Stop Shaming Students For Attending Michigan State

Stop Shaming Students For Attending Michigan State

We’re angry and we want change, but we still love our school.
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The events that have transpired at Michigan State lately have shook me to my core. You hear about these horrible things happening at universities, but when it happens at yours, you can’t help but feel a disgust for the school you go to.

I first came to Michigan State around the same time Larry Nassar was fired. My roommate, being a journalist, kept me updated on the story. Soon I forgot all about it. That was until I returned to school the following fall.

The story I had forgotten began to unravel quickly. The story I once didn’t know much about was all anyone could talk about. Heinous acts of sexual abuse committed on this campus, by a member of the faculty that young girls were supposed to be able to trust. How could this happen here?

It’s no secret Michigan State has an issue with sexual assault, but this was so much more than that. I couldn’t believe this was happening here, at the school I chose to attend. I’m still shocked and saddened by the events that took place on this campus. I feel for the victims and respect their bravery in coming forward. And it gives me hope in seeing so many students stand up and give their utmost support to these victims.

With the recent events, not only has Michigan State been the target of hateful remarks, but the students have too. Before I continue, I want to make clear that the events that happened on this campus are disgusting and inexcusable, and that every member of faculty involved should be punished. But what I don’t agree with is the shaming that every student here has endured for attending this school since these events transpired.

We didn’t choose for this to happen. We are furious that something so horrible could happen at the place we are supposed to feel safe, and the place we choose to call our home three quarters of the year. But in no way are the students responsible for what happened. We’re as shocked and hurt as everyone else learning about what has happened here over the years. But what does shaming us do? What does it help? We didn’t play a hand in what happened, so why are we made to feel guilty about the school we’ve chosen to attend?

I chose to go to Michigan State because I wanted to get the best education I could. Coming from a small town, I wanted to be apart of something bigger, something exciting. As upset as I am with what happened here, I still love my school. Why am I being shamed for that?

Fans from other schools are quick to bring up the sexual abuse that has happened here to try and tear me and others down, and make me feel as bad as I can for attending Michigan State. I just don’t see how that’s fair. Just the other day one of my friends was told by someone that she shouldn’t be wearing her MSU sweatshirt. What used to be playful banter with others on the MSU v. U of M feud has turned into snarky remarks like, “How’s your rapey school?” These comments aren’t just disrespectful to students here, they’re disrespectful to the victims. To turn their abuse into a way to try and justify whatever college sports team they support is better than MSU is disgusting.

I don’t care if you aren’t a fan of MSU. I don’t care if you’re a U of M fan or an OSU fan. Bringing up the recent sexual abuse scandal that happened here to try and bring us down for attending Michigan State is unfair and wrong. Just like I didn’t think it was fair to shame Stanford students during the Brock Turner scandal, I don’t think it’s fair now. It’s wrong and it’s low. Don’t think for one second that not every student here is angry about what happened. We were all shocked and upset when the story broke, and we still are.

The students at Michigan State are NOT to blame for what happened. You know who is to blame? Larry Nassar. And every single member of the faculty who didn’t do anything to stop what was happening. I’m sick of people trying to make me feel like a bad person for the school I’m attending.

Even though I’m disgusted at the events that have occurred here, I still love Michigan State. I’m still grateful that I’m able to go to school here. I still believe Michigan State is a great school. The actions of those who have done wrong here do not represent the students that go here.

We stand with the victims and want everyone involved to receive the punishments that they deserve. We’re angry and we want change, but we still love our school. Stop shaming us just for the fact that we attend Michigan State.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.landof10.com/michigan-state/michigan-state-students-larry-nassar-survivors-paint-rock-support

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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