Response to the GC Coalition Letter

To the Georgia College Coalition,

In the email that went out to students through Bruce Harshbarger, it is mentioned that it is, as students, always our position to say “no” and admit and account for wrongdoing. With that in mind, I am writing to inform you what I believe you’ve done wrong. In your resolution, you bring forth the “Our Voice” section of the previous issue of The Colonnade. You use a quote to emphasize your message to students to act up and not shrug off intolerance; however, you’ve misused this quotation, taking it out of context to create a support for your argument.
The “Our Voice” section of The Colonnade is a way for The Colonnade staff to voice its opinion on happenings involving their campus. Although at times they may be speaking as representatives for the entire college, in this instance they are speaking for themselves in relationship to a letter and situation they have dealt with. The situation, as I’m sure you’re aware having read the editorial, was focused on journalism versus support and freedom. The Colonnade staff had to make a difficult decision on whether or not to respond to and report offensive language used on social media that was brought to its attention by a student.
In the end, it was the decision of the staff not to report on the incident for several reasons; most notably that it is not its position to stifle the voices of others. The quotation you selected, “We are all striving to better the future for the gay community, but hate will always be abound, and sometimes, it’s not our place to say no to it,” is in response to the nature of reporting and journalism.
The Colonnade does not suggest that it supports these actions nor is it ignoring them. The Colonnade staff believes that it is its responsibility to present information to the students and support their rights to speak. As evident by other pieces related to the subject and countless other articles on diversity, culture and inclusion, The Colonnade does not always agree with the ignorant statements of others. The context of this point, which you removed, is to say “no” when the question is to whether or not to report every offense that is ever made and whether doing so would support the First Amendment rights of the individuals.
I do not mean to diminish the efforts of your group, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity or the Office of Student Affairs when dealing with these issues on our campus, but I will not stand idly by as a group, The Colonnade, is misinterpreted to make a point.
You asked the GC students to say no to ignorance, no to offense and no to discrimination. As a proud student of GC, I will do nothing less than that. So if the question is, “Do you agree with the way the resolution was presented?” I will say “no.”

Justin Dickinson
Senior psychology major

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