Embarrassed UK student expresses disappointment with campus faults

By Jonathan Beam

As a student of the leading public institution in the state, I’m completely embarrassed. I have chose to keep my feelings to myself until I read the Sept. 26 issue of the Kernel. Here are the three main reasons I am ashamed.

1. I am embarrassed (but not surprised) that UK accepted payment from Friends of Coal to allow them to sponsor the UK-University of Louisville football game.

The coal industry is responsible for the impoverishment and declining health of many Eastern Kentuckians and continues to erase ancient and diverse mountains from our state’s beautiful landscape.

Yet, the university seems to think it’s fine to endorse this toxic product and its practices. Will next year’s game be sponsored by Marlboro? Only if they can cough up $85,000.

2. Last week, Colin Beaven, author of “No Impact Man,” came to speak on UK’s campus. I was thrilled to have him here, and grateful for his speech. However, before making his point, he stated, “Now, I know some of you may not believe in global warming, but…” I almost turned red in the face.

The U.S. is the only country in the world that still doubts years of extensive research pointing to global climate change. I’m embarrassed for the university that Beaven had to preface his speech with this. Climate change is real. It is happening and we need to act now.

3. And now I direct your attention to the back of Sept. 26’s issue of the Kentucky Kernel. There’s almost a quarter-page advertisement from Platinum Plus, a Lexington strip-club. It reads, “Need some extra cash … winner take all bikini contest.” Seriously? It’s embarrassing that the Kernel takes money from a strip club to keep their business afloat.

What message are you sending to our fellow female students? For how seriously the Kernel takes itself, even if there is a consistent lack of inserts, I expect more responsible advertising.

As I state these three cases, I ask myself as well as the reader, what are we teaching ourselves? That as long as a corporation has money it can pull the strings of the university no matter if it practices ethical business? That it’s okay to doubt 98 percent of all information regarding the state of our planet’s climate? That we should only believe the information that serves our own self interests? That female students can sell their bodies as a legitimate way to make “some extra cash”? This is so embarrassing.