In response to Isaiah Mitchell’s message


Photo credit: Genevieve Humphreys

Illustration by Genevieve Humphreys

Mr. Mitchell (and I will address this to Mr. Mitchell, though in reality I mean to address YCT as an organization, as well as the students who have read your previous column),

I would like to address a few remarks in your column with a good-faith response because I feel that some of them had troubling implications that may not have been fully reasoned. Please allow me to match your public column with a public response.

In your column, your primary complaint is that you feel that people have been more actively disagreeing with your organization’s actions and policies this past year. Secondarily, you accuse these people of attacking “easier targets,” that is, “women that proudly cannot do a single pushup and gentlemen who turn the other cheek,” as opposed to addressing their concerns with you personally. Your implication is that students address their concerns only to people who are unable or unwilling to physically retaliate. Notably, you exclude yourself from this group.

I will address first your complaint that you are not personally being approached with the concerns of students that are unhappy with your organization’s actions. As president, I find it admirable that you are so open to engaging with students of different viewpoints. However, in this column, you say you don’t have any social media, thus why “it’s taken a little while” for you to hear of conflict involving YCT. Is it possible that the disparity in response you receive is less a result of “easier targets,” and more a result of students engaging in discourse with the people whose opinions are made accessible? While you have written several columns in the Trinitonian, social media is more of a two-way format than a campus newspaper, online or not.

I have another concern. In your column, you reference that a student “spit on” one of your officers, and another “yelled at” your vice president. While there may be others, these are the only two incidences you report. Your assumption from these incidents is that a “cadre of rather irritable leftists seems convinced that [you are] their enemy, and they want to make war.”

You move from this assumption to addressing your first reaction: “… bring it on. [Liberal students would] be no match. Conservatives have weapons, and most of the football team would be on [conservative students’] side.”

I understand that you’re upset by your organization’s reception on campus. What I don’t understand is the escalation here. To be clear, I’m not sure how we went from “spitting” to “weapons.” While I wasn’t there to witness the events leading up to the spitting incident, and don’t feel comfortable passing judgement, I can agree that spitting on another student is not a constructive way to address our differences.

However, I am not sure why you felt the need to add the reminder of your potential to do harm to other students, nor why you felt the need to establish who would be “on [your] side” if you did. Specifically, your reference to “weapons” concerns me. Even if you have no intention of ever using a gun on a person, there is absolutely no call to reference owning one in response to regular on-campus conflict with other students.