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Voices from the Editorial Board: On the Shoutbox ordeal


For transparency purposes, this article will remain on our website. However, The Lawrentian would like readers to know that this does not adhere to our current editorial policy, which was confirmed on February 12th in: Voices from the Editorial Board: Confirming our editorial policies. At the time of this article’s submission, our policy was as follows: 

The opinions expressed in The Lawrentian are those of the students, faculty and community members who wrote them. All facts are as provided by the authors. The Lawrentian does not endorse any opinions piece except for the staff editorial, which represents a majority of the editorial board. The Lawrentian welcomes everyone to submit their own opinions using the parameters outlined in the masthead.


On January 18, MLK Day, a controversial post was shared on the Facebook page for Lawrence students called The Shoutbox and it caused quite an issue in the Lawrence Community, enough that we felt we needed to talk about it this week. Unfortunately, there are many people who are still unaware of the situation, so we have chosen to now bring it to the attention of the Lawrence community. Here is a brief rundown of what happened:

Tim Moyer, a student running for senior class representative in LUCC, posted a list of his objectives, should he be elected to that position. His list of goals began with fixing Bon App’s swipe system and creating more customizable and healthier meal plans as well as bringing back the YMCA passes for students. Going further down his list of objectives, things got progressively more problematic. Objectives like ending the Pledge that Lawrence has made a huge effort to uphold for the safety of students during this pandemic. Along with that, Moyer thought it appropriate to argue for the protection of free speech for underrepresented perspectives. Promoting hate speech and preventing censorship of non-progressive conversations are included with those underrepresented perspectives. As one would imagine, the comment section on his Facebook post exploded in conversation primarily surrounding why his objectives are harmful for the campus community and Lawrence as a whole. 

Lawrence University says in their statement on inclusion and non-discrimination, “the University prohibits discrimination in admissions, its programs and activities, employment and advancement on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, disability, military service, protected veteran status, political affiliation, arrest record or conviction record.” While this is what the school itself stands for, this should expand to include the students as well as the entire campus community. Lawrence does not tolerate instances of hate speech. It goes against everything our school believes in and is completely unacceptable. 

The language in Tim Moyer’s post was beyond tone-deaf in that it ignores the lengths that underrepresented groups have gone to in order to get hate speech policies put in place. His posted goals are indicative of his privileged perspective. In response to Moyer’s desire to end hate speech policies, what exactly are you trying to say? By eradicating hate speech policies, you are specifically targeting marginalized groups that have historically been subjected to derogatory and dehumanizing language. It appears that the attempts made by the Lawrence Community have created a space that does not allow white privileged men like Tim Moyer to go off on their soapbox and harm people. Good.

Additionally, this pandemic has been devastating for everyone, of course in varying degrees, but the audacity to write the statement “return to normal” when addressing COVID restrictions on campus is absurd. We are in a pandemic that will not magically disappear by Spring Term. Vaccines are rolling out and that is going to take time. To end COVID restrictions on campus would significantly harm students and faculty members as well as their families.

From this point on, we can only hope that our community will work harder to continue to be more vigilant and be able to come together to defend one another against horrible issues like hate speech and ending the pledge. We are responsible for not only our own health and safety, but also for the safety and protection of others. We are not writing in an attempt to vilify Moyer, we are simply trying to bring awareness to the situation in hopes that this will give us as the Lawrence community the opportunity to stand up against dated and extremely insensitive ideas that stifle the progress Lawrence has made and continues to make. 

– Celeste Reyes (Variety Editor), Dani Massey (Features Editor), Dannielle Konz (Editor-in-Chief), Shania Johnson (Copy Editor)


The opinions expressed in The Lawrentian are those of the students, faculty and community members who wrote them. All facts are as provided by the authors. The Lawrentian does not endorse any opinions piece except for the staff editorial, which represents a majority of the editorial board. The Lawrentian welcomes everyone to submit their own opinions using the parameters outlined in the masthead.