Value student voice

Kim Dunlap

I wrote an editorial last year regarding the need for students to keep an open mind about political issues and engage in the political dialogue on campus. I am writing to you now to encourage you to not only get involved in this dialogue, but to continue to prize and voice your own positions.. As a soon-to-be full time teacher, I am well aware of the value of students’ voices. They are to be honored and prized, not stifled and dismissed. Too often, students in primary, intermediate, and secondary schools experience the dismissal of their voices and their opinions. Obviously, this condition does not prevail on the Lawrence campus. Indeed, the clichd “Lawrence Difference” could encompass the value that the Lawrence Faculty and Administration place on their students’ voices.

From what I have heard, a few (perhaps many) students feel as though their voices and their opinions are beginning to be stifled rather than cherished. Student protestations against the “cancellation” of the Senior Streak, the new restrictions on the Senior Dinner, and the all-campus smoking ban reached me-even in Chicago-last term.

Last term, there was a great outcry about the restrictions the Administration seemed to be placing on students without their consideration. I read the impassioned responses that students made to the new limitations placed upon them. As the winter term begins, I want to strongly encourage you all to share your voice with members of the Lawrence community through the Lawrentian forum. Do not let go of the esteem your voice deserves-hold onto that and ensure that it continues to be prized among all members of the Lawrence the community well beyond your graduation.