Thoughts on OU/SAE incident

Expulsion seems like the right thing to do, and seems to be a punishment that fits the bill for what these college students did and allowed to happen; however I disagree. It gives them the opportunity to bow out,  and off campus without having to face those who they offended and those that can teach them something about their actions and possibly challenge their thoughts and beliefs as well. A few days after the incident became widespread news, there was a community discussion regarding race relations within the OU community. Several people attended and it seems that a great dialogue took place, but this is not enough.

I have attended numerous panel discussions, community conversations, townhall meetings, open forums etc. related to race relations, diversity,  and inclusion,  and what I have noticed is that you see the same people on college campuses and within communities participating time and time again. Those who are already becoming part of the solution, are open-minded, wanting to bring about change, or are already change agents, show up and speak up.  Other people who truly NEED to attend do not, and so it becomes the same conversation with the same people who hear the same messages. No new action is taken, and not much changes.

Those young men expelled from OU should have been required to attend. They should have also been required to attend other cultural competence seminars, workshops, and they should have been forced to sit in a room among those who spoke out about their poor decisions and actions and felt offended  in the first place. If they shamed the OU community, make the face the OU community and learn how and why what they did was shameful.  More of these conversations and experiences are going to have to be forced in order for them to occur and for people to exchange more meaningful dialogue that is not one-sided. Young people today are still very frightened, apathetic, and unable to communicate effectively to build better interpersonal relations. It’s time to push people out of their comfort zones and get the learning and understanding process going before more incidents like this one occur and college campuses become further divided.

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