STAFF EDITORIAL: Forums: the real Lawrence difference

While past editorials, both from staff and otherwise, have expressed their fair share of criticism of Lawrence, it is important to consider one of the great qualities of our school: the right to hold and express these opinions. It is true that all schools have some sort of outlet for opinion, but Lawrence’s atmosphere of liberal interest and tolerance creates not only a welcoming, but safe environment for students of all opinions to congregate and discuss their views.

On some state college campuses, the idea of hosting a panel is foreign. At Lawrence, however, panels are not only frequently assembled, but endorsed as well. All students are encouraged to attend or participate in such forums through flyers or word of mouth.

The benefits of these panels and forums do not end at their mere abundance. Very recently, at the San Francisco State University campus, a peace rally sponsored by the Jewish students’ organization was surrounded by an angry mob shouting death threats at the students.

In contrast, the atmosphere at Lawrence’s discussion groups is a safe and secure one. Those students presenting know that they can express their views without fear of attack, while audience members are assured that they will be exposed to multiple sides of the issue at hand.

In addition to open discussion panels, Lawrence is also fortunate to host a diverse collection of organizations, all of which have an equal ability to communicate their ideals with the student body.

Due to the school’s encouraging environment, these student groups are able to host panels, rallies, and forums, and even publish their own newspapers, knowing that their ideas will be given proper attention.