January 23, 2018
Although the spring semester is still young, we’ve already seen the importance of students making their voices heard.
From simple feedback on the switch to Canvas from the beloved (or hated) Blackboard, to the impact that the uncertain future of students impacted by the rescinded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, this week has shown that student input is valued.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: an institution of higher education is obviously for learning. It’s a place where we come to intertwine our ideas, whether we agree with each other or not.
But it’s also one of the first places we go to as adults to demonstrate how we can effectively use what we learn to make changes that benefit us, not only as students, but as adults.
We’re taught to take what we learn into the “real world.” But that practical experience starts here.
We live in a climate where there are many disagreements. At times, this discourse is hostile and humility is lost.
In August, the controversial Social Justice Collective Weekly distributed a flyer entitled, “Should Veterans Be Banned From UCCS and Other Universities?” disrupting and upsetting the veterans community on campus. An anti-LGBTQ flyer shortly followed suit.
The flyers were later proved to be satire by the authors, but the damage still remained.
In the case of DACA students in September, we saw how this hostility can potentially hurt others. Campus police were called as UNIDOS conducted their first meeting of the semester. The anonymous caller said that every club member should be deported, stoking fear in clubs members
These instances show us that this isn’t the way to make change. We can agree to disagree, but it’s more important now to understand each other’s point of view instead of taking actions that harm others.
This semester, let’s do more to provide an open forum where we can come to understand each other, as opposed to causing harm.
Students made change by protesting these events, and they will continue to do so.
Simple, cordial discussion can make a grand change in the current landscape of ideas, even if it starts off as small as your college campus, bringing us all together to have important conversations in productive ways to, eventually, end up in a better position than we started out in.