Issues Put Out in the Open

“Hello, here I am, I’m trying.”

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Transcript for Issues Put Out in the Open

When I first came here, I just didn’t understand where I was going half the time. Um, I thought the people here were incredibly nice and incredibly warm. They were very welcoming, and I was like, “Oh wow, this is, this is nice.” You know, I didn’t get this at Indiana University. Like, you know, even though people pep it up like, “Hey, you know, welcome to this university, we’ll want to take your money away from you.” Um, but in the most positive way possible.

But Valpo felt genuine the first time, when I came here. “This is who we are, and we’re kinda happy, kinda proud about that.” Um, kinda like, you know, how you’re meeting like this lukewarm person. And you know, like, you know they’re a lukewarm person but they’re aware of their flaws. And they’re like, “Hello. Here I am. I’m trying.”

When I say “I’m trying,” it’s uh, like I described Valpo as a growing, learning place. Um, it’s constantly correcting itself. It’s constantly discovering itself. I don’t think, if you look at Valpo today, and you look at Valpo when it first started…definitely not the same people who came here. And I see a lot of issues being put out into open conversation. Like, you know, “This happened. We want to respond to it. You know, and we want to learn from that.”

Um. And…I think Valpo is very self-aware that it’s not perfect, that it’s not the most open place, you know, with the not-so-open people. I think it’s very aware of that. So when I say that Valpo’s trying, I, I really think that Valpo’s really trying, really, really hard to, um, be open to everybody. And they can’t be open to everybody yet, ‘cause that’s not how the world works just yet. But we’re getting there. And Valpo’s like, trying to lead the way with like that light torch thing that they have.

When that unfortunate Indiana law passed [SB 101–Religious Freedom Restoration Act], where Mike Pence was like, “Uh, see all this religious people? Yeah, you can do this now.” And everyone’s like, “Oh, no.” Everyone in Indiana went, “No. We don’t want this.” I went, “I don’t want this.” And people started discriminating. Like people just popping up everywhere, and Valpo just said, “You know what? No. We don’t agree with this either. We’re going to take a stand as an entire university.”

And there was like that whole walk. I didn’t get to go, but there was a whole, whole protest and walk like, “Yeah, we want to serve everyone. Screw this.” You know?

So yeah, I mean, like I think that’s a really good example of like, you know, Valpo’s trying. And it’s pretty much succeeding. You know, it’s letting students be political and getting excited about making that kind of social change.