Opinion section elevates all voices

Hannah Holliday | Cartoonist

News happens all around us. At the Baylor Lariat, we prioritize presenting our readers with factual, necessary information to inform our community. Throughout the various facets that embody our publication, it is the opinion section that allows us to share both our and your views on topics and issues that need to be discussed in our world. This is distinct from our news content. This section gives us and our readers the power to share and discuss what is important.

The opinion section is not solely the views of our staff. We are open and want to hear diverse opinions and perspectives from all students and faculty on our campus. This allows our readers to learn about views different than their own. We want to hear from individuals who may feel hesitant to speak up and voice what they believe. We want to hear from individuals who feel their opinion does matter. We want to provide a space where all feel comfortable in sharing their passion with the campus.

You have the freedom to think, believe and voice what you wish. Our opinion editor is not a gatekeeper. Our opinion editor won’t shun or reject opinion columns due to a difference in belief. We don’t deny or allow columns in order to curate a specific agenda. We welcome all points of view, but we don’t guarantee publication.

Baylor seeks to be a safe space for civil discourse, and the school newspaper is no different. Through various initiatives that the school has implemented, the Baylor community joins together and discusses matters that are essential to bring to the table.

At the beginning of the fall, Baylor President Linda Livingstone announced a Baylor Conversation Series that was created for civil discourse aimed in a way that “requires mutual respect and objectivity without hostility.” It began with a faculty panel in September and now includes a variety of events for the campus to attend.

Better Together BU was created on campus as a way for individuals to come together and have important dialogue about issues in the world today. Better Together specifically focuses in on interfaith conversations, but there are various resources on campus that allow for helpful communication such as this.

The Baylor Public Deliberation Initiative is another tool the university has implemented that allows for both dialogue and debate. This initiative is open to campus, as well as community members and takes part in a forum style.

Being respectful of the opinions of others is essential. It is not appropriate to demand what should and shouldn’t be shared in an opinion section. An opinion is called an opinion for a reason. We make it very clear in both or print and online platforms about the categories our content falls into.

While you may disagree with the opinion of someone else, it is important to remember why opinion columns were created in the first place. We want to bring about discussion and to provide a platform that gives all an opportunity to share their thinking.

We want to hear from you, because your opinion is important. Staff editorials, opinion columns and Lariat Letters are practical ways we can encourage healthy communication and dialogue among our readers. Share with us.