If the stagnation by all stakeholders capable of influencing Silent Sam’s removal hasn’t made it clear enough that he is here to stay, someone decided that it was necessary to pay an officer of the law to puppy guard him. Like in capture the flag, when someone from the opposite team stands right on top of the flag, it takes all the fun (and integrity) out of the game.
Now we’ve all seen Night at the Museum, which may lead some to believe it’s possible for Sammy to actually come to life and run away. But last time we checked, Ben Stiller has yet to clock in for a shift, and if Silent Sam were in a museum we wouldn’t be having this conversation — or writing so many damn articles about him.
But we digress.
We aren’t exactly sure who mandated the puppy-guarding policy, or why it was enacted to begin with. We can only speculate that it was to prevent students from defaming the statue, to protect students from a white-supremacist flash mob or literally just to make sure that the statue doesn’t go anywhere. And if we're wrong, we would love to hear why the officers are stationed there.
While some of those scenarios are less likely than others, it might be a gross waste of time, money and officers — all of which could be better used elsewhere.
Rather than babysitting a statue, these officers could be wrangling cat-callers, actually directing traffic after an event at the Dean Dome, drinking coffee and eating donuts while riding around in the squad car with their long-time partner/possible lover (or living out any number of romanticized homoerotic cop-movie cliches), or literally anything but keeping watch over a racist hunk of metal.
All lightheartedness aside, the fact that that University, or whoever is responsible for contracting the officers, has stationed paid guardians around Silent Sam is discouragingly telling. The officers’ continued presence not only wastes resources, but presents a powerful statement.
It sends the message that not only is this community dedicated to preserving Silent Sam, but that it is willing to actively commit both money and manpower to ensure that his white-supremacist dominion is not threatened.
This seems awfully contradictory to the mission of a university whose aim is to be For All Kind, doesn’t it?