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Saying that 'oh no, we fear being judged or something along those lines? That's democracy.
You challenge people's views. We're in a liberal arts education. They should not expect that just because they are white and they have been taught their whole lives that they can say whatever they want, that people are just going to now keep quiet just because you have this privilege. We need to have these conversations and we need to be uncomfortable in order for change to come.
Mann : Some people do make the argument that academic settings and college campuses have become so liberal that there is a kind of silencing go on, that there is a culture where people do face mockery or perhaps a backlash from professors. Arlow : No, I would not say yes to that. I don't think so.
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We live in the North Country where a majority of the people who live around us are Republican and can offer that support for Republican students on campus. I think that in classes, professors have advocated for respectful dialogue. I think the platform is there. Mann : One of the things you raised as a concern is that Christopher DiMezzo moved to restore the Republican club and also set aside some funding to help facilitate that. This gesture was backed by the campus administration. Arlow : I think that's the institution that we live in.
If something is affecting white students, if something is affecting conservative students, then there are active initiatives being put into place. There's active support by the president, by the board of trustees. Nothing happens.
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I think that's just so problematic and it feels so horrible. I felt more this semester and toward the end of last summester that people of color here, and I'm not trying to speak for anybody, but I feel like people of color at St.
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Lawrence are just here to check the check box for diversity, to make this institution look like it cares about difference and that it celebrates it. But at the end of the day, it's just to say, okay we have this many people of color and this many people from this socio-economic background. But at the end of the day those people don't matter.
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People of color's voice on this campus, it just doesn't matter. Honestly, I just feel so small on this campus. I really do.
Mann : Let me ask where you would like to see this go. If you could say to President Fox and to leaders of the student community, here's how we could start making this better or healing this or making everybody feel more legitimately truly included, what would this look like? Arlow : I wrote this article just to say no. It wasn't supposed to turn into anything.
It wasn't supposted to turn into what it is now. It was just a response to an email that I didn't agree with. I don't have all the answers for how we can turn our campus into a whole kumbaya-type institution. But I do think it is important that people are talking now. People need to allow themselves to be uncomfortable in order to learn.