A Call for Civility

Preston MacLean ’21 and Bryce Dunio ’22

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Last semester, an unrecognized group of ideologically-extreme students attempted to take over the Dickinson College Republicans from within. In doing so, they undermined the values of Dickinson as an institution, and violated some of our nation’s greatest ideals. The attempt failed and the College Republicans have since recovered, but this challenge to civility must be addressed.

The great American experiment rests on our ability to settle disagreements through dialogue and interpersonal debate. It is no secret there’s many things we disagree on. And we will continue to hold these disagreements. But it is vital that we recognize each other as acting in good faith. That we are both involved in the political space because we care about our communities and wish the best for our great nation. Disagreements should be settled in the public square, where the people can make informed decisions about what they believe is best for their country, their community, and which fit their personal values.

This debate, we believe, is the cornerstone of our democracy. Subversive acts, like those perpetrated by certain students on our campus, undermine the very fabric of our society and rob the people of informed choice. It is our truly held belief that our school, communities, and nation function best when all actors behave above-board, in good faith, and advocate for what they believe is best.

We cannot allow a handful of outspoken individuals to monopolize our public debate through methods of subversion and intimidation. It’s for these reasons the Dickinson College Democrats and Republicans stand together to pledge civility and collegiality.

For those interested, the College Republicans meet at 7pm Wednesdays in Althouse 08.

The College Democrats meet at 8pm Wednesdays in Althouse 206.