Editorial – Discussing for a cause


On Sept. 14, President Barack Obama mentioned something about college students that may wake them up a bit. He explained how college students don’t have to be “coddled and protected from different points of view.”

This idea is something that every University student should keep in mind when discussing different controversial topics going forward.

From religion, to race, to politics, there are opportunities abound at the University for arguments to be made and for discussions to prosper. We have seen this emerge to the forefront in the past calendar year, with events such as the Solidarity Ceremony serving as a good stepping stone as we continue building on these conversations.

Is there really any other place in our society where we can freely discuss these topics without having the worry or fear that people will criticize us for our views or shut us down simply because we aren’t in agreement over every little issue?

Classes at the University are certainly a good starting place for these discussions, and students don’t need to be coddled here by their professors. Whether it is an English class, history class, gender studies class, or management class, there is always something that can be talked about, even if it’s something that may surprise or make students feel uncomfortable at first. There may be a fine line, which is discussed more in another article in this issue, but as these conversations become the norm, that problem may disappear.

An important piece of the puzzle that is college is the exposure to new ideas and opinions, especially ones that you might not necessarily believe in. It’s part of the learning process, and only from following this route can a student become more open-minded about the beliefs of others on campus. Whether it is in class in Coleman or talking with a friend as you walk through the Academic Quad, these conversations cannot be avoided for your entire four (or more) years here.

Overreactions sometimes can be present when someone hears something that they don’t want to hear. If these are insults, then students shouldn’t have to be subjected to those comments, but if they are opinions on different propositions from today’s age, then by all means, speak away. This is your time to voice your opinion and see what others think. Discomfort is a natural outcome of this process, but we need to challenge ourselves to start these conversations.

As students progress into the next stages of their lives, they will see how differing opinions do not just go away; by this point, it may be too late in some scenarios to freely explore these arguments in detail. College is the ideal time to do this, and we should take advantage of the different ideas around us–from both students and professors–while we have the opportunity.

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