To the SCSU Student Who Threw Gum at Me…
Friday was my first time on your campus.
I was invited to participate in your hockey game that night, to share my talents and abilities as a local radio DJ to make your experience the best it could be. I volunteered my time and efforts - I postponed a weekend trip away with my wife and family - to facilitate games, contests and entertainment for you and your fellow SCSU sports fans. I disregarded pre-conceived notions of your campus - "party school" - to enter open-minded into your world, to be one of you and to celebrate a sport and team that you take due pride in. I gave my best for you Friday night, receiving little recognition and no compensation for it.
And you threw gum at me.
I felt it. I didn't know at the time what you'd done, but I certainly realized later as I scrubbed at a shirt and jacket messed by your blue, melted, sticky gum. It was a juvenile act on your part, really, and I wish it hadn't bothered me. But at the end of a day filled with stresses and disappointments you couldn't have known about, your gesture was humiliating and hurtful.
I wonder if - if you could have known how throwing your gum at me would have made me feel - you still would have thrown it.
And so, to the SCSU student who threw gum at me, here's what I say to you now:
You are a child and a bully, and not a bully in the archaic sense, as in "sweetheart" or "fine chap," but bully in the modern sense - one who is "cruel, insulting or threatening." Throwing gum is something disorderly children and delinquent bullies do for attention or to boost their own insecure egos. The college campus is no place for that. The college campus - including SCSU's, I would hope - is a place for advanced learning and growing, for personal maturing and finding yourself, for discovering passions and interests and career potential and pursuing them wholeheartedly, for preparing for your future and devoting yourself to success. By the time you reach college, you should know how to keep gum in your mouth and how to dispose of it properly. The world of working adults is not one of flying gum wads, and if you think that it is you are not ready for it.
All of these things said, I hope that I am wrong about you. I hope that you are not a child and bully. I hope that you possess a more confident attitude than I give you credit for. I hope that you understand the importance and value of the college campus you are on and are indeed devoting yourself to preparing for your future and success. I hope that you know how to chew and dispose of gum, and perhaps Friday night's incident was simply a slip or lapse in judgement. I hope that, should I attend another game on your campus, and should we ever meet in person, we could actually be cordial acquaintances with much in common.
Until then, please consider my words and do some self-reflecting. Your school is counting on you to represent it - and yourself - well.