Merriam-Webster on community: a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society. Gusties share many common characteristics, one being passion. Our campus center is full of posters advertising events/causes Gusties care about. We share a common interest of seeing our causes succeed. This Monday, only 29% of students voted in the Co-President election. A 1/3 turn out is considered successful for a college campus but I say it is not good enough for Gusties. Voter apathy is as much a struggle here as it is nationally, but your leaders can not serve you if you do not share your voice with us effectively.
Four years ago I began my journey with the Dive renovation project, which formed before my time here. On Monday, four years of effort failed to receive the attention of 2/3 of Gusties. Student Senate experienced a level of inexcusable apathy, disregard, and out-right rudeness while tabling 12 hours straight on Monday(something too many orgs face). With the popularity of attitudes such as “Sorry, not sorry!” we are becoming a campus that takes nothing seriously. Is it so scary to be sincere? Gusties are bombarded with pleas for action every day, but that is no reason to check-out from your duty in our community. This is not an angry response for the failing of our Dive proposal but a disappointed urge for Gusties to do better. Ignoring issues is not the way to let us, the government, your friends, your parents, know that you do or do not approve of something. We must not be afraid to have an opinion and state it respectfully.
Tasha Ostendorf ‘13
Those with true motivation to wait until marriage to have sex are not “chaining up” sex, but rather waiting for “better” sex. I’d love to talk to you more about this, as I’m sure anyone who knows the goodness of waiting would, but my intent was writing in regards to the posters was to offer a different option other than the normal 1.Make a mistake 2. Cover it up and try and fix it (as it is with unplanned pregnancies and STDs), and rather save sex until you are in a trusting, secure circumstance in which it is most healthy for you, your partner, and your possible little ones to grow. God gave the Israelites commandments such as don’t commit adultery not to keep us from “our nature,” but rather to protect us from unnecessary conflict. I’m not shaming anyone who is sexually active, like you assumed, but just saying that, as one who has been through a lot in regards to sexuality in my life, there are a lot of stresses, worries, and insecurities that are diminished when you abstain from sexual activities. Thus, giving your mind room to dwell on more beautiful, loving things towards yourself and others. Also, in regards to keeping faith as a pillar at GAC..Christianity is not a religion..it is the story of God’s love and plan for redemption for this world. Its a pillar for the simple fact that when all understanding is gained, there is still a depth in one’s heart that can only be reached by God and the eternal destiny and acceptance of God’s kids (as all are). If our institutions do not tell about Jesus (as most Lutheran schools do), many kids will never know of the vast greatness, freedom, and abundance that God has for us now and in eternity. Jesus is coming back and he’d like the invitation of life to be handed out. When its not..fear, anxiety, depression, and false confidence and security will for sure take over. If you’d like to talk to me about this. Please contact me! Im not in this for a fight with anyone.
Lainey Mikel, ’13
“Humans are sexual beings by nature”?
Really? There is a highly marginalized sexual minority that is being overlooked and overshadowed whenever someone makes a blanket statement that asserts that humans have this “nature” — this inherent, genetic thing — that causes every person in the world to want sex. That tiny group of us are called asexuals, and we are not sexually attracted to anyone. The vast majority of us do not have sex. Some of us are not even romantically attracted to others. We are largely unheard, and a lot of us are angry.
We are angry because people confuse asexuality with “asexual reproduction,” which is simply absurd. We are angry because people confuse asexuality with celibacy. Celibacy is a choice; asexuality is a sexual orientation. We are angry because we are surrounded by a sexual culture precisely because of this assumption that humans are sexual by nature. We are angry because people assume asexuality is a dysfunction. We are perfectly happy the way we are.
We are also angry because, when others are confronted with this new identifier, they become angry. They treat us as an assault to their sexuality, when all we want is respect and understanding, just like every other human being. They say that we can’t possibly be asexual, that we are broken, that we defy evolutionary processes and human instinct. Part of being asexual is understanding that other people do want these things, and never assuming that we are correct in our sexual views. There are no correct answers. Only your answer, and your partner’s (or partners’), should you find yourself in want of one (or several).
Humans are social creatures, not inherently sexual ones. We seek approval and care, and one of the ways humans are able to gain these things is by having sex. But goodness, it’s only one thing! Go cuddle someone today! Go compliment someone for their intellectual qualities! Go hold someone’s hand, play a game with them, talk to them, listen to them, have a drink with them, and, most importantly, care for them. After all, humans are caring beings by nature.
