BY SAMANTHA OHLSON
It is no secret that Drake is a liberal campus. President Martin made that quite clear when Drake became a sanctuary school last fall. And while there have been hate crimes against minorities on campus, the students who led the attacks are a rarity.
At first thought, I think most Drake students, myself included, enjoy our liberal campus. It is nice to be able to have conversations and make political jokes with people who share your ideas and views. I like knowing that most of the people I talk to will agree with me. It feels safer, and it is definitely easier. However, upon closer examination, this can cause a lot of problems.
While I am from rural Northeast Iowa and have my Facebook feed to remind me how the other side of the political spectrum is thinking, many Drake students do not. It is easy to get caught up in the comfortable political bubble of Drake’s campus and forget that the rest of the country might not be thinking the same way most of us are.
The election results were even more difficult to come to terms with when I knew almost everyone I talk to regularly had been opposed to President Trump. It was shocking.
The liberal bubble creates more problems beyond surprising election results. How will we learn to have respectful and valuable dialogues with the other side of the aisle if we never get the chance to talk to them to hear their side?
It is incredibly difficult to work with people you never talk to, and after graduation we are probably going to run into more people who disagree with us. These conversations can be hard, but they become easier when they can occur regularly.
Being on a liberal campus does not mean we cannot hear what the other side has to say, though. Drake does an excellent job of allowing for voices from both sides of an argument to speak.
Even though I do not agree with Trump’s policies, I think it is important that he was able to speak on Drake’s campus during the Iowa caucus season. If the only side we listen to is our own, then we have no room to grow and no way to work with others to make a positive change that will help everyone.
College is an important time to have dialogues with those who disagree with us. There is still time to learn how to communicate with each other without being disrespectful. It would be a shame for our academic institutions to become as polarized as our country seems to have become.
I like that Drake is liberal. I think many of our liberal policies, like being a sanctuary school and implementing gender-neutral restrooms, are some of the things that make us a safe place to learn and grow.
However, we cannot get caught up in the liberal bubble on campus. We have to remember that not everyone shares our views and continue to work towards being able to have meaningful conversations with the other side.