We were fascinated to read the article in the Feb. 2, 2018 issue of The Record titled “Rep. Emmer Visits Campus” because we both attended this event. However, found that our experience differed in some ways from how the article portrayed the affair.
We agree with the author that the conversation between Represenative Emmer and Dr. Louis Johnston was civil—thought provoking, and informative. However, we disagree with the writers Charly Frisk’s statement, “While Gorecki 204C faced moments of tense atmosphere throughout the discussion, the audience remained respectful despite potentially differentiating views—effectively forging positive relationships between seemingly divided parties.”In many instances during the discussion, local community members were displaying disruptive behaviors including booing, yelling inappropriate comments and interrupting Rep. Emmer. This was especially troubling due to the intended format of the event being written questions from the audience for conversation, rather than a verbal Q&A.
We are both proud students of the college and believe that this behavior reflects poorly on our community and goes against our Benedictine values. It is our belief that situations such as this, with lack of respect for differing ideas, does not allow for thoughtful conversation to occur on campus. Our community cannot begin to forge positive relationships across party lines until both sides are shown equal respect.
Though we were concerned by the behaviors of some individuals in attendance, we still believe this was a successful event and we walked away as more informed students and community members.
Rachel Kueppers ’18
Morgan Matz ’18