Leibee: Coming to CSU has made realize I’m not as liberal as I thought I was

Katrina Leibee

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

One of the 70 things to do before you graduate from Colorado State University is to make a statement on The Stump. 

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Yet, daily The Stump remains empty, voiceless and barren excluding the few people that go there wanting to talk to you about God, some of whom I’m not even sure are students. Maybe it’s because students are afraid, or maybe it is because they have nothing to say. 

One reason for this might be the students and organizations at this campus have demonstrated time after time that left-leaning thoughts and blue voices are preferred.

Coming to CSU has made me realize I am not as liberal as I thought I was, and that we should all think carefully before labeling ourselves as strictly liberal or conservative.

Political ideologies lie on a spectrum that everyone should explore freely before confining themselves to a label that people will always use to simplify them.

In November, I wrote an article on inclusive language that was popular among many conservative websites, and which students and staff in organizations that I participated in here saw as a concern. 

They saw it as frightening that what they deemed as a conservative student might not just be walking on this campus, but speaking their mind as well.

The staff and students at Associated Students of CSU suggested I take down the article, and I was told I was not a good candidate to participate in diversity and inclusion within their organization, something I had been interested in. They brought my character into question simply because I had a different opinion. 

If being liberal means participating in “cancel culture”-simply denying, ignoring and canceling something controversial, rather than conversation culture which means having conversations and diverse dialogue, than I am comfortable saying I would rather sway to the right.

I still consider myself mostly liberal, but this experience, along with others, made me consider the right side of every political issue and idea. If being liberal means participating in “cancel culture” — simply denying, ignoring and canceling something controversial —  rather than “conversation culture,” which means having conversations and diverse dialogue, then I am comfortable saying I would rather sway to the right.

I have seen liberals on this campus attempt to cancel words and organizations they dislike. They often ask students to blindly accept their viewpoints and become uncomfortable when they are challenged.

“Conservative” was used as a dirty word, and people found it easy to label my writing as such rather than considering that all political ideologies lie on a spectrum. It is possible for someone to have political beliefs that lie on the left, right and middle.

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Conversations can only be started if one dares to say something controversial. Coming here has made me want to consider the right more, purely because I have been told that I am not allowed to or I will be protested against, which every conservative speaker here has experienced. 

One does not have to label themselves or their ideas as conservative in order to consider things from a right-leaning perspective, and it is the same with liberal ideas. 

No thing and no person is completely left or right, no matter how easy life would be if they were. Coming to CSU has taught me that.

Katrina Leibee can be reached at letters@collegian.com or Twitter @KatrinaLeibee.