“Our view” is prepared by the Executive board and should be considered the
institutional voice of The Record

By Meredith Jarchow, Sean Kelly, Brett Zallek and Nick Swanson

Listening is a key tenet of the Benedictine values here at CSB/SJU. However, as recent events have shown, we sometimes choose to rebut before the listening even begins. Even more so, rebut disrespectfully.Even at CSB/SJU, we are lacking in our ability to listen and respond to others. In some instances, instead of listening to others who hold a different belief than ours, we choose to become judgmental and turn to our assumptions.

Whether it is political viewpoints or issues on campus, there has been a lack of listening at CSB/SJU. Students, administration and faculty all need to do a better job at extending ourselves to others to achieve a better community.

In order to see change in our community, our ability to listen must start with each of us. No matter your title, status or name, it must be a collective and conscious effort in order to be able to truly listen to one another with an open mind. To do
anything else but to strive for active listening of others is a failure to advance the mission of CSB/SJU.

Ensuring that we listen to others allows everyone’s voice, even the ones we disagree with, a chance to fairly express their opinion. Flippant disregard and assumptions are easy. Listening with empathy is difficult. To understand someone’s opinion or argument, it is often necessary to understand their
background or worldview. You don’t have to agree with someone to understand why they align themselves with an ideology. Even though they may have a different viewpoint, that person still has value and worth, and should be treated as such.

The next time you find yourself in a disagreement with a peer or professor, take a minute. Instead of immediately beginning to form your own opinion, listen to theirs fully. Not every discussion requires a rebuttal. Above all else, avoid insults and accusatory words. By having a level-headed discussion, not only will you learn more, but so will they.

We need to start listening to each other, instead of talking at each other.