Our Silence is Your Silence
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Surrounding this last presidential election and the months following, there was a large amount of political activism occurring, both nationally and on EWU’s campus. After covering these events, The Easterner received several complaints that we were misrepresenting the EWU community as a bunch of liberal snowflakes. This, of course, was never our intention.
At The Easterner, we strive to not only inform our audience, but also to communicate the opinions and views of the EWU community to its peers and surrounding communities. And although we have been trying our best all year, we can not completely feel like we are doing that as well as we could right now.
These complaints brought to our attention the lack of conservative events and opinions published in The Easterner, and we sought immediately to remedy this. As we looked for events and activism groups with more right leaning political ideals, we found nothing; nada, bupkis.
We have yet to recieve a response after reaching out to the College Republicans of EWU and WSU Riverpoint. This is unsurprising as their EagleSync has not been active since Fall 2015. And we also scoured our emails and contacts for stories and voices.
Healthy conversation requires opposing viewpoints, or else we just turn into a bunch of back patting, agreeable fools. Political discussion requires that others challenge you, and it is together in the crucible of heated debate we form the best outcome.
The Young Democrats of EWU (YDEWU) have run into a similar problem. Upon forming their organization last year, they looked to hold debates and forums to keep the political conversation open and lively.
“We were somewhat disappointed with the lack of organized conservatism on campus because it makes it difficult for us to have these conversations and hold these events without input from the other side of the aisle,” said Emily Provencio, President of YDEWU.
Do we simply conclude that there is a lack of opposing viewpoints at EWU; that we are nothing but liberals and progressivists with little love for our current government dominated by republicans?
No. As journalists it is not in our nature to rest easy on assumption. We must dig and find until questions are answered. We must search for every facet of a story and every viewpoint.
So how do we fix the problem?
Although we are unable to reach out to organizations, we can not sit idly by and let random chance influence our campus’ representation so heavily. So we must ask that you as a community cry out! Share with us your opinions, your concerns, your dreams.
We live in a country of free speech and expression, so use it. Organize. Protest. Support. Show not only us but the whole of the community that you exist and have opinions. That we may re-ignite the the burning flame of conversation so we, as a community, can learn and grow together.