Earlier this month University of North Dakota professor Heidi Czerwiec had a bit of a meltdown when she spotted some ROTC students on their way to an on-campus exercise with their dummy weapons.
She called 911, which might be an understandable reaction to seeing people with what looks like guns on a college campus these days, but then went on to chew out the ROTC with a profane voicemail message and an ugly letter to the editor of the Grand Forks Herald.
In her letter Czerwiec, who specializes in poetry, threatened to call 911 every time she saw ROTC students drilling on campus.
Since then Czerwiec has backed off some of her comments, and the UND administration has promised better notifications of ROTC events (including personal notifications to Czerwiec), but the student government last night passed a resolution calling for her to apologize.
You can read the full resolution below. Here’s the crux of it:
“Last night the UND Student Senate unanimously (17-0) passed a resolution supporting the ability of the campus ROTC program to conduct exercises on campus and also asking for Associate Professor Heidi Czerwiec to publicly apologize for the comments that she made to Lt. Colonel Carroll,” Student Body President Matt Kopp told me in an email this morning.
I hope Czerwiec does apologize. As the resolution states, her initial call to 911 was perfectly reasonable, attributable to a misunderstanding that can be addressed through more thorough notifications of ROTC events on campus.
But cursing out the ROTC leadership? Threatening to call 911 every time you see an ROTC exercise?
That’s unreasonable and unprofessional. Worse, it’s demeaning to the ROTC which is a fine program with a stellar reputation both at UND and across the nation.
UPDATE: Per the Grand Forks Herald, the professor says she’s not apologizing:
Czerwiec said Thursday she doesn’t plan to do anything because she already privately apologized to Carroll for her word choice and doesn’t think it’s appropriate to apologize to ROTC cadets for words exchanged with him. She also hasn’t been approached by any ROTC students about the controversy.
“I think it’s over as far as I’m concerned,” Czerwiec said.
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