When confronted with a decision regarding any other person, we as humans have two possible actions. One involves respect, and one involves disrespect. The Bible teaches us to love thy neighbor as you love yourself. Whether you are Christian, or any other religion or creed, it is important to remember the basic tenets. Throughout the world, this message has been proclaimed and digested, expected and disseminated. We believe ourselves to be better than the animals in the zoo based on our ability to feel remorse, to feel guilt, to understand the consequences of our actions. Respect for one another is a reflection of the respect one holds for oneself. Without respect for oneself, it is impossible to respect another, at least for the correct reasons. One must hold oneself accountable. This may seem a selfish piece of advice. I am one to believe that the soul reflects itself out toward all it encounters.

It saddens me that at Trinity University, a prestigious, academic institution, a student’s political beliefs have not been respected. I understand this is an extremely liberal university by society’s standards, but it should never be considered an intolerant one. As a student of the political science department, as someone who has been extremely involved in local politics, as someone who watched with a complete lack of understanding as the results for election night in November scrolled across the screen, it is astounding to me that other students would attack, in any form, the opinions of other students. In my opinion, it is immature and cowardly. I may not agree completely with the beliefs of Tigers for Liberty, their mission, their membership or their methods of creating events, but I do not believe it should be attacked anonymously with malicious intent.

When students choose to do actions such as these, they are inflicting a negative reputation on not only themselves, but Trinity University as a whole. It is regretful that this was picked up by news outlets. But it is an absolute shame that it ever happened. Trinity students should take responsibility for their actions and apologize. We come to this university to be students. Legally, we are considered adults. People need to stop treating this institution of learning like an eighth grade remedial math class and act their age. Across the world there are millions of people my age who do not have access to the opportunities I did. If they were in the place of those who vandalized the free speech of my classmates, I doubt they would even consider it. Free speech is a valuable liberty afforded to us by the constitution of the United States. It is a non-negotiable part of our culture, our democracy and our values. If you do not agree with the values or views of another student, do what I am doing. State your opinion. Present your perspective. Be an adult.