Making dignity a priority in personal disagreements

With the semester about two thirds of the way to completion, classes are ramping up in difficulty in preparation for finals, and the workload for all RPI students is increasing from an already extraordinarily high level. Combine the academic rigors of RPI with social and club commitments, and it is easy to see how people can get stressed. Mix in the fact that Grand Marshal Week 2016 elections are tomorrow and an emotional powder keg has been created, ready to explode. It is easy to see how—with your personal time and energy being spread thin—sometimes basic human decency can be thrown out the window.

Yet, the Editorial Board of The Poly feels that it is important for the entire campus community to treat each other with respect and dignity. When so many people of diverse backgrounds are working together, disagreements are bound to occur. However, you can disagree with a person’s opinion on a subject while still giving them the respect they deserve. It is possible to agree to disagree, and move on with your lives.

This extends into respecting the rights and opinions of all the GM Week candidates. Vote for whom you believe will be the best candidate, but realize that their opposition has many good ideas and does not deserve to be publicly ridiculed. If you would not say something to a candidate’s face, it has no place on an anonymous forum. We all need to remember that, at the end of the elections cycle, the candidates are not distant politicians, but students like us.

The fact is that we’ve all accomplished much in our tenure as students here, and it would go a long way to remember that when times are tough and people are ornery.