Opinion pieces and campus-wide dialogue

As we begin the 142nd year of Chips, I want to highlight the importance of the opinion section. The Chips opinion section is a valuable platform for members of the Luther community to express their thoughts, perspectives, and beliefs, yet the opinion section is not a culmination of isolated perspectives. Rather, it is a platform that can contribute to meaningful campus-wide conversations. The opinion section is a space for people to respectfully express their views and for community members to have the opportunity to engage with one another.

We have reached a point in time where dialogue has become so construed and toxic that often serious issues are not taken seriously by people with opposing viewpoints. Closing off spaces for people to exercise their rights to free speech has a corrosive effect on a community and society as a whole. It prevents people from challenging their own perceptions and beliefs, thus creating a more narrow view of the world and contributing to the

“Luther bubble.” Additionally, free speech can be used as a tool for justice. By engaging in important issues be it on campus, in the US, or around the world we can expand our viewpoints of the world and listen to voices that we may otherwise not hear.

That being said, it is crucial for people to understand the power that comes with being able to openly express their beliefs and the inherent privileges of free speech.

Many have abused their rights to free speech by actively spewing hate speech, however, hate speech ignores the fact that free speech requires accountability and an understanding that so many people are unable to have their voices heard. In other words, meaningful civil discourse strives to acknowledge the voices that are not present.

My goal for the year is to build off of the past successes of the Chips opinion section by creating a space for campus-wide discussions. This is not to say that sections nine and ten of Chips are the only places for the Luther community to engage in dialogue, instead, the opinion section is a tool that contributes to thoughtful and meaningful discourse.

This is a long way of encouraging anyone in the Luther community to share their opinions with us and participate in meaniful discourse with the Luther community.

We are excited to hear from you.

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