Michael Behrent 0

Petition: Close the Belk Library Game Room at App State

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Dear Dean Ogburn:

On July 2, 2015, a story was posted on the Belk Library Tech News Center’s website announcing that Belk Library had opened a game room in which students “will be able to check out and play video games.”

The article opened with the following question: “Who says the library is only for reading and studying?”

As members of the Appalachian State University community, we find the opening of this game room in Belk Library to be deeply offensive and contrary to the goals of our university—and indeed, to the mission of higher education as such.

The university exists to create knew knowledge, challenge received wisdom, and develop our highest intellectual potential as human beings. We know that there are forces in our culture that reject these values. The mission of the university, however, is to challenge these trends through its relentless commitment to the principle that knowledge is inherently valuable. It is a sad day indeed when a university succumbs to the very tendencies they are intended to resist.

Since 1899, Appalachian State University has, in its various incarnations, provided the residents of Watauga County, North Carolina, the nation, and the world with countless opportunities for intellectual development. The university’s mission statement correctly states: “Appalachian faculty model discriminative minds, physical and emotional wellness, and a dedicated work ethic.” Opening a game room in a building that lies at the heart of our academic endeavors trivializes these noble goals.

Appalachian State University is fortunate, moreover, to have an outstanding library and first-rate library staff. Our librarians are professionals who play a central role in the education of our students. Introducing a game room belittles their crucial work.

“Who says the library is only for reading and studying?”

We, the undersigned, do.

Please close this room and help the university fulfill its core mission.

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