Open Letter to UNM President Schmidly

One of the many troubling aspects of service in Iraq was identifying the enemy. Who was the enemy? Quite frankly, it was impossible to tell. Some of the people I broke bread with by day were likely engaging us at night. So we wore our smiles thinly, never knowing who we were really looking at or speaking to.

My military service to this country is now in the past, but I have since become engaged in another conflict, a conflict in which, just as in war, there are friends, and there are enemies.

I pointed out in a previous article that it is the sworn obligation of every veteran and servicemember to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. We swore this oath at least once over the course of our military careers.

Given the relative confusion of identifying enemies in Iraq, you may be able to appreciate the relief with which, as your campus police obstruct and intimidate my fellow Americans, violating our rights to free assembly, I can gesture towards your office calmly and say: There’s one there, peeping out behind the blinds.

By targeting supporters of the OWS movement from being able to assemble on your campus, a state university paid for by tax dollars, you have drawn a line in the sand—but with a crayon.

As a graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law, I am sure that your actions will be overturned in court, and that OWS supporters will be allowed once again to assemble freely on university grounds.

But that is not good enough. That is why I am writing you now. To assail you, to enjoin others to assail you, and to make it clear that you have dishonored your presidency and have no place at the head of any university—great or small. The OWS is a peaceful movement with no history of violence. Despite your actions we remain peaceful, and will continue to conduct ourselves peacefully. But know that you have been identified for what you are—a villain. What was once an institution standing for the free exchange of ideas now stands for the silencing of them. If you but crept out of your office at 6pm to Yale Park, you would be able to see how low you have brought this university—and this community. If your ballot were before me, you can be sure I would vote as your faculty did two years ago: No confidence.

Alex E. Limkin      UNMSOL ‘04

Signatories in support:

Adán Trujillo         UNMSOL ‘04

Matthew Clifton    UNMSOL  ‘04

Kirsten Salchow    UNMSOL  ‘04

Chris Berkheimer  UNMSOL  ‘00

Schmidly’s Acts Make Him Occupy Foe: Albuquerque Journal, 11/4/2011

Schmidly Enemy of Free Speech, New Mexico Daily Lobo, 10/31/2011

Faculty Votes Schmidly: No Confidence, KRQE News

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