Well, here we are. The story of Trey Barnett’s suspension has gone to press, despite the best efforts of the TU administrators. As a fellow tyrant, I feel that I must extend my condolences to the TU administration. I can only imagine what you must be feeling right now, and I just want you to know that my blackened, cynical heart is with you. As much as this must hurt, the wheels of institutional oppression must continue to turn.
First, let me congratulate you, the administrators, on what you did right. It was absolutely reasonable for you to suspend the student in question. If he didn’t hold dissident views, he should have cut off all ties with his peers who did. Really, he had the whole thing coming.
Also, I really like how you engaged in a campaign of harassment to punish someone on trumped-up harassment charges. That was a stroke of evil genius.
Furthermore, the way you constructed your arguments was really top notch. I particularly enjoyed the part where you pretended that you didn’t know how Facebook works and condemned Barnett for not preventing someone from mentioning his name in a critical statement about the university.
However, I do have a few criticisms to make. First of all, punishing dissidents without even a rigged trial is a bad idea. I know, I know. I wish I could just order people shot like in the good old days, but these days you have to pretend to give people a chance before you punish them.
Secondly, you guys did a really, just shamefully bad job of silencing the press. I mean, you had one meeting with Kyle and Conor, and you threatened to think about suspending them if they broke a few poorly-worded rules you made up. Come on, you guys. Journalists live for stuff like that. You seriously thought you could threaten the two people most able to blow the whistle and not have anyone find out about it? I’ll bet there weren’t even any armed guards present.
Now, I don’t mean to come off all mean and critical. You guys are obviously new to the oppression game, and you did a great job for amateurs. So, I thought I’d give you a few pointers, just between us.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is scapegoat someone. You did this a little bit with Barnett, making him responsible for things other people said. You did something similar with the girl that got sexually assaulted last year. You know, “It’s your fault for not doing more to prevent this,” was about the extent of your argument. This is a good start, guys, but you could really do more to make people look bad.
Start spreading rumors that Kyle Walker secretly has a drug problem. Tell people Conor Fellin listens to Skrillex. Just the worst stuff you can think of. Also, release a statement about the suspension that hints at but does not mention further misconduct by Barnett. That should complicate the picture for a while.
Secondly, classify everything. Refuse access to even the most mundane piece of official paperwork. I know it will look suspicious, but I’m sure you can think of some kind of excuse. Besides, looking suspicious is better than looking guilty. And, lets face it, we all know you are.
Last, scare the shit out of anyone who might be involved. Give Campus Security scarier-looking uniforms and have them pull people out of class for “questioning.” You don’t need to hurt anyone; just keep them for a long time and remind them that you can punish them for breaking rules you haven’t written yet.
Now is an important time for you, TU administrators. How you handle this crisis will either unbalance your regime or further cement your position in the halls of despotism. Good luck, and know that no matter what happens, you probably won’t be punished as harshly as you punished Trey Barnett.