Don’t silence conservative students

If you read this publication on a regular basis, it may be easy to assume that every student here at Xavier is liberal. From the point of view of someone on the outside, they see the liberal protests that have happened across campus, the letter written by Father Graham after President Trump’s travel ban and the brand new gender neutral bathrooms that have been placed in Gallagher.

One may also look at the faculty and think the same. Across the country, liberal professors outnumber conservative professors 12:1. This is problematic on a number of different fronts, and I say this as an admittedly left-leaning student. The first problem is that in a place where diversity of thought is honored, there is a blatant lack of that on the faculty side.

However, the worse problem that comes off of this is the effect these professors have on their students. A minority of these liberal-minded professors are so adamant about their beliefs that if a conservative student writes them a paper aligned with their own apposing beliefs, backed up with facts, the professor may give them a lower grade because they consider that particular opinion unacceptable.

There are also some classes that by nature of their existence presume a certain world view and work from there instead of starting off by questioning whether or not the purpose of the course was needed. For example, there was a class offered about women in a particular field of study and the thesis of the class was that the public is unaware of the works of women in said field. However, after a short examination, the class showed that they were unaware not just of women’s contributions to said field but men’s contribution as well. The professor assumed systemic sexism when that may not have been the case. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t sexism in this field, but this may be considered as a ‘leading question’ of sorts.

There are plenty of courses that may have a bias like that just mentioned. Yet, a student would be hard pressed to find anything with a conservative thought line outside of the business school. This is a huge problem because there are plenty of conservatives here at Xavier. Many simply do not take notice of them or can’t find them out in the open.

The reason for this is they stay purposefully silent out of the worry of starting a debate with a professor and earning a lower grade, or of being socially outcast by their peers. There are many students who I have had conversations with that get really upset because they think if they show even the slightest bit of their perspective, they may get called racist, sexist or homophobic. Yet, if these students came out and said they were against gay marriage, many would waste no time in calling them homophobic.

By calling things like this out, we lose dialogue immediately. These things further contribute to a lack of dialogue on campus and from there, further polarization and lack of understanding. If we want to get anywhere in academia then we must have these tough conversations and put our emotions aside.

Personally, I would love to hear the perspective of more Democrats and Republicans. This is hard work. It means often being upset because people are not going to always agree with you. This means that if you have a disagreement, sit down and handle it in a mature way. Don’t scream and shout and refuse to try to meet someone. Other perspectives may open up your mind to other things. As a further step, I would encourage our conservative brothers and sisters to write for this publication and spread your ideas. This is how we are going to make the world a better place.

By: Alex Hale ~Staff Writer~