USGA President Sam Moul on Campus Climate
February 23, 2017
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In my time here at the University of New Haven, I have learned many things. A lot of these things were taught to me inside a classroom or came from a textbook, but most of the lessons that will surely stick with me for the rest of my life came from you, my fellow Chargers. In my experiences in our community, I have met so many people from different backgrounds, cultures, geographical areas, affiliations, identities, and opinions. And every single one of you has taught me something. I have learned that as a student body, we come together when it is most important, whether it is supporting countless charities, helping our fellow students in their time of need, or simply just cheering each other on. No matter who you are or what you do here, you have all been part of making my experiential education everything that it could be.
Through these ups there have also been some downs. The social and political tension that is currently present around campus can be felt in a politically charged conversation in class, through the banter in Bartels, and especially on social media. Many people are, for the first time in their lives, fighting for their beliefs and for their rights. Many others are continuing a fight they have battled all of their lives. And this fight is different for every individual on our campus, which is why it can seem so difficult to understand one another. However, I think these differences are something to be celebrated.
Now, there is a very big difference between what is a political opinion and what is a derogatory and/or disrespectful comment against someone or a group of people – that I cannot argue. However, not everyone with a different view than yours will also have those kinds of things to say and we can’t ever know until we listen to them. Despite our differences and our beliefs outside of the University of New Haven, I believe we have the opportunity to not only use our college campus to continue all of the great things we do, (some listed above and many more are not) but to also engage in civil discourse and learn from one another. We are bound to come across many people in our lives with whom we disagree, but here at the University of New Haven, we have the opportunity to discuss these differences, and learn why we differ so greatly from others with people that we also happen to share a lot in common with, something that may not be as easily found post-graduation.
It is difficult to have your own values, beliefs, and passions and then meet someone who goes against what you believe in. However, one thing we will never fail to come across during our time on campus is someone we share a home with, for the University of New Haven has truly become all of our homes. I certainly have a lot of growing and learning left to do during my time here at U.N.H., but one thing I truly pride myself in is that I am a Charger, a member of the University of New Haven family. This campus has given me everything and if we continue to move forward as one, as a cohort of students who pride themselves on listening to understand and truly learning from everyone we have the opportunity to meet, this campus and its students will continue to give so much more. It’s a big task ahead of us and it might not always be easy, but I have no doubt that when our student body decides to come together, incredible things happen. So let’s get to work, Chargers.