While perusing the Argus on Tuesday, I became very distressed by an advertisement taken out by the paper, advocating the medium of communication (Wespeak) I am using right now. The advertisement read: “Hey ’09. Remember Chalking? Of course you don’t. Well you can’t chalk anyway. So what’s an angry frosh to do? Write a wespeak.”
I am distressed by the way in which chalking has been literally wiped away in this community. The fact is that you can chalk, despite the Argus’ claim. Yes, of course there are problems with chalking, as there are with any method by which one chooses to take advantage of their freedom of speech. Some have taken issue with my co-opting of a medium that was intended for those without prominent voices in this society. I am merely advocating the display of all voices that we want to be heard. Chalking is a universal way in which we can all speak knowledge to our community and to power. All you have to do is get a piece of chalk and write or draw something on the federally funded pavement. It will give those of us from a different though not totally distant generation (’06 and ’07) a chance to see what is going on in the minds of students from ’08 and ’09, who may have grown up with completely different cartoons (and therefore different senses of morality). In addition, it has the potential to allow us to recognize the diversity on this campus in a meaningful way. Sure, Public Safety might catch you and refer you to the SJB as they did to me and a friend two years ago who were writing messages in masking tape (a la De La Vega). And yes, your message will probably be erased the next morning (making the afternoon an optimal time to tag). But at worst, a guilty plea will get you five hours of community service. That’s a good thing. You can spend the time helping out at Traverse Square, which has been so seamlessly divorced from our community (see Alexandra Early’s eloquent Wespeak on Sept. 20), or anywhere else that needs conscientious attention.