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OPINION: SGA provides students a space for important discussions


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SGA members including membership director Brett Houle, left, vice president Lyndi Rose, center, and president Jake Hendricks, right, pose at the United Student Governments Conference at Saginaw Valley State University, Nov. 9, 2019.

These days it can sometimes feel that our country has more that divides us than unites us. With strong beliefs and passion, it can be difficult to engage in conversations about the topics that are most important to us out of fear of polarization with the people around us.

Being able to have respectful conversations that don’t just explain what we believe but why we believe it are important to finding common ground and unifying us. Understanding the experiences others have had that shape their opinions allows us to connect, instead of judging others solely on what they believe.

A college campus is a great place to allow these conversations to happen. Because of the variety of backgrounds and walks of life present, it creates an opportunity for us to learn about perspectives and ideas other than those we are familiar with or may have grown up with. Having that space to formulate and share our beliefs while hearing those of others is critical to our education. Looking to understand the opinions of others can help us to better understand the world around us.

At Central Michigan University, the Student Government Association provides students with the space to engage in healthy, intellectual debate. Any student can attend SGA meetings and propose legislation. This allows students to brainstorm ways to improve our campus while discussing important topics relevant to CMU and our society. During these discussions, we can open our minds to ideas we may have not heard before and advocate for issues important to us. The opportunity to have such an impact on our campus and have open dialogue is one we can’t take for granted.

We must continue to create an environment that allows for this respectful dialogue and allows for different voices and opinions to be heard. These conversations are important and must be had. If we shy away from talking about important issues or close ourselves off to understanding different opinions than ours, we miss out on the opportunity to expand our view of the world around us and a key part of our education.

SGA meetings take place every Monday at 7 p.m. in the U.C. Auditorium. All are welcome to attend and contribute to the conversation.

For more information about anything in this column or SGA, please contact SGA Press Secretary Katie Prebelich at prebe1k@cmich.edu.

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