Let me begin this letter with a little about myself, so you may understand where I am coming from with my experiences as an individual:
I am in my third year here at NDSU, majoring in English. I am a white, queer (LGBTQ+) woman with ADHD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, social anxiety and minor depression as a symptom of both my ADHD and my anxiety. You could say, in short, that I am a mess. I have a brain that is wired differently than a majority of others on this campus—as well as this country—and as a queer woman who is both on the asexual spectrum and panromantic, I receive discrimination both from people outside of my community and those who are within it.
That said, I would say that I come from a wide range of experiences that have help mold and define who I am today and where my beliefs stand, and so it saddens me that as you talk about an intolerance for your beliefs, you are also disregarding mine.
In summing up anyone who identifies as liberal on this campus as “hate spewing,” I wonder if you realize you are doing the same thing yourself. You see, I myself, as a self-identified liberal, believe that calling names and insulting each other is getting us nowhere. What we need is an open dialogue,
By open dialogue, I mean that I am open to sitting down with you and we can share our points of view. I may surprise you in that I agree with many points brought up by my friends who have differing political beliefs than I have—but “I” am not the focus here. Our focus, rather, should be directed to our campus as a whole.
I believe as a campus we need to be more open-minded and hold these difficult discussions, and it starts with embracing our diversity. Yes, the diversity that you ask whether we need.
Without diversity on this campus, I would not have been able to feel safe coming out, nor have been able to receive help with diagnosing my mental illness with the NDSU Counseling Center. I could rattle off numerous stories of the way our University has embraced students from all kind of backgrounds, but I am only one student.
Perhaps what upsets me most is that while you are given a platform to be upset about hatred against your beliefs, I and other minorities on campus are told that we are not allowed to express our anger on a daily basis.
The fact of the matter is that “not talking about it” isn’t going to solve anything.
In the end, I understand that I won’t change your mind, but that is not the purpose of this letter. I am writing this letter because I cannot stand to see the spread of misinformation.
I am still hoping for a future where the open dialogue I speak of can be had.
Amanda Wagar, Junior, English