Campus News News

Page Two: Controversy and Overreaction

Alex Thomas
Staff Writer

By now, I’m sure most people have read or at least heard about the article that was posted on the Springfield College Odyssey website. The article, which outlined 12 things that people associate with going to Springfield College, created a buzz that has been unparalleled in the four years that I have been on campus. Some individuals were appalled, while others were irate. Personally, I just laughed, nodded my head, and said, “Yeah that sounds about right.”

Now, before we go any further, let me say something: I completely understand where the school is coming from in regards to their uneasiness about the post. There were some things in the article t that, quite frankly, should not have been written and can lead to people getting into trouble. From the angle of Springfield College itself, I agree that it needed to be looked at. You all know what passages I’m talking about. Those shouldn’t have been written about. They give a bad look to some local establishments.

That being said, it seems to me like there was a MASSIVE, and let me say this again loud and clear, MASSIVE overreaction from the student body here on campus. People took out their internet pitchforks and went to town, totally teeing off on the writer who I will not name in this column. People just bashing this person left and right, and screaming, again and again, that this article isn’t what Springfield College is all about.

I’m all for having an opinion; in fact, I think that’s what makes this country so great. When we can all have our own opinions and think our own way, it makes for a better place. However, when everyone is forced to have one opinion and almost bullied to believe in something, then we have a problem. It’s a problem that I saw quite a bit this past week on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.

To a degree, I agree, what was written is not what this school is all about. In fact, when I look at the points and the opinions being raised on the other end, I get it. I see where they are coming from and I can understand their anger too.

That being said, some people look at that article and agree with the main point of what was written. In fact, I would argue that a silent yet large population agrees with that story. In fact, almost everyone I have talked to seems to agree with the main point, but also agrees that it could have been presented better.

However, the presentation of that article is not the issue I have. I don’t get angry about too many things, but when I do, it is usually for a good reason. The reaction that this story received, made me angry, and quite frankly I’m done sitting back and being quiet about it.

On the first weekend I was here back in August of 2012, NSO weekend, one of the things we were told was that our opinions were valued and that this school wanted to make us feel comfortable and welcomed. The reaction this story got, from many who are leaders and run that same exact NSO program, was far from welcoming and comforting.

So, what is it? Are these opinions actually valued and do we care if people feel welcomed and comfortable? Or, is it that you can only feel that way if you agree with the opinion of that faction, the NSO faction of this campus? Throughout my four years, I’ve personally had times where I felt like my opinion on certain things on campus was looked at and not only frowned upon, but unaccepted. If you don’t agree with that line of thinking, you are almost labelled as an outsider.

Trust me, I’m not the only one that thinks that.I’m not here to start a war with a very large and important group of our student body. I’m just here to express disappointment and anger. The reaction to the piece on the Odyssey was, in my mind, out of line and hypocritical.

People have differing opinions on things; that’s life folks. You don’t have to agree with what other people think, but you need to respect it. The reaction to that piece was far from respecting. It was almost hostile and it rubbed myself and a lot of other students the wrong way.

I feel for the person at the center of this situation. It was a mistake; it happens; that’s life. The reaction they are getting bothers me and it shows that if you don’t align with a certain way of thinking on this campus, then you will be alienated. Sad, isn’t it?

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