During Ralph Nader’s lecture last Thursday, it would have been better if the students who led the introduction referred to him as “the Nader-ator” instead of just plain “Nader.” If Temple was going to embarrass itself, it should have gone all the way instead of sticking in the middle of the road known as humiliation.
Temple is an institution that has enough political and celebrity relations under its belt to know the meaning of professionalism. Yet it appeared as a mere fledgling organization last Thursday with Mr. Nader’s poor introduction.
During the student-delivered introduction, Main Campus Program Board members constantly referred to him as “Nader.” With the former Green Party presidential candidate sitting just a few feet away, not attaching the title of “Mr.” to his name was not only disrespectful but also highly unprofessional.
Unless they felt it was appropriate to greet him with, “Good evening, Nader,” then they should never have referred to him that way in their introduction. In the case of a lecture introduction, it is proper etiquette to refer to the present guest speaker with the proper Mr., Ms. or Dr. titles. If the president of the United States guest lectured, would we have referred to him as “Bush?” In that case, why not “Bushy?” We might as well just confess to him that Temple is a liberal campus and that we all hate him anyway.
As if the absence of the title wasn’t enough, the two introducers appeared to be greatly unfamiliar with their material, as well the endeavors of the guest. It appeared as if they were reading the introduction for the first time and that they hadn’t a clue who Ralph Nader was. At that point, it wouldn’t have been surprising if Mr. Nader threw up his hands and left the room.
This problem, however, is not exclusive to Temple. A Temple News editorial board member attended film director David Lynch’s speech at the University of Pennsylvania on Sept. 28 and found that the student-delivered introduction there was also subpar.
Lack of professionalism at these events can harm a school’s reputation. Concerning Mr. Nader’s lecture, it reflected on the Temple community. If these introductions delivered by students aren’t working, then students should not be giving them.
Seth Embry, co-chairman of MCPB’s lectures committee, explained how lecture introductions are prepared. The information was supplied by Mr. Nader’s agent and online sources. Embry said that committee chairpersons or other committee members usually give the introductions. Despite the preparation, the final product simply wasn’t good enough.
The lack of respect shown last Thursday was an embarrassment for Temple. Unless we improve our professional etiquette, the only lecturers we can expect to sign will be from the likes of William Hung.