The importance of a framework for discussion

Editorial Board

The racist joke told at this past Tuesday’s SBP assembly has dominated conversation among students and faculty alike.

When the Editorial Board gathered in the Student Publications Room yesterday morning to discuss a new editorial topic, given the impact these events have had on the school community, we struggled to reach a consensus. The indecisiveness stemmed from the fact that we were not all given the same opportunities to process and unpack the implications of the joke.

While some of us had discussions in every class, others still do not understand the harmful historical context of the joke. Instead of having a chance to grapple with the complex variety of emotions elicited by Tuesday’s events as a unified community, the students and faculty dispersed, lacking a shared moment of education and discussion.

Although an immediate mandatory meeting would have laid a collective foundation for productive and healthy conversation, no such measure was taken. We commend the Union for creating a space for the community to come together while emotions were still raw, and we appreciate Dr. Delanty’s decision to allocate time in the next two weeks for discussion in advisory groups.

While we are continually reminded that the Guidance and ICIE offices are always open for students, we should not have to seek out these opportunities ourselves. Sometimes, the people who do not seek out the opportunities to talk are the ones who need them most. The administration can lead by providing time and space for these difficult conversations. They may not end in agreement; nevertheless, we must expect and accept a lack of closure.