Jade Johnson, ‘13
The following are responses to the opinion article, “Why is ‘faith’ a virtue?” published in the March 1, 2013 issue of The Gustavian Weekly:
I do not believe in God, but at Gustavus I have come to appreciate faith as a central aspect of human life. A friend once told me, “Faith is something that brings meaning to your life.” It is inseparable from your culture and worldview. All people have faith of some sort, because we all search for meaning. That is why I wanted to write to you and ask you to reexamine your claim that faith and reason are mutually exclusive.
You claim that faith “perverts the innate moral faculties we all possess.” This is the logical equivalent of claiming that community corrupts all human beings: many terrible deeds have been done in the name of people’s communities, but you would not abolish communities, would you? Like faith, community is not inherently good or bad; it is a fundamental aspect of human life.
In the past few centuries, a new faith has emerged: science. Like other religions, science is a way for people to understand their world. Science values objectivity, its canonical language is mathematics, its sacraments are careful experimentation and reasoning. Science’s heaven, its nirvana, its unreachable end is infinite knowledge of the universe. Many terrible deeds have been done in the name of science, from dogmatic, pseudoscientific justifications for racism to “experimentation” on people by the Nazis. But science is more than that, it is integral to the “modern,” western worldview. We all have faith. It is far too limiting to define faith as a belief in a “Bronze Age, tribalistic deity.” So I would invite everyone to examine their own faith. What do you believe, and where do you search for meaning?
Ian Shay, ‘13
First, I ask everyone reading this to remember that Gustavus was founded by the Lutheran church, and as a private college they (we) have a right to profess all the truths expressed in the “official statement”; you (we) chose to be here. Second, to claim that all religious dogmas are “the antithesis of open-minded free inquiry” is close-minded in itself. With only one semester behind them, I can see why some first-years might see things this way, but having been here for almost 3 years, I can attest to the overwhelming emphasis Gustavus faculty/staff put on critical thinking in their curriculum (especially in CII). As both a Christian and a student who has taken numerous philosophy classes, I have found it imperative to question, challenge, and develop my faith over the years; it is doubt itself that has enriched both my academic education and my relationship with/understanding of God.
Furthermore, to say that “religious faith … perverts the innate moral faculties we all possess” is ridiculous. We all know of the slave trade (among other injustices committed by those claiming divine will), but it is crucial to recognize such abominable practices as the fault of humans—who are at liberty to misinterpret sacred texts for their own sakes—not God or personal faith. It could be argued that the institution of religion is at fault for upsetting the moral way of things, but that’s another matter entirely; humans are flawed (even if our moral faculties are “innate”, that doesn’t mean they can’t be corrupted), and they (we) are the hypocrites, not God. I hope that not every atheist on campus has so perverted religion to call it “a contradictory collection of Bronze Age myths, laden with genocide, rape, torture, and [immorality]”, for the sake of respect for all students, if nothing else.
Caitlin Skvorc, ‘14
As students at Gustavus, we should be willing to reflect on the college’s core values. I thank Ryan Liebl for drawing this to our attention in his column last week, entitled “Why is ‘faith’ a virtue?’ In the few paragraphs available here, I’d like to begin to answer the question, and perhaps to a greater end than ‘for the sake of argument.’
Faith, even religious faith, can in many ways be a virtue in an individual. It does not have to be dogmatic. Rather, seeking faith can compel us to inquire and pursue a variety of perspectives to inform and enrich our understanding and belief. This approach to faith is more mature than the rigid and unexplored dogmatism, as Ryan characterizes faith.
Can principles of faith be ‘proven’ by empirical evidence and rational argument? Usually not. But is truth confined to our perceptions and ability to reason? I don’t believe we can say so. Faith offers the possibility for seeking beyond the limitations of reason. There is of course the possibility that whatever is believed is untrue, but should we fear error so and never pursue what might be true? It is a risk, an uncertainty, as William James explains it in The Will to Believe.
I argue that keeping faith as a pillar is essential for Gustavus. By rejecting faith completely, we reject not only our heritage, but we restrict our understanding of a momentous element of the human experience, ignore the role that faith played in the lives of leaders like Gandhi and King, and limit the possibility to teach students how to freely seek and find truth beyond reason’s boundaries. There is much more to consider and reflect upon, and I hope all of us will continue to do so.
Lexi Liston ’15
Philosophy and Psychology