This is another letter that was forwarded to me in response to JR’s letter to the students.

Our Students Have Much to Learn

I would like to address the members of the student government as well as the student body concerning the ill-fated Ludacris concert. First off I would like to state that I am a new transfer student to ETSU and this is my first semester, so I have very little say when it comes to the email voting system that determined Ludacris as our homecoming entertainer. However, this does not mean that I do not have a sense of pride when it comes to this institution, and I care about the image we portray in this community. With that said I would like to inform readers that I am also an older student approaching 30, so my days of club hopping and party life are fading fast. So as a more mature student, who is here mainly for my education and career development, I am very concerned with how the younger students have behaved when faced with the decision by the city not to allow Ludacris to perform.
I know from experience that as young adults our emotions often get the best of us, especially when we feel our rights have been infringed upon. Our first instinct is to curse the powers that be and cry like babies when we do not get our way. In time the anger and whining is replaced by a more sensible and peaceful approach as we begin to understand why the world around us is sometimes unfair. We begin to mature and become important members of our society and small time matters such as this concert will barely make our top ten concerns. So I urge all of you who supported this concert to settle down and think. Think about how the city government has actually helped the college maintain a good standing reputation. Think about how you will feel 10 years from now knowing that you were not part of a messy stain on the sleeve of ETSU.
There are some students who have been quick to pull the race card when they learned Ludacris was cancelled. They say, “if it were a country artist they wouldn’t have been cancelled.” To this I can only respond by saying that you will not find country artists on stage demoralizing women and promoting violence and drug use. I also realize that country music does promote some bad habits, but they fail to appear as extreme as Ludacris. It is the manner in which he conducts himself that offends many of us who think the concert is ludacris itself. If you are a female listener and you are saddened by the cancelling of the event maybe you should work on some self esteem issues. If you support his music then you clearly need more respect for yourself. As for this being an issue of race I would have to say that anyone who thinks that, is just not able to formulate a good argument. How easy it is to make this into a race argument, but it clearly has nothing to do with it. First off, if they decided to bring in Alicia Keys or Lenny Kravitz I think you would find that the concert would still be on. This is simply due to the fact that they do not scare members of the community, and they show some good moral character that would not hurt this school’s image. So take the race card and put it back in your pocket for use on another occasion.
For the student government I offer this advice: grow up, think first before you respond, and take some pride in the school you belong to. In order to grow up you must first get over the whining and crying about how your precious student only concert was cancelled. Most of you know how this community is structured and the pure mentioning of the name Ludacris should have tipped you off to what would actually happen if you booked him. Next year take the time to think about who you actually put on the list of possible entertainers. Hopefully next year we will have an entertainer that we can all be proud of and we all will remember for the quality, not the controversy. It also saddens me to learn that only one or two of you voted in opposition to Ludacris. That clearly indicates that the level of pride you take in this school is rather low. I applaud those who stood up for their beliefs and values, and I encourage other students around campus to do the same.
Finally I would like to say that I am hopeful that all of you will take away a valuable lesson from this experience. That lesson is simply this: we are here for an education, not to join the circus. If your main goal is to slide through school and comsume as much Natural Ice as you can then have at it. But many of us are serious about our education and what we will do with it in the future. Therefore if you want to go to the zoo, by all means drive to Knoxville, otherwise stay here and help the rest of us build this college into a respectable center of higher learning. For those who continue to cry about the absence of Ludacris on Homecoming night, please use some of the $85,000 available to purchase tissues.

Andy Drinnon
Junior

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