Letter to the Editor: ‘Right-leaning students still feel unheard in wake of Trump presidency’

Samantha Durr

On behalf of Black United Students, I am writing this letter to show our solidarity with PRIDE! Kent (People Respecting Identity, Diversity and Equality), as well as address the misrepresentation of various student organizations on this campus in the April 19 publication of The Kent Stater.

One of the title page articles entitled, “Right-Leaning Students Feel Unheard in Wake of Republican Presidency,” permitted multiple Kent State University students to criticize the student organization PRIDE! Kent and gave their misrepresentative view of other student organizations within our university.

First, this article permitted the misrepresentation of PRIDE! Kent as a student organization within the Kent State community. PRIDE! Kent has been dedicated toward serving the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community since its establishment in 1971.

One of the students within this article, Colten Dalton, gave a misrepresentative view of the organization and its members. Diversity comes in a variety of different conceptions.

However, his dismissive and general views regarding the members and allies of PRIDE! Kent will not be tolerated. PRIDE! Kent has been dedicated to addressing the activist, educational and social needs of the LGBTQIA+ community without undermining its members nor its allies.

As a student organization, PRIDE! Kent should be given the respect it deserves, even from those who do not necessarily align.

Secondly, the article permits its contributors to misrepresent the leadership of left-wing student organizations on the Kent State campus. This article stereotypes liberal students in a similar manner that conservative students are stereotyped.

The primary students quoted expressed their sentiment of feeling misrepresented by holding conservative viewpoints on a predominantly liberal campus. There have been issues with conservatism being conflated with the ideals of the current president, Donald Trump.

However, some of the student contributors utilized this platform to unrightfully criticize the activist work of leftist student organizations on this campus. This article did not take into account the intersectional experiences of university students nor the oppressions that they face in this country.

The student quotes within this article show a conflation between prejudice and addressing institutionalized oppression on the basis of social constructs such as race, sexuality and reproductive rights.

Every person has varying degrees of privilege within society. However, the privilege of the quoted students in this article was used to misrepresent the student body as well as leftist student organizations on this campus.

These students did not take into account how this current presidency affects the rights of underrepresented and underserved students.

Instead, these same students decided to use this opportunity to highlight their own privilege in the outcome of this political season and further demonize those groups that have had to fight for visibility.

Profanities have been used from the conservative end of the spectrum as well as the opinions of leftist students have been misconstrued. The student contributors to this article have misconstrued the views of leftist student organizations as a form of hatred, instead of seeing the work of various student organizations as they are intended.

Activism and social justice have been the guiding principles of various student organizations on this campus, including Black United Students as well as a staple of what this institution is known for. No student organization should misrepresent the work and mission of other student organizations, regardless of political affiliation.

Respectfully,

Samantha Durr,

Director of Political Affairs and Grievances (Black United Students)

[email protected]