Let's Talk about Controversy

Blaike Young When Hedy told me that she wanted some controversy in this issue of The Forum, I suddenly became Hedy’s (wo)man. In Hedy’s words, “you’re one of our most willing people to do controversy.” I can’t think of very many controversial articles I’ve written other than the one about freshman walking unbearably slow in the hallway, for which I got a lot of heat. Anyway, Hedy made me think about controversy in general at Latin. Do we shy away from it or embrace it? I don’t know if I really have an answer to that question. LIFE and other affinity groups continuously bring speakers to assembly that talk about issues like torture or race. It seems to me we address controversial topics like these head on. Examples of controversy that exist within Latin’s walls range from cheating scandals to fights with your friends to supposed conspiracies about selection for next year’s courses or Project Week. Or maybe it’s about a scandal at last weekend’s party. I don’t think anybody is too scared to address these problems individually, however minor they may be. Yet, I wonder how willingly Latin students address issues that happen among themselves outside of school walls and in a schoolwide context. How openly do students face controversy and then take action for what they believe to be right? How often do we talk about students’ perhaps controversial actions on the weekends that’s more than a case-by-case mini-controversy basis? This is almost impossible to come to a conclusion on. I think it’s pretty clear that the student population is willing to go to rallies for equality, partake in political campaigns, and volunteer for issues that are close to their hearts. But, what about in social environments? How often do you see your friends really taking a stand for something they know to be wrong when everyone around them is just “going with the flow?” How many times do you see your best friend caving in to something you know is against their values because it’s easier than explaining why they don’t want to join in? How often do you see your fellow Romans causing controversy or going against the norm within their social circles because they know that it’s important? Again, there is no clear cut answers to any of these questions. But I think it’s time we stop being naive and start examining their answers. I think it’s important to address controversy and sometimes it’s important to create controversy. Without facing our problems, we can never overcome them. So, because I love some controversy, and because this is about taking action on controversy, tell me next time something controversial happens. I’ll try to bring it up to The Forum. After all, it’s only a forum if we can discuss what’s going on openly — and not just for controversy’s sake.]]>