An Open Letter to the UNH Campus from a College Republican
February 14, 2017
One of the most beautiful things about the United States is the peaceful transition of power that happens every four years on Inauguration Day. Millions of Americans gather to watch this historical moment, some are excited, others hopeful, and in some cases, people are scared. These feelings are completely normal, especially when the future is uncertain. However, there is one thing that needs to always happen and that is that we need to unify; to come together as one and try and do what’s best for everyone. This is not currently happening; our country is currently divided. Republicans and conservatives are not the reason for this division; when we look back at the election and presidency of Barack Obama, we see that things went on, Republicans sucked it up that Obama became our President and went on with our lives. We did not riot in the streets and block roadways for weeks on end, we did not cry in the streets and justify terrorizing neighborhoods because he was “#NotMyPresident.” As President Trump said during his Inaugural Address, “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” Now, regardless of your thoughts about our President it is important to take those words for what they are and reflect upon them. Think about the days following 9/11 and the Boston Marathon Bombing, think about the night President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed. After these events Americans opened their hearts to patriotism, they came together, they cried together, they helped one another, they rebuilt their cities all without prejudice. Why? Because patriotism can be the biggest unifier in a time of need.
The University of New Haven College Republicans is an open group which welcomes students of all values and cultures. Our goal here is to bridge the gaps that exist in our society and change people’s perceptions of what it means to be a millennial Republican as well as help people understand that just because our parties’ platform supports something that some do not like, that does not make us bad people. Ultimately, we all are going to have our own values and beliefs, even within our parties. Our members are all over the political spectrum which allows us to garner healthy discussions and share our ideas in a constructive manner. In College Republicans, all points of views are heard, expressed and respected. We believe in free speech and want everyone on campus to have a voice, and to those who feel they are not heard; we understand you and we feel that exact same way. Imagine being in a classroom and feeling intimidated to state your opinion because the moment you state your thoughts and ideas you will be attacked for feeling differently than your classmates, that is what we as millennial Republicans experience on a regular basis, especially on this campus.
If we look at what is going on around the country on college campuses, we see a pattern of Universities trying to silence free speech. This hits as close to home as our very own campus when Sheriff Clarke was disinvited to speak for a slew of reasons (we still do not know the exact reason; however, it was political in nature). We see riots breaking out at UC Berkeley when conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos was invited to speak on campus, students turned to violence which is completely unacceptable. Even here on campus at the “open forum,” students who supported Sheriff Clarke were verbally attacked and had accusations made of them for supporting the outspoken Sheriff and stating their feelings on him being disinvited. We are here to learn, every one of us, and ALL our opinions should be respected by one another. Just because you do not like someone’s thoughts and ideas does not mean that they are not entitled to their opinions. Speaking your opinion does not mean that it is okay to shout over someone else’s – once again, this was a recurring theme at our “open forum” on campus – which needs to change for us to all come together on this campus.
I ask the greater campus community to find things that unify us rather than things that divide us. We may be Republicans but we are far more than that. We are white, we are black, we are Latino. We are male and female. We are straight, we are gay. We are Americans, Europeans, Middle Eastern. We are all people. Let’s put our ideas aside and respect one another for who we are. We do not have to agree on all policies, but that is the beautiful thing about this country, we can express our opinions, so let’s not attack others for those opinions.
Should anyone like to discuss this with me further, or if you are interested in joining our organization, feel free to reach out to me, firstname.lastname@example.org
May God Bless the University of New Haven and May God Bless America.
Brian S. Sharnick
President – UNH College Republicans