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Earlier this week, it came to light that E. Gordon Gee, the President of Ohio State University, had said some things about the University of Notre Dame and Catholics in jest at an athletics meeting. Some took the comments as offensive,  He apologized for his comments and Notre Dame formally forgave him. Most of the Catholic students on campus and on Facebook have agreed that they didn’t find the comments offensive. Heck, I’ve heard more offensive comments from comedians on TV (Jeff Dunham and his dummies come to mind).

But today, President Gee announced his retirement, effective July 1st, because of the controversy his remarks led to.

Naturally, I and several other OSU students are devastated. President Gee was a positive influence on the campus. He brought a smile to us with his bowties and jovial nature and kind and quiet manner of speech. To many students, meeting President Gee was a milestone in their OSU careers. I even met one student who said she came to Ohio State just to meet President Gee, right before she took a photo with him at the student union. To us, losing him because of this little incident will be a big blow to the morale of the university and to the students.

This is me with President Gee back in my freshman year. He was an inspiration. I hope he stays that way.

This is me with President Gee back in my freshman year. He was an inspiration. I hope he stays that way.

Which is why, after discussion with some other students and a lot of thought about the subject, I started a Change.org petition to get the Board of Trustees at Ohio State to let President Gee keep his position and continue to serve Ohio State as he’s done for several years. So far, 125 people have signed, and I’m hoping that I can get that number up to 10,000, or about one-sixth of the Ohio State student population.

I’d appreciate it if you signed the petition, and possibly shared it on your own blog or Facebook. This means a lot to me, and I’m trying to make a difference as best as I can. If I can, I want to see this petition reach the goal count. If you can help me, that’d be great.

If you decide not too though, that’s okay. I respect your opinion and your choice and I hope we can find other things to agree on. But if you feel like it, please do sign the petition. You don’t even have to donate money to do it! And the best part is, you’ll be making a difference for about sixty-thousand students.

That, my friends, will be the best part.

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Comments
  1. jmungar says:

    Rami – these are the kind of things the president of a major university (or corporations) just don’t do. He’s been at this long enough to know better. One has to wonder what else he has said that wasn’t caught on tape.

    Personally, I was surprised he wasn’t fired over the Tressel scandal and especially for his comment that he hoped that Tressel wouldn’t fire him. It clearly showed him to be disconnected.

    I admire that you feel strongly about an issue and you are taking action. I suggest though that you think about this from a broader perspective. Gee is an embarrassment.

    • I understand your position Uncle Joel and I accept it even though I don’t agree with it. However to OSU students President Gee is more than just a public figure. He’s like Mr. Rogers for OSU, in a way. And nobody wants to get rid of Mr. Rogers.
      I’m sorry if that doesn’t make sense to you. It’s the best way I can understand it.

      • jmungar says:

        Rami – One of the many damaging events to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign was the video that came out of him speaking to wealthy donors and he made his infamous 47% of the voters won’t vote for him. Do you think that was the only time he made comments like that? What are the odds that out of the hundreds of speeches he made, that the one time he made that comment someone just happened to tape it?

        Apply that to Gee. Do you think this is the only time he has made insensitive and inappropriate comments and that coincidentally it was caught on tape?

        It stinks when you find out someone you thought was Mr. Rogers is actually somebody else.

      • Once again, I respect your opinion Uncle Joel. However I feel this wasn’t as imflammatory, and it was meant in jest, not to get money from wealthy donors. I’ve thought about your point, and I still think Gee is a good man.
        But it doesn’t matter what I say or believe. You’d defend the President of U of M if he was as beloved, wouldn’t you?

      • jmungar says:

        Actually if Michigan’s president (who incidentally is a woman) had said something like that she’d be gone already. As soon as the NCAA charged Rich Rodriguez with violations I was publicly saying he should be gone and I was embarrassed he wasn’t fired sooner.

        These are mean, hurtful statements that Gee has made. They make OSU look outlandish. Behavior like that should not be tolerated. Period.

      • Once again, I respect your opinion. Can we please agree to disagree and not bring up the subject again?
        Unless under certain circumstances like I’ve reached the signature goal or I ask around for more signatures. Then by all means, let me know you disagree.

  2. Signed. As a the child of several former Catholics, I can say that it takes a lot to offend us. Most days, WE’RE the ones making Catholic jokes!

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