This post is simply what I wrote as an opinion piece that was in the Targum on September 23, 2013. I thought it should be available online too.
I am extremely disappointed in Rutgers changing the alma mater. It reeks of political correctness and undermines its true meaning.
The new lyric is lazy, shallow and doesn't capture the essence of the original lyrics, which is about resolving to go to Rutgers to become your own person.
No one is stupid enough to actually think that "and resolved that I should be a man" actually means that Rutgers is going to change your daughter to a man. It is talking about maturing, growing up and finding yourself.
While we're at it, I find the song discriminatory to floods and propose the line referencing "the flood" to "weather related incident" or "tropical depression that caused the water level to rise, absent the river's approval". That new one is derogatory to those who don't want to learn all they can. We have to make it nice to them too -- "And resolved to do something while at Rutgers". Those are some quotes from my friend who share the same opinion.
Also, if people read the Declaration of Independence they would probably be aware of the phrase, "all men are created equal". While we are at it, why don't we change that?
Another point, who is this Patrick Gardner that changed the lyrics? What authority does he have over this college's fabled history? Why was this done in secret? Where were the opinion polls? Why wasn't the faculty, staff and student body asked about this beforehand? What are Gardner's credentials? This is a decision that is serious enough to require input from many different organizations within the University. There should have been a process behind the change instead of sneaking it behind everyone to get it passed.
I will be among many others who will be booing the Glee Club and the new alma mater. I will sing the one I graduated with and will continue to tell people the right words.
Pretty much, I thought and still think that the new lyrics were made to just pander to and placate people clamoring for political correctness. The alma mater is part of the school's history and should not change because of a few gender specific nouns. What about every single other document in our nations history that mentions man or men, should we change those to person or peoples?
I am not sexist at all, I believe in equality for everyone, but I think this is just taking political correctness to a whole new level.
I would actually volunteer myself to go to the moon to change the plaque.