Community Digest of
To be perfectly honest, the idea for this editorial started out as somewhat of a joke. My roommate and I were discussing the 90's reggae artist Shaggy in jest, and eventually came to the conclusion that one would be hard pressed to find somebody who actively disliked Shaggy.
Maybe they wouldn't be his biggest fan, but it seemed to us that almost everybody, to some extent, could at least appreciate a rousing rendition of "It Wasn't Me." My roommate jokingly suggested that we post something on the Community Digest of Civil Discourse about the universal appeal of Shaggy, but we laughed off the idea and returned to our respective work.
This idea for a discourse post about something everybody could appreciate and enjoy really stuck with me. The majority of things posted and debated on the civil discourse seem, to me at least, to be divisive issues, which in many cases generate large arguments and a significant amount of name-calling. I worry that the discourse gets written off and ignored by a large portion of the student body because we see it as nothing more than a forum for hysterics and dramatics. These students have grown to ignore the Discourse because of these feelings, and subsequently miss out on the debates and discussions which take place on it.
Before I go any further, I would like to take a step back and assert that I in no way intend to discredit or disparage discourse posts which address difficult and contentious issues pertaining to Colby and to society as a whole. Many of the debates carried out over the discourse are very beneficial and important for our community to have. I am in no way advocating that we stop utilizing the discourse, or discourage people from posting issues which they feel should be discussed, no matter the contention associated with them. Nor am I seeking to wag my finger at people who initiate or participate in contentious debates over the discourse. As I said above, I feel that this activity is healthy and important. I am only seeking to offer a different perspective on the possible uses of the civil discourse.
Instead of the discourse containing just contentious issues, would it not be possible to include posts similar (although hopefully more meaningful) to our idea about Shaggy? Wouldn't it be nice to see the discourse include posts about issues which we as a community can come together around and celebrate?
I believe that as a community, we have much in common and many ideas and issues that we can agree upon and appreciate. The discourse could possibly be used as a forum to support and praise our fellow students, and show appreciation for their actions and endeavors. For example, one student last week posted on the discourse saying how much he enjoyed his class dinner, and thanking the class council for their efforts. I believe that seeing an increase in these types of posts could do leaps and bounds to strengthen our community here on the Hill. Additionally, I think that an increase in such posts could increase reading of the Digest by the student body and bring in many students who had previously written it off as a forum for hysteria.
I do not want to see contentious issues and debates removed from the discourse. I think that it is both healthy and necessary to discuss these things in the open. All that I am advocating for is that in addition to these issues, we as a student body make an effort to include some discourse about things which we can all appreciate and celebrate. Discourse and discussion does not always have to be argumentative and divisive it can be unifying and celebratory. We can discuss with each other the things that we all appreciate and issues that bring us closer together as student body. I believe that the discourse can be a vehicle for community building, not just community arguments.