Voice your opinion

By Krista Mazzeo
September 30, 2004

I am a little troubled by disparaging comments recently made by some faculty to students because of their personal political preferences. Some students have come to me highly upset because they fear retribution in their grades for speaking up about what they believe or who their voting choice will be this November.

I would certainly hope that, in an institution such as Cabrini that promotes tolerance and diversity, this concern of mine would be unfounded. However, in the midst of such a politically charged season, I can imagine that political passion can sometimes override common sense and appropriate behavior.

It is very important that students feel comfortable talking to their professors, expressing concerns and asking questions, especially about the world in which they live. It is also important that students not feel afraid to do so.

Faculty members have many more years experience on this planet than the students do, and they have the valuable opportunity to encourage independent thought and research. However, I do not feel that it is the faculty’s job to push their personal political preferences onto the students.

Recently, some students have tried to engage me in conversations about politics. I typically handle this type of situation by listening more than talking, and asking the students questions about why they feel the way that they do on many current events and hot topics. I rarely divulge my personal stances on issues because I do not feel that it is my place to do so.

If asked directly though, I will answer, including an explanation of how I arrived at my decision. This is always discussed in a calm, respectful manner and I have never once made a student feel uncomfortable because of what they believe, nor have I ever discouraged any student from voting for their candidate of choice. Unfortunately, I have heard that the same approach is not used by a number of other members of our community. I would certainly hope that this is merely hearsay and not true.

Lastly, I would like to encourage any and all members of the Cabrini community to join in WYBF’s student-hosted talk forum, “The Bridge” on Wednesday evenings from 6pm to 8pm. Cabrini students Alaina Robinson and Chris Friel and discussion range from college issues and information to current events and politics host this show. The show makes a great effort to represent as many different views as possible, so all opinions and viewpoints are welcome. If you are interested in joining our hosts on “The Bridge,” contact me at kmazzeo@cabrini.edu or go to our

website at http://www.wybf.com

Posted to the web by Ryan Norris

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Krista Mazzeo

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