As I read the article on the events of the Greek Life retreat this past weekend, I was shocked by the description of the discussion of racial issues on campus. Students left the room, “some in tears,” as “tensions continued to rise” and members called friends to pick them up so they could leave the camp.
In this reaction, I see an issue that needs to be addressed on our campus, as well as across the country.
The administration of the university is doing the students a disservice by providing an environment that lacks ideological diversity. When our opinions and beliefs are not challenged by professors and other students, we do not learn how to handle this kind of confrontation properly.
Surveys have shown that conservative Republicans make up anywhere between 2 percent and 11 percent of university faculties, depending on the department. Whatever your ideological beliefs, the lack of ideological diversity on college campuses negatively affects students and does not prepare them for entrance into the professional world.
The effects of this can be seen across the country. Riots that have broken out in response to scheduled speeches, people that have been assaulted for their political affiliation, and just this week, Evangelicals have been attacked as hateful and barbaric for espousing a doctrine that has been accepted without exception for the last 2,000 years.
Without opinions that challenge our beliefs and convictions, we are being set up to fail in civilized debate and discussion with those who disagree with us.
To receive a well-rounded education, students need to be exposed to differing views and learn to remain civil and controlled in conversation with those they disagree with.
Kyle Brassell is a junior history and religious studies major from Olive Branch.