With finals week right around the corner, students are stressed. But that’s not what was stressing some students out this week. With political student groups tabling in Atwood, finals were the least of these students’ worries.
The Republican Student Organization was especially drawing a crowd and one debate got so out of hand that Public Safety had to be called in.
“We had a little incident where our president was surrounded by probably 30 or 40 people and he was pretty much attacked,” member of the Republican Student Organization Carson Grand said.
These students appeared calmer as the incident simmered but political dialogue continued throughout the day and the attention the Republican Student Organization was getting didn’t dwindle.
Democrats, Republicans and even curious bystanders, gathered to share political opinions and experiences.
Despite the obvious differences these students shared, one common theme was evident: talking. Many students spoke of the need for discussion and dialogue in today’s high-tension world.
“Everyone has reasons for being who they are. The most hateful, evil people on earth were raised and experienced social conditions which made them into that,” member of the Democrat Student Organization Devin Hemlick said. “There is no ‘born bad’ and sometimes you have to have to communicate with the other side. You want to find out why.”
Grand, who was tabling for the Republican Student Organization, shared a similar point of view.
“The only way we can understand the other party [and] understand opposing viewpoints, is talking to them and hearing their viewpoints. Once we can hear the opposing viewpoints we can question our own viewpoint,” Grand said.
Another student, who was drawn to the crowd, recognizes his responsibility in making change, while also drawing attention to what he wishes other people would be aware of.
“If I can’t bring myself to humble myself to actually understand where you’re coming from, then that’s where the divide is coming from… because of that communication barrier,” Gabriel Johnson said.
If communication is the catalyst to change then the dialogue these students were engaging in is a good start, whatever that change may be. Whether these students stand on the same side of issues, or opposite sides, discussion is good because politics can’t be ignored.
“Politics is our future. We like to think that we can just go about our daily lives and do things, but this has never been the case. We’ve seen again and again where inaction leads to more horrible and horrible things,” Hemlick said.
For these students, the answers are out there and change is possible, no matter what you believe in. However, understanding each other and communicating is the first step to getting to a better future.
“It’s not anyone’s fault. But acknowledging that and trying to come between the barriers and trying to come to a solution of ‘how do I make you feel more equal to me’ or ‘feel that you have equal value that I have,'” Johnson said. “Until we come to those terms I don’t think there’s going to be any integration. I don’t think there’s going to be any communication possible. The biggest thing is communication.”
Start the conversation. Make a change.