Contributed by Junior Political Science Major Edward Greer
We live in a world in which there is controversy at every turn, and one in which polarization is slowly beginning to reach unprecedented highs. Austin Peay has several geographic facets that are unique to a college campus. Our school is located in the middle of a relatively large city, is close to a military base, is in the south, and is, of course, a university. These facets mean that the students of Austin Peay come from a wide spectrum of backgrounds, cultures, races, ages, sexual identities, gender identities, income and ideas of religious expression. The idea is that Austin Peay is inherently diverse due to many different overlapping factors. This diversity, of course, includes a wide spectrum of beliefs. In the face of adversity, however, our peers have found a way to stand as one.
Recently, our campus has received its almost annual hate-spewing guest. I will not provide his name or his organization because I refuse to identify his ideas as something of conventional humanity. However, I believe that readers can easily piece together what I am describing. In the short time that this guest visited, I witnessed countless acts of solidarity and unity against this adversary. I watched as students from many backgrounds shout back against the words that countless of us believe are hateful, deceitful, abhorrent and vicious. I watched as several student groups quickly organized ways to draw attention away from the visitor, or provide positivity in several ways to reaffirm to our community that Austin Peay does not stand for hate. I even watched as people doubled-down on their efforts when the visitor brought a friend. I watched as our greatly multifaceted community came together as one, and I felt an overwhelming sense of pride in my peers.
To quote David Schmidtz from his “The Elements of Justice” we do not start from scratch. We weave our contribution into an existing tapestry of contributions. I believe that in spite of these events, our campus has woven a tapestry of love and unity. Each of us have taken our own unique pieces, and have woven them into something we can take pride in. We should take pride in this tapestry and ensure that we continue to weave positive contributions for future generations of students.