Brian Hess, a UWT student, recently submitted a letter addressed to “Social Justice Warrior[s].” I think Hess’s letter is a prime opportunity for building empathy on both sides of the political spectrum. Hess argues that because he is a conservative white male, he has been silenced and “pushed away” by liberals. This feeling of being alienated is similar to the experiences of minorities in this country. So, it may seem hypocritical of the left to silence conservative voices; but it is not. Rather, as the philosopher Karl Popper explains, “If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.” I believe that many intuitively understand this, hence why Milo Yiannopoulos’ speeches, which outed and doxed trans people, were met with so much resistance. Hess’ frustration stems from a necessary contemporary reaction to our dire political climate. If conservatives are truly proponents of tolerance, equality, and reason, then they should recognize that the GOP, especially now, is grossly antithetical to those values. Thus, those on the left are not necessarily reacting to them as individuals, but as a symbol of their party’s intolerance. If conservatives like Hess truly want to bridge the chasm in our society, they must work to reform their party so as to push it off the dangerous path it is on.
Living on Campus: Is it worth it?
Let me start this letter off stating that I am not writing this letter to complain, but to rather raise concerns around living on campus in Court 17. As a freshman that started in the fall I was really excited to move on campus and get involved. After living in Court 17 for two quarters, I would say that the high price of the apartments is not worth what you are getting.
One major issue with the apartments is the constant smell of weed throughout the entire complex. I see people smoking in the parking garages quite often and when I enter the elevator in the building I often have to hold my breath because of the strong odor. I would love to see some kind of enforcement of the rules or an event put on by the resident assistants to address this issue.
Another issue about living on campus is the parking. Residents pay more than regular students for parking however we don’t receive priority parking. If I leave my apartment in the morning and come back in the afternoon on a weekday, the odds of me getting a parking spot are slim. In order to fix this issue the school could provide less parking permits to non-Court 17 residents, or have residents pay the same price as everyone else so it is fairer.
When I first moved into Court 17, I was really excited to go to the events in the building to have fun and make friends. However, I have been disappointed in the events I have seen. Recently I saw a poster for a breakfast event where they asked us to bring our own food. If we are paying for Court 17 events, why are they asking us to bring our own food? Also, I don’t really know when the events are happening. I often hear about the event after it has already happened by scrolling through my Instagram feed. This could be an easy fix by giving students a little more notice.
The biggest reward about living on campus is the close prominently to campus. I am able to wake up at 7:45am and make it on time to my 8:00am class. Court 17 however, is not the only nearby apartment complex. I have a few friends that live in the Villaggio, which is on the same street as Court 17 but just a few blocks down.
Overall if you were thinking about living in Court 17, I would advise you to reconsider. There are other ways to get involved and make friends on campus such as going to club meetings and talking to people in your classes.
I appreciate what you have been attempting to do. I have tried to be more involved within the University community, but with computer engineering projects, I have not been able to get out, or I get lost in the project and forget the time. I would like to pass on to you my opinion on why there is a lack of conversation on this campus.
One big reason I observed is that there is no standard time that there is no class to allow students the opportunity to attend events. This was a change that occurred recently and I have not found the reason for it. I know that at South Puget Sound community college there is actually time scheduled during the week that there are no classes for club meetings and events to take place (at least when I was attending in 2013). If there was this option again at this University, I believe there would be more participation in the conversations.
Another thing I have noticed is that the advertisement for events is sparse. Most of my classes are in the Cherry Parks building and there are not many fliers seen about events in the building. Then when traveling through the other buildings, I notice fliers, but then when I check them out, they are old and out of date. I think if there was a better placement for these activities and conversations, more students would see them, and possibly lead to more participation.
Please recall that this campus started off as a commuter campus and has slowly been changing to a residential institution. With the change to a residential campus, there needs to be mo re support and awareness at the freshman and sophomore level classes. It is through providing information during the lecture time that may bring more awareness and cause more participation.
Last item I think that interferes with the participation is social media itself. I think that many feel that through social media they are participating and not realizing that they are staying within an echo chamber. When I first attended college in the 80s, the liberal arts professors would point out opportunities to the students of getting involved within the discussions on campus. They would challenge students to attend the events and reflect on what it was about. I understand times change and that environments between that campus and this one are different.
I wanted to share these thoughts with you. I hope to provide more letters to continue discussions, and hope I am not being to much of a bother. I enjoyed the piece and accept the challenge you placed to become more involved in the discussion while I am still on campus.
I am submitting the following as an opinion piece for your newspaper:
Did the recent presidential election catch your attention? Were you frustrated with voting results or was your vote suppressed (lost votes cast for candidates who do not capture the most votes in any given state)?
A lot of discussion is currently heard about using the National Popular Vote (NPV) approach. It’s where a compact of states agree to cast all of their electoral votes to the candidate that wins the most popular votes across the nation. It sounds good but falls short in a number of significant areas. Here are a few:
- NPV fails to respect the fact that our nation is a republic—a collection of independent and autonomous states. Consider if your state’s popular vote winner did not match the popular votes cast across the nation. All of your state’s electoral votes would be cast for a candidate not in favor in your state. Votes cast in other states would affect your state’s voting preference.
- NPV unfairly favors heavily populated states. Half the nation lives in just nine states. What happens to the voting voice of those living in the remaining 41 and Washington, D.C.?
- NPV provides no voter recount consideration. There is no agreement as to which state(s) would conduct and/or pay for a recount, if one were called.
- NPV would discourage future voter turnout due to the lack of state autonomy, voting result disparity, and voter disenfranchisement.
A better approach, Equal Voice Voting (EVV), captures the popular vote on a state-by-state basis, retains our federalist form of governance, and requires neither a Constitutional amendment nor interstate compact. EVV makes every vote count and ensures every state is recognized. Learn more at www.equalvoicevoting.com.