Engaging in Campus Dialogue

by The Cowl Editor on November 29, 2018

Editor's Column

by Taylor Godfrey ’19


During the past  couple weeks, several  meaningful  conversations have taken place on campus.

In the past few issues of The Cowl alone, we’ve published articles on the Campus Climate Survey Forum, the emails sent from Father Sicard, O.P., about the clergy sexual abuse crisis, and the new Community Dialogue Inclusion and Democracy (D.I.D.) wall that has been installed in Feinstein to facilitate discussions around difficult topics such as free speech and inclusion.

It is vitally important that all of these discussions happen on campus, but they will only work if people show up willing to share their ideas and to be open to other points of view.

The Thursday before Thanksgiving break, I went to the Campus Climate Survey Forum held by the Title IX office to discuss the results of the survey about sexual assault on campus.

The students who attended the discussion made some excellent points about the survey, what the results mean for PC, and how we will have to address them moving forward.

However, there were very few students there in the first place, meaning that they could not benefit from the discussion taking place and their voices were not a part of the dialogue at all.

In the polarized country we live in today, it can be very easy to put yourself in a bubble and never listen to ideas that differ from your own. With curated social media feeds and the ever solidifying lines between political parties and groups, people can become too comfortable surrounding themselves with opinions and ideas that reflect their own. It is too easy to simply not show up to difficult conversations where that echo chamber will be broken.

But these conversations can only gain the power for change if there are many voices involved.

Every person on this campus is an important member of the community and their opinions deserve to be heard just as much as anyone else’s.

However, they only gain the opportunity to be heard when everyone shows up to and engages in these important discussions. Silence will accomplish nothing.

Improving our campus community is a project in which we all must be involved. It is not going to be simple and it is not going to be comfortable, but it is the way forward and it will only work if we all agree to talk and work together, regardless of our differences.