Tolerance crucial to Linfield experience

Jillian Beaudry

Editor-in-Chief

 

Last week, Fusion, the gay, bisexual, straight, lesbian and transgender alliance club on campus, held its third annual drag auction using sidewalk chalk in front of buildings to advertise. And for the third year in a row, someone destroyed the work with water.

Students at a liberal arts college should be more attuned to diversity and more accepting of other ideas. Why is there still intolerance in our close-knit community?

Fusion benefits students on campus who may have trouble finding places to fit in. It provides a safe place, a refuge to openly talk about issues and lean on one another to overcome obstacles. They take pride in who they are and in the event they put on for charity, the ONE Campaign. They should be respected for that.

This club does a lot of good for our friends on campus and helps the overall community learn to accept others who are different. Why do students who don’t agree with their beliefs take that respect away?

Washing off the art is cowardice. Name-calling and dirty looks do not mean you are standing up for what you believe in; you are simply showing disrespect and hurting your friends. You are hurting those  who live across the hall from you, play on your intramural team and sit next to you in the library. We love Linfield for the cohesive unit the student body has always been. Stop ruining it.

If the offenders do not share the same beliefs of the club, they should come out and openly explain why. Each person deserves to voice his or her opinion and present the argument for it. The club is upset, and it has every right to an explanation.

We should take advantage of our environment, which promotes learning, diversity and tolerance, to have an open discussion to answer questions and try to gain a better understanding of why the different sides believe what they do. No one will ever wholly agree in the end, but striving to learn more about where one another comes from and why they act the way they do will help rebuild our community after this horrible act.

This topic deserves campus debate. Three years are three too many to suffer such disrespect, and the club has handled it gracefully.

Take this topic to the Review Web site and post a comment, bring it up on Student Forum or in your own club meetings. By talking about it openly, we can prevent it from ever happening again.

In the Review story last week, a representative from Fusion said next year the club will advertise the drag auction on paper. They shouldn’t have to. Let’s talk about this and spread the idea of tolerance at Linfield so they can advertise in chalk for the fourth year, and let it remain untouched and respected.

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