Although the majority of students at the university have seen their 18th birthdays pass, it is reassuring when these same students demonstrate a level of maturity lacked by some people decades older. This week, leaders and members of two specific student organizations acted with restraint in response to a long-time powder keg of a situation. Following the installation of a Palestinian remembrance display in the Campus Commons earlier this week, leaders of Peace Action, described as a grassroots advocate group, and Hillel, the university’s Jewish organization, reacted to each other’s views about the presentation.
Hillel members said the remembrance flags, meant to raise awareness of the destruction of Palestinian villages in 1948, failed to mention that Israel was defending itself from Arab attacks. President of Peace Action Fidaa Elaydi countered, saying members simply wanted to inform passers-by of what the group called an overlooked historical event. Hillel member Kyle Orth said the display had the potential to offend but that Peace Action had the right to present its views, and Peace Action leaders explained that their actions meant no harm to those of Jewish faith.
These seemingly average students, who could live a floor above you or sit next to you in class, acted maturely when responding to a hot-button issue. In the public sphere, no name-calling occurred and students took time to calmly explain their viewpoints without attacking or demeaning the opposition. Even though the discussion involves decades of international tension, these student leaders proved that college students could act as responsibly as professional policy makers, if not even more so.
New editor Melanie Cruthirds for the editorial board.