Disclaimer: This post does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the other What We Do bloggers, the University of Puget Sound or any of it’s representatives.
Puget Sound claims to be an open and accepting campus.
But is it really?
Yes, the school is constantly working to be as inclusive as humanly possible for people of all races, genders, sexual orientations and many other identifiers. And I genuinely respect that. I’ve never seen the effort that the school puts into inclusion in any other sort of institution. I can’t deny how admirable it is to strive to include and accept everyone.
But I can’t help but see some hypocrisy and feel a bit of cynicism.
I work for Student Programs in ASUPS. We are responsible for bringing performers onto campus for everyone to enjoy. Well, the programmers do, I just do sound and lights for said performers.
Anyway, hanging in our office is a framed poster from the 80s or 90s of a lecture in the Fieldhouse from James Watt. James Watt served as Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan. He is infamous for being one of Reagan’s most controversial secretaries. An extreme conservative, Watt was described as “anti-environmentalist” and infamously banned The Beach Boys from playing a concert at the National Mall because they “attracted the wrong element.”
So why do I bring this poster up? While I may not know how the event went (I mean a riot could’ve broke out and the school had to remodel the Fieldhouse, I dunno), but the fact that Watt came here says a lot. An extreme conservative came to probably one of the most liberal colleges on the West Coast.
Someone like that coming to UPS would not fly today. There’d probably be a protest….there’d definitely be a protest. The protesters might try to (and probably would) bar people from entering the venue. In general, the response would not be good.
Because he has a different ideology? Because Watt doesn’t support what you support? Because he has a different opinion?
So what am I trying to get at? It’s hypocritical that the Puget Sound community brands itself as open and accepting. Most opinions that don’t follow the majority’s are crushed.
Google defines “Liberal” as “open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values” and “Conservative” as “holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion.” Is Puget Sound a liberal arts college? Or is it a conservative arts college?
I am not a conservative. I consider myself liberal. But a friend of mine got to ranting and raving recently about this topic and it just stuck. The idea bounced around in my head constantly. I had to get it out, I had to write about it. I’m sorry if I offended anyone.