As headlines about SGA and bronze statues swarm TCU 360 and the Daily Skiff, I am curious to find out what the TCU student body has learned over the past few days.
While this experience has had varying levels of impact on different students campus wide, the fact remains that something has happened and people are responding to it. On one hand, we have the student body president and all of the people who are generally interested in these matters. On the other hand, we have a collection of otherwise disinterested students who are suddenly furious with their campus leadership and are demanding a change.
These otherwise disinterested voices have found an easy way into the student political system and are now taking the time to find out the facts and have their voices heard. For this reason, the controversy surrounding the statue has been a much needed breath of fresh air.
As a growing campus, we need new voices with new ideas and new enthusiasm to replace the tired issues of the past. (Seriously, if one more person complains about Market Square, I will puke my delicious made to order omelet all over their Sperry’s).
However, let me play devil’s advocate by reminding everyone that there are three sides to every story; your side, their side, and the truth.
In the previous weeks, I have read a number of stories from what I will call “your” side. My friends, Jonathan Davis and Jordan Mazurek have worked diligently to shine a light on a perceived injustice. Students are now getting a sense of what it takes to organize a movement and mobilize a community to stand behind something it believes in. These two gentlemen have taught us lessons that cannot be taught in a classroom and are invaluable to our learning. Congratulations TCU students, you are finally taking ownership in becoming responsible citizens!
Part of being a responsible citizen is being critical of arguments that are introduced to you. As I began to get caught up in the excitement, I almost forgot that I have known Brent Folan since his first day of school here. I had to ask myself, “Would Brent really lie to my face about something this big?”
So, instead of just hearing “your” side, I went to go hear his side. As I stood in the Chambers yesterday afternoon it became clear to me that we, as a student body, have been quick to blame and slow to listen. It is easy to read a few newspaper articles and be an expert on any issue. It is easy to take a popular stance to an argument and fall into the crowd. However, it is quite difficult to see both sides of a story fairly and objectively.
In the last few weeks we have learned that we are an unforgiving population. It is always good to reflect on what is going on around us and ask questions about the situations around us. Following yesterday’s House meeting, I began to ask myself a few questions.
“Is it possible that someone made a mistake and has not been offered an appropriate chance to offer an apology? Is it possible that there are holes in the story that we have not yet heard? Is it possible that, what appears to be completely addressing facts is drenched in personal grudges and vendettas? Is it possible that, instead of crying out for change, some of us could be more involved in SGA? Is it possible that everything we have read is true?”
As a senior that graduates in December, I have to admit that it is hard for me to care about this issue much. My concerns at this point in my academic career are selfishly centered around graduating, finding a job, and putting the finishing touches on any legacy I hoped to leave here at TCU.
However, I must admit that this surge of energy towards SGA and the TCU political process is refreshing. For years, the vast majority of students have stood by and allowed this campus to be molded by a specific few with little to no interference. Now, after four and a half years of attending school here, I am proud that more students are curious as to how SGA operates.
I am proud to see a community standing up and having their voices heard. I am proud to call myself a Horned Frog on a campus of such diverse perspectives and passionate leaders.
In the weeks to come and in the rest of your time here at Texas Christian University, I implore all of you to challenge decisions, be compassionate towards your peers, and to actively participant in your collegiate experience.
I wish the best to everyone involved with this issue and commend all those that have been involved including, Mr. Folan and Mr. Mazurek, for their civility in these matters.