The Gustavian Weekly

Gustavus needs to stand up for social justice | The Gustavian Weekly

By Emmett Haberman - Opinion Columnist | September 30, 2016 | Opinion

I argue that we as a College that advocates for community, justice, service, and faith, a college that holds programs like I Am, We Are (IAWA) that advocate for social justice, and a college that became the first fair trade school in Minnesota, release a statement on an issue that the school will face or has faced.

If the school released a statement on a social justice issue then it would hold them accountable for some of their actions.

Last year, a sexual assault case sparked a discussion campus wide, two years ago “Yik Yak” proved that through anonymity hate festers through campus, and three years ago the first hate crime in Gustavus history was recorded after the “n-word” was written on a CF’s door.

Some good came out of these discussions; people that have never had these conversations became aware of something that many people struggle with on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, some bad came out of these discussions, but with most conversations there were parties that were unwilling to listen to each other.

At some point, it seemed like everyone was talking about these issues. One voice was missing from these discussions: the schools.

If the school released a statement on a social justice issue then it would hold them accountable for some of their actions.

If the school would have come out and said that they do not condone rape in anyway, shape, or form, it would be hard for the school to then give someone an essay on why rape is wrong.

The same holds true with most social justice issues.

I find it hard to believe that the school has not had a hate crime in the past three years.

If the college came out, when a hate crime occurred, and said Gustavus Adolphus does not stand for racism or discrimination, it would then hold itself accountable for future incidences.

The only thing I can think of that holds the school accountable right now are the five pillars of Gustavus, but the school does not even hold itslef to that standard.

The five pillars shown proudly in the caf are Excellence, Community, Justice, Service, and Faith.

How can the school claim they value justice without standing up for those treated unjustly in our community?

The peoples whose lives are being threatened by the Dakota Access Pipeline are an example of those in our community who need someone to stand up for and with them.

But if the college refuses to stand up for those who are treated unjustly then the college is acting far from excellent.

How can a school claim they live with faith without doing the right thing like the book they preach about every Sunday?

This is why I believe that the school should do us the small service and put out a statement when there is a public outcry.

1 Comment

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  1. Karl Olsson says:

    As a Swede i am disgusted by this university using the name of one of our greatest kings.

    This school should teach traditional protestant values and not liberal bullshit, live up to the name or change it.