It greatly saddened me to learn of some recent events of intolerance and ignorance on Elon’s campus. I have always believed that a campus should be a place where students feel completely safe and free to be themselves. A campus is a place for learning and growth, not hate. I grew up in a home, and for the most part, a community where these acts were unacceptable. I thought that since we grew up in a time after the civil rights movement, ignorant remarks like these would no longer occur. Maybe I too was being ignorant. But I do know that this is a time for our community to address the problem, and grow. For although these events were truly awful, it is a great opportunity for us to look at our own values and question what we truly believe in. For as James Joyce once said, “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”
Business Journal states that values are “Important and enduring beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or desirable and what is not. Values exert major influence on the behavior of an individual and serve as broad guidlines in all situations.” I agree with this definition. Values are the most important identifiers in a culture, a moreover, a person. I think it is extremely important for one not only to know what their values are, but also to stand up for them. I am not good at many things in life, but I do know that I will ALWAYS stand up for what I believe, and support what I value.
Some of the most important values to me include: kindness, philanthropy, optimism, learning, independence and freedom, humility, happiness, honor, grace, courage, compassion, commitment, drive, balance, ambition, and respect.
(To look up a list of values to get your own go to http://www.stevepavlina.com/articles/list-of-values.htm)
This is not to say that these are my only values, or that they are fixed. As I grow and develop as a person some things will become more important to me (maybe family when I am a mother), and others less.
Through each of our unique value sets at Elon, we can help to make Elon a better community. This will only work if we uphold our values to the highest degree. Everyone in our community must truly value and support and defend the honor code, which states:
“Every member of Elon University has the right to live and learn in an atmosphere of trust and support. Responsibility for maintaining these values in our community rests with each individual member. Values that promote this atmosphere include: HONESTY: Be truthful in your academic work and in your relationships. INTEGRITY: Be trustworthy, fair and ethical. RESPONSIBILITY: Be accountable for your actions and your learning. RESPECT: Be civil. Value the dignity of each person. Honor the physical and intellectual property of others.”
This means that if you hear one of your best friends use a racial slur, to not sit back and watch it happen, but stand in the face of intolerance and say “not on our campus.”
**note: the title of my blog post is a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A song that I think is prudent to our situation now.
President Lambert’s and Dr. Jackson’s remarks on the recent events: