Twin cops upset alumna

Dear editor:

This missive is a rebuttal to the article about the twin police officers Dewayne and Dewarne Jackson, which was written in the Monroe newspaper, The News-Star on Monday, March 28, 2005.

I am a very proud graduate of Grambling State University, and I am constantly advocating for the university and promoting the university to prospective students. But, when I read articles such as the one written about Dewayne and Dewarne Jackson saying “it seems all the thugs come to Grambling” and “we want to turn it back into an educational facility,” I am affronted and feel all of my efforts are futile. The Jackson article assists in thwarting the goals of increasing the student enrollment at the university and maintaining Grambling’s rightful place in the educational world, along with diminishing its positive reputation.

Grambling State University has been battling for years to maintain the pride and integrity that was inherited from its famous founders. Therefore to have its own graduates defame the name and reputation is so terribly sad.

The comments made by Dewayne and Dewarne Jackson ignite some curiosity. Have Dewayne and Dewarne gone to each university in the nation, taken a poll of the student body and deduced that all of the thugs are enrolled at Grambling? What do Dewayne and Dewarne Jackson know about each student at Grambling?

What thought process has allowed them the unmitigated nerve to label Grambling’s students as thugs? What research has enabled them to assume that good times and parties make up a majority of student studying time at Grambling? I was a student at Grambling and I didn’t party all of the time. I didn’t know anyone there who did, and I graduated. I didn’t know one professor who would allow a student to lose focus on why they were there at Grambling.

The article purports that Dwayne and Dewarne Jackson are “helping the new administration create a positive image for the school.” Does this mean that these two men have the support of the administration? My husband is a graduate of Grambling, a very professional man, and he is not a thug. We have a plethora of friends and family, who have gone to Grambling, and graduated. Again, none of these professional people are thugs, nor did they party all of the time.

Dewayne and Dewarne said, “It seems that all the thugs come to Grambling.” Does that mean the entire faculty and staff are thugs; considering that they chose to go to Grambling in some capacity, learned or employed. Does this statement also mean that Dewayne and Dewarne Jackson are also thugs because they seem to have gone to Grambling?

According to Ms. Vickie Jackson in the public relations office, who was very irate and defensive in a personal and not a professional manner, “the word ‘seems’ is not actually saying an accusation, so get a dictionary.”

Well, I retrieved a dictionary, and, according to Random House Webster’s Dictionary, the word “seems” has the following definition: “to appear to be true or probable.” The same meaning I was sure of when I spoke with Ms Jackson. But, to be fair, she is their parent and must defend them regardless of how insulting her children are to an institution, which has been a tradition to many alumni of Grambling.

Ms. Jackson persisted (shouted) that prospective parents should know better and people can’t just assume the worst.

She has failed to understand that if a parent is scouting universities for his/her child, not knowing the history of Grambling, one can only expect them to judge the university by that article and take it at face value. Ms. Jackson went on to say that “Dewayne and Dewarne Jackson are graduates of Grambling” and they should know about their alma mater. Exactly, Ms. Jackson. These potential parents who won’t and don’t have the time to research and validate rumors or innuendo will judge Grambling according to what alumni have proclaimed as the truth. Sadly, Ms. Jackson, a public relations officer, has forgotten that Grambling State University is a nationally known university. Does she know that an AP newspaper could have picked up that story and potential students all across this nation who were thinking about attending Grambling changed their minds because their image of Grambling was refuted by what these two “alumni” have said about the university?

I agree that this scenario is just probable, but does Ms. Jackson believe that Grambling is critiqued on the same level as the other majority universities in Louisiana?

In order to preserve Grambling’s pride, we, the alumni, must take all probabilities seriously; shouldn’t the public relations office as well?

Isn’t it the public relations office’s job to think of probabilities and circumvent any possible negativity?

Assuming a positive reputation about a university is not the job of potential students, it is the responsibility of alumni and the public relations office at Grambling State University to ensure that the school has a great reputation, which will attract more students. But even the public relations officer at Grambling doesn’t understand that when the alumni at Grambling publicly insult the school and the student body, these actions create avenues for others to feel validated when criticizing Grambling. Almost every printed venue in North Louisiana only digests negative news and rumors about Grambling State University, and this has been a fact since I was a student. This is such a morbid situation to have people who went to Grambling, who are not true alumni, because a true alumnus does not insult the university’s name and degrade its future, which is the student body. Ugly speculation and self-righteousness are not true homage to an institution that was founded to help empower a great race of people.

To the students at Grambling State University, thank you for choosing to continue our legacy of greatness. You all are an exceptional group of young adults.

-Karen Johnson

GSU alumna