a flash animation that lists the wonders of the University of Maryland and finishes in a blaze of glory with a screen with this message: May this season of hopes and dreams inspire you. Cheer the Turtle.

Inspire me to what? Go on a murderous rampage?

I don't know about you, but I'm particularly suspicious of the holly and berries at the corners of the animation screen. Seems a little Christmassy to me.

And in the e-mail, he mentions that this is a time "when we gather with family and friends to relax, take stock, and count our blessings."

Blessings from whom? Certainly he can't be talking about some sort of omnipotent being!

And what about students who have no family to go home to? Surely this reminder that they have no family and friends is painful and offensive.

And isn't it a little class-centric to assume that everyone relaxes on their "Winter Break?" Maybe Dr. Mote isn't aware, but some students are poor and have to use their time on break to work hard jobs to earn money to pay for school.

This insensitive e-mail should never have been sent. Students should be outraged.


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