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February 22, 2024

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    Richard Saker/Contour by Getty Images As we end Black History Month, here is one of my favorite poets, Danez Smith, who writes on intersectionality between their Black and Queer identities. At the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Kansas City, MO, I had the opportunity to personally meet Smith, and they are […]
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Spring Housing Guide

Core Values’ present themselves in everyday life

The Core Values of the university. Most of us have heard of them, some of us can list them off, but we should all live by them. Respect for one another, cooperation, intellectual and spiritual growth, creative imaginings, and pride in a job well done.

How many of you can honestly say that you do your best to live out the Core Values of the University everyday, let alone when your beliefs and spirituality are challenged?

In my UNIV 100 class we discuss the Core Values thoroughly, and the events of last Thursday came up in discussion.

The Core Values of the university were greatly reflected last Thursday, especially respect for one another and intellectual and spiritual growth. With the Warnecki family on campus in the morning and Zachary Coates there definitely was a chance for spiritual growth here on campus. The Warnecki family was trying to press their beliefs of spirituality onto other people, and Coates sharing his beliefs on theology and the Bible.

But it was and always has been the choice of the student to accept or reject the beliefs of others.

The students that were involved in the discussion were also showing the number one Core Value of the university, respect for one another.

Without the respect that was shown to the Warnecki family, this could have been another yelling match between two opposing viewpoints. But the family left around 1:00 and moved on to another campus.

But there was a new voice that was being heard a few moments later near the union. Thirty-four year old Zachary Coates was spreading his word of “truth.” Again, students gathered, they started getting verbally involved with and eventually got face to face with him.

While it was my belief that this would result in a physical attack, the students engaged in a verbal discussion, showing their dedication to the university’s core value of respect for one another.

With the situation not escalating into a yelling between the Warneckis and the students here, many students were given a different look into the beliefs of the family, and those of the other students here on campus. Jake Martin is quoted as saying “They are not getting the word out by yelling.” And I could not agree with him more.

If Coates had started the encounter in a yelling manor, then it could have escalated into a loud, and possibly violent encounter.

By keeping his voice down, the students did not feel the need to yell back, and they entered an almost easy-going conversation with Coates.

It was a clash of ideas, viewpoints that brought either new things to light with students, or made them more steely and resilient about their beliefs.

In the end, many students did talk with Coates, and as quoted in the Friday’s edition of the BG News, “Eventually, both sides began to came to terms and even started discussing theology.”

The Core Values should be something more than fine guidelines the university wants us to live our lives by, they should be visible in everything that we do. As a wise man once told me, “People may doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do.”

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