St. Edward’s University: An echo chamber of liberal views

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St. Edward’s University: An echo chamber of liberal views

More conservative opinions needed

More conservative opinions needed

More conservative opinions needed

More conservative opinions needed

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Each week the editorial board reflects on a current issue in Our View. The position taken does not reflect the opinions of everyone on the Hilltop Views staff. This week’s editorial board is composed of Editor-in-Chief Rosemond Crown.Viewpoints Editors Sully Lockett and Kenneth Phipps.

The student body here at St. Edward’s University comes from 58 countries and 46 states. But even with this variety, the ideology at the university is extremely liberal, and students whose views differ are marginalized.

Christian Fournier, a business administration major, said he feels the student body would benefit from debating political issues, rather than only vocalizing liberal views.

“I feel like there’s no conservative voice on campus,” he said. “If you say anything that’s even the least bit conservative, it gets shot down. Not because it’s a bad idea, but because it’s conservative.”

The vocally liberal student body at St. Edward’s has not been shy about its condemnation of President Donald Trump or his supporters, deriding their political views as provincial, short-sighted, and discriminatory. However, young conservative students have been silent.

Not because they don’t care, but because any defense of their perspective is met with derision by their liberal counterparts, who assume that their leftist political views grant them some sort of moral superiority.

This creates an echo chamber, which is antithetical to the premise of college as a place where our views can be challenged, and thus changed or strengthened.

Dominic Imwalle is an accounting and information technology major.

He says having conservative views at St. Edward’s has been frustrating for him, and while he is open minded, he says the culture of shaming people with conservative views on this campus has made it more difficult for his perspective to change, especially when professors operate on the assumption that everyone in the class is liberal.

“I never thought it would play out into the classroom,” Imwalle said. “In one of my honors classes, one of the girls after the election she was crying and I don’t think there is room for just spending the whole class going through our emotions after the election,” he said. “ It was all so one-sided.”

This culture robs all of us — liberals and conservatives alike — of the opportunity to learn and grow.

Imwalle stated that he believes he has benefited from hearing liberal opinions, specifically because they challenge his own views, but it is not reciprocated.

“It’s pushed me to think,” Imwalle said. “I like coming here because I get see the world through different viewpoints.”

Even here at Hilltop Views, we strive to present a diversity of opinions in our Viewpoints section. But one of the most frequent critiques we receive is that our opinions section needs a conservative voice.

In the past, the few conservative students who have dared to write for the paper have been met with attacks not of their beliefs but of their character as well — discouraging others from contributing. That is not right and should not happen. Attacking someone’s character is not a political debate.

The university often claims that they want to encourage diversity, but they often limit it to race and ethnicity.

And although those are important, we don’t seek diversity because we aim to look like a colorful fruit bowl, but because we aim to have a variety of ideas that will create a world we can all be satisfied living in.

“A huge overarching tone at this school is: if you’re not liberal, you’re closed-minded. But it is so closed-minded for them to think like that,” Fournier said.