Standing Up for Something at UVU | Op-ed
UVU, it’s been a quiet year,
While the world argues over social justice and the economic mobility of “persistent sub-groups”, UVU stays silent. I have been at UVU for almost two years and the deafening silence that exist on campus when it comes to social issues rings louder than a snare drum.
In a year marred by alleged police brutality, racial violence, social injustice and many perceived inequalities, students at many higher education institutions have held peaceful protest and activism, while UVU has remained largely inactive and silent.
The need for action and expression is imperative to this educational community, which has been historically depressed of any type of expression. Stanford marches, University of Utah students hold demonstrations, Columbia students get a break from final exams to ease their minds from the death of Eric Garner, and even BYU students join in and protest against social injustices that have taken place in the United States.
All the while, UVU students discuss the staircase at the new Student Life and Wellness Center and complain about the scheduling of the past spring break. I am not saying that students at UVU need to hop on the train of egalitarianism, but it would be nice to see UVU students express their beliefs in a consistently changing world and stand up for something. Anything.
Luckily, this is not a problem of intellect. UVU has a wide variety of students with different backgrounds and different ideals. The problem lies with lack of forum. UVU has not provided a simple way for students to express their ideals and beliefs. UVU has not provided the environment to foster these questions of identity. UVU has made the campus so politically correct that the dearth of individualism can be felt from the I-15 Freeway off-ramp. Basic and lacking school spirit, UVU has only reached the infancy of its potential.
To solve this problem, we must embrace our differences and learn from each other. This coming fall semester UVU will have another chance to reach greatness. By embracing ideals, even radical ideals, UVU can become something special that no other school in the area can: a powerhouse of open thought and understanding.
To achieve this we must let the students of UVU build our legacy and define our culture without the censorship and ignorance of information through lack of open forum. UVU must reach into their budget and provide this opportunity to all students. Indiana University and Purdue University have achieved this by creating a Democracy Plaza where students can write their thoughts, ideals, questions and even complaints on a chalk wall for all people to see. We can have our student body officers’ comment on major social issues that effect students that go to UVU. These are two small things that UVU can adopt to help our university reach its true potential.
Public Relations chair for the Multicultural Student Council