“Laggards” Biden’s Syracuse campus years

In 2014, Biden, then vice president, put on an orange short sleeve with “Beat Duke” printed on it, cheering for his alma mater team

This time the change of the US government is probably the topic with the strongest presence and the most screens in my circle of friends—because Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. is my Syracuse University alumnus.

In 1968, Biden graduated from Syracuse University Law School. Although Syracuse has many alumni who dominate American politics more than 100 years after the school was founded, Biden was the first alumnus who once wore academic uniforms with blood orange school badges to become the president of the United States.

As a close friend of the school, Biden has been invited to give speeches at graduation ceremonies 5 times. He referred to every visit as “going home”. In 2014, when the Syracuse basketball team met the old enemy Duke University in the season game, then Vice President Biden put on the orange short sleeves printed “Beat Duke”, clenched his fists, revealing the old naughty boy smile.

In Syracuse, Biden established his first family, and his eldest son Bo Biden was also his junior. After Bo unfortunately died of cancer, the school also established Bo Biden Memorial Scholarship to provide funds for students who want to help disadvantaged groups in society.

In the U.S. election last year, Syracuse also “sighed” for Biden, lighting up a blue light when the surrounding area was all red (voted for Trump).

Whether life is smooth sailing or encountering adversity, everything that happened in Syracuse more than 50 years ago seems to have been with Biden.

Syracuse, whose real name is Syracuse, is located in northern New York. It is also named “Syracuse” due to the long winter and average snowfall of 260 cm each year.

Biden grew up in Delaware, and he chose to span more than 500 kilometers to come to this cold-wrapped city. The primary reason was his first wife, Nelia Hunter Biden. When the two met for the first time, Nelia was studying at Syracuse University and was about to graduate in two months, and had decided to stay in Syracuse as a high school teacher.

Biden said that in the first three years of his undergraduate studies, although he was not muddle-headed, he was only focused on playing rugby and meeting new girls. And Nelia’s appearance made him look at his academic and grade point for the first time, and carefully prepared for the entrance examination of Syracuse University Law School.

On November 20, 1972, Biden celebrated his 30th birthday. Next to him was his wife Nelia Hunter Biden.

/ According to Biden’s memory, the law school courses were extremely boring to him, and absenteeism was commonplace. /

In March 1965, Biden got his wish and received the admission notice from Syracuse University Law School. In the summer vacation a year after enrolling in school, he and Nelia also entered the marriage hall in Syracuse, and they also raised a puppy named “Senator”-Senator.

Plagiarism “repeated offenders”
The motto of Syracuse University is “Knowledge is only crowned for those who pursue her”, but this sentence does not seem to be well reflected in Biden.

According to Biden’s recollection, the law school courses were extremely boring to him, and skipping classes was commonplace, and sometimes even the whole semester was too lazy to buy textbooks and then perfunctory.

In a 1965 law school professor’s report, Biden was accused of plagiarizing an article published in a legal journal with a 15-page paper. Indicate the source.

This report also allowed him to take an “F” in this legal method class, which is equivalent to failing the subject, and his grade dropped to 80th in the grade. Although he got a “B” after retaking, Biden was ranked 76 at the time of graduation, the tenth from the bottom in his grade.

This “dark history” was strictly hidden after he graduated and even when he was elected to the Senate. In 1987, at the age of 45, Biden first announced his candidacy for president, and was rated as an “impressive start” by Fortune magazine.

However, when his career was in his prime, Biden “relapsed” and was exposed that his speech had plagiarized the manuscripts of the leader of the British Labor Party Neil Kenock and the former US Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Some of the sentences change the soup without changing the medicine, and some even directly copied the sentence without mentioning the original author.

After the “plagiarism gate” incident was fermented, Biden’s plagiarism history in Syracuse was quickly made public. Suddenly he was pushed to the forefront of public opinion, and popular support dropped sharply.

For this reason, Biden had to hold a press conference in Congress to openly admit his mistakes and explain that he was young and ignorant at that time and had no intentions. It is a pity that the public does not buy it.

The Associated Press later unearthed all kinds of old examples of him boasting and lying at press conferences. For example, Biden said that he received a full scholarship to enter the Syracuse University Law School, and declared that he was a middle-upper and upper-grade student. However, the school files showed that the scholarship he received was only 800 US dollars, which is less than half of the tuition fee.

Syracuse University Campus

Biden also mentioned in his autobiography that before the final exam, he asked Nelia and friends to help him take review notes. Of course, the final results are still not satisfactory.

The “plagiarism gate” allowed rising star Biden to end his first presidential campaign hastily. Twenty-one years later, when Biden recalled the past in his autobiography, he attributed the mistake to too many classes that he missed, so that he didn’t know what the correct citation format was. Fortunately, he was forgiven by the dean and professors, and he was not punished more severely.

Climbing to the top of the “sinking” America
Although the plagiarism incident was raging, Biden was not “community-dead”, nor did he even hinder his later career. After serving as a senator for 36 years and vice president for 8 years, Biden is now “up to the next level” and has sat on the throne of president as he wished.

However, whether it is as a person who is nearly old or the oldest president in American history (79 years old) when he took office, it is difficult to define Biden’s life simply in terms of luck or misfortune.

Biden’s life destiny seems to have laid the groundwork in the years of Syracuse. There, he met “Syracuse Girl” and later his first wife Nelia. The sweetness Syracuse gave him later turned into sadness. In 1972, Nelia was killed in a car accident. That year, Biden was elected to the Senate for the first time and was one of the youngest Senators in the United States at the time.

Biden’s achievements at Syracuse University are “difficult to describe in a word,” and they are completely different from the image of academic hegemony of Clinton and Obama, who are both Democratic presidents. But even with the “black history” of plagiarism, it did not affect Biden’s rise to the same political heights as the “student-dominant presidents”.

Middle-aged widowhood, old age bereavement, these life tragedies as understood by the Chinese, Biden “catch up”. Before leaving his hometown of Delaware to take office in Washington on January 20, Biden burst into tears when he mentioned his deceased eldest son in his speech: “He is not here, my only regret.” Persuaded Biden to seek the White House, it is said to be The last wish of his son Bo.

Today, Biden feels that he can heal the United States. However, Lynn Wavreck, a political science professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that what was revealed in the election last year was a country approaching division, and this rift will not heal soon.

Entering the White House is of course the highlight of life, but when Biden reached the top in politics, he encountered the “sinking” America. Whether this is lucky or unfortunate, only history can answer.

In 2009, the newly appointed Vice President Biden told the students at the Syracuse University graduation ceremony: “The risk of accepting a situation that you know cannot be sustained is greater than the risk of persisting and embracing change.” As we all know, Obama’s campaign slogan is “Change.”

However, in the eight years that Biden and Obama worked together, the United States has not changed in the direction they hoped. This time, can Biden do what he wants?