Letter to the editor 10-13-16

In the past weeks I have been thoroughly disgusted by some of the grotesque images and regressive messages I have seen and heard on campus. I completely agree with anyone who is offended by them, however, I do not agree (as forty of [The Buchtelite’s] online poll respondents do) that they should be banned from protesting on campus.

As an institute of higher education, it is not the mission of the University to guard its students from any opinions, no matter how objectionable they may be. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.  An undergraduate experience should introduce students to diverse opinions and values that they may not have considered otherwise. Higher education should equip students with an informed worldview and the power of critical thought—the two most powerful tools in the fight against ignorance and bigotry.  An institution that censors the exchange of ideas robs its students of any such defense.

More importantly, the hateful messages of these demonstrations serve as an important reminder (a trigger, if you will). They remind us that, despite all the progress that has been made in the fight for equal rights for women and the LGBT community, there are many out there who would reverse that progress in a moment. If their protests offend you, then I hope that you are so offended that you take action and join the civic discourse. Wishing someone away because they disagree with you does not solve the problem.

Right now, the words of these protesters are just that, words. Words can be offensive; only actions can truly be harmful. The actions of the next president and Senate will decide what the balance of our Supreme Court will look like for decades to come.  Among other vital issues, the future of marriage equality and reproductive rights hang in the balance. So please, if the words offend you, take action on Nov. 8.


– Collin Hayes

  Senior political science major