After reading The Hill News article “Thelmogate,” I was very displeased to find that an article addressing constitutionality became an attack on those who identify as Republican. The last paragraph quotes an anonymous student stating, “Even if their decision was based on principle rather than politics, it’s an unfortunate coincidence for them to first support the party that endorses bigotry and exclusivity in our country.” As a Republican reading this, I was truly disappointed. Although the way SLU Republicans was reinstated may not have been right, it is important to look at why it happened. This club is helping to give students a platform who do not feel comfortable expressing their ideological views. It is uneducated for people to call all Republicans “bigots.”
One of the many qualities we gain from a liberal education, and from St. Lawrence, is the ability to learn from one another and become comfortable with being uncomfortable. It would be a shame if we were not to apply these values in all aspects of our life. I, as a Republican student, have never felt comfortable sharing my political views because of comments made such as the one mentioned. I also have learned that other students who identify as Republicans feel the same way. This club has already given them a space where they feel comfortable. The past election has demonized Republicans on this campus to a point where students do not share their views. I have heard comments such as “Being a conservative is disgusting,” and “If you didn’t vote Democrat you wasted a vote.” I do not believe it is right to call another person’s vote wrong. It is naive to address Republicans all in one category, as it is to lump anyone in one category because we all bring our own views and opinions to the table.
The political climate on campus today is not a tolerant one, and I think we can use this time to utilize our political differences and learn from each other. I leave you with this quote from the Dalai Lama, “Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.”
May we all use this time to learn and grow from one another, and if you would like to know about Republicans on campus, meetings are held on Sunday in the Hannon Room at 5 p.m.