YOUR VIEWS: COLLEGES, SCHOOLS
OSU athletic village isn’t needed
I’m an Oklahoma State University alum who would love to see the athletic village come to fruition. It would be a boost for the university and for Stillwater’s economy. I’m foremost, though, an American who believes in the Constitution and the rights we enjoy as citizens. I particularly believe in a person’s right to be safe and secure in his own home. Eminent domain has its purpose. It’s a necessary evil when an overriding need arises in the public interest. Note that I said “need” instead of “want.”
OSU Athletic Director Mike Holder said the project will assist recruiting and “help the university, city and state.” Will the university cease to exist if we fail to build an athletic village? Of course not. Will Stillwater’s economy stagnate if we don’t build it? Don’t be silly. This athletic village is clearly a “want” that would assist and be a help. But it’s not a need and no one thing, no matter how much it’s desired by however many people, should ever trump the rights of a single American citizen.
I’ll be ashamed of my alma mater should OSU officials use eminent domain to bully citizens out of their homes to get themselves an athletic village.
James Gover, Altus
“Ambitious OSU plan rouses anger among campus neighbors” (news story, Nov. 27) omits a piece of information vital to an understanding of the issue: Funds for purchasing the 100 acres of property were secured by a major donation from T. Boone Pickens. It follows that if the OSU regents decide that the proposed “athletic village” would be unwise, imprudent or contrary to the university’s mission of teaching, research and service, that gift could be declined.
The human impact of the project, and questions about its timing and presentation to the community by the OSU administration, are well addressed by The Oklahoman. Questions are being raised about whether the projected population of college students over the next five to 15 years could even support such an investment in athletic facilities — worthy in themselves, perhaps, but hardly part of the core mission of a university. Pickens’ proposed “gift horse” should be looked at long and closely by the regents and all Oklahomans before it’s allowed to disrupt the lives of so many members of the community.
Lee Agnew, Norman
Agnew is an OSU graduate.
Regarding “Ambitious OSU plan rouses anger among campus neighbors” (news story, Nov. 27): Except for time spent in service during World War II, I’ve been associated with Oklahoma State University for 65 years. As an alumnus and faculty member, and having served as a member of the Faculty Council, I’ve had years to observe how a land grant university should operate. Its mission is to aid and help people in the state through teaching, research and extension. It is not taking the homes of the sick and elderly through eminent domain to build an athletic village. We love to see OSU teams win, but not at the expense of the elderly and sick.
Cecil D. Maynard, Stillwater