By The Flying Dutchman
May 16th, 2017
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On Behalf of Conservative Students
A UWC should strive to be an inclusive environment and the right place for dialogue to take place with different perspectives given a chance. Do we really celebrate diversity or are we not doing enough? Seemingly opinions that do not go with ‘the good way of thinking’ set by Liberalism are not taken into account. A fellow student said, “Discussions turn into agreements and once someone disagrees they tend to be attacked. I have even stopped attending community time.” This comes to show the attitude towards people who hold different opinions from the majority, they are silenced in the sense that they cannot express themselves freely. One could argue that diversity should not only be cultural but should involve diversity in thought and ideology. Celebration of difference is one of our mandates as a UWC, however from time to time, this has not been the case with Global café sessions, which have caused difference and an unsafe environment. This is not to criticize the Global café which is a brilliant initiative, but rather the social mentality that exists and perpetuates liberalism and expectations of everyone to conform. Some of our community members are unfree to express themselves and share their views due to the animosity they receive once they do so.
The tendency to force your views on others has been an unsettling experience for some of our community members. There is the feeling that the left controls all battles in our community and that the conservatives being seen as the devils. One member stated;“I do not think labels on conservatives are a good way to convince someone. During the critical engagement, it felt like an indoctrination especially when we talked about gender identity. Manipulative theories were presented as an absolute truth not as an alternative. Sometimes I feel this stems out from the top. It is like structural liberalism becomes socially constructed from the leadership which always provide a clear stance of their political views, especially speeches by the school’s leaders.”
Breaking the Silence
Is it imperative that as UWCM students we put an effort into being inclusive in every aspect? Though it is a challenge for all of us to ensure we can have a safe space where all opinions can be explored, one could argue the breaking of the silence has been long overdue and it is high time we act on this as a community if we are to be inclusive and ensure that no voice goes unheard. Finally, I would like to end this article with a quote from Voltaire “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”, and ask the question; does this principle apply to most of us students?
If you would like to continue this debate, please do not hesitate to contact the author directly, leave a comment, or The Flying Dutchman at [email protected]