By Mackenzie Kuhl – [email protected]

Many members of our CSB/SJU community have said, or at least thought about saying, that the video of the “build that wall” chant on the Link was not the “correct” way for expressing discontent within the community. I’d like to reiterate a point from the “Our View” section of the Feb. 10 issue written by The Record staff.

A harsh reality all of us must face together is that parts of our community were already broken before the release of this video, and some of us have had the ability to ignore, internalize and dismiss the parts or people of our community that were suffering most.

As the word “community” can be a term frequently thrown around on campus, it is important to understand the responsibility that comes with maintaining a healthy and thriving community before we can reap the benefits that come with having a strong one.

As defined by our handy friend Google, a community is “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals through joint ownership and liability.”

CSB/SJU, right now, we are ALL liable to the hurt our community is experiencing, no matter the context.

It is an aspect of living in community that we are not frequently reminded of, and therefore builds resentment among community members when difficult times approach us.

Ultimately, I believe this video is an opportunity for us, CSB/SJU. This is an opportunity for us to start a movement to participate in dialogue through active listening and mutual respect.

There is no doubt CSB/SJU has diversity in opinion, appearance, personal history and thought. We’ve let public figures, Twitter and even our Facebook
comments speak our grievances for us for so long that we have forgotten what it means to initiate real face-to-face dialogue.

Too many times I have sat in silent classrooms waiting for other students to share conflicting perspectives, or I have taken part in conversations with the dismissive phrase “Oh, that’s interesting” used instead of challenging questions being raised.

On top of that, many times before we will truly listen, the “other side” must validate our grievances before we are to listen to theirs. It is easy then to default to not saying anything, and we, if we are a true community, cannot let that happen.

I know I am guilty of using these tactics at one point or another and having conflicting dialogue can be difficult, especially with friends. But having this dialogue is what our experience here is all about—heck, that’s what life is ultimately about: growing and evolving.

So I challenge us, CSB/SJU, to swallow our pride and do as Benedictines do and listen with the ear of our hearts—no matter how much our hearts want to be right.

This is the opinion of Mackenzie Kuhl, CSB sophomore