Broaden horizons

The recent incident involving the statue of James Meredith at the University of Mississippi has again cast the university and our state in a negative national light.

It is unfortunate that the Feb. 16 incident, in which a noose was placed around the statue’s neck and the statue draped by a defunct Georgia flag dominated by the Confederate battle flag, has attracted the national and international attention that it has.

It casts an unwanted shadow over the progressive views the university has adopted under former chancellor Robert Khayat and his successor, Dan Jones.

Three freshmen students from Georgia are believed to be involved in the incident. They have been expelled from their fraternity and the fraternity chapter has been indefinitely suspended by its national headquarters.

We won’t get into the debate about whether state or national laws were broken. That’s up to law enforcement and the courts to decide.

At the least, we think the students are guilty of poor upbringing, and a failure to live up to the university’s code of conduct.

We suggest the university adopt a proactive stance.

We recommend the university, and the other colleges and universities in our state, consider a required rigorous first-year course exploring  various races, cultures and religions.

Many of us come from sheltered upbringings. Broadening our knowledge and our horizons  is what a university education is all about.