Politics belong outside of the classroom

Over the past few years, political tension has slowly risen to its boiling point.

The parties seem to constantly be at war, with both sides claiming they’re right.

This tension has seeped into everyday life. It’s hard to go to work, the grocery store, and now even school without noticing it.

This has been a hard adjustment for me.

When I was in high school, I had teachers who refused to talk about politics to help make sure we were forming our own opinions.

Now it seems everyone is vocalizing what they think for absolutely no reason.

Don’t get me wrong, I love when people have an educated opinion on something but there’s a time and a place for everything and the classroom isn’t it for political debates (unless of course that class is politics).

Now, I might be saying something completely different if we weren’t living under our specific circumstances.

If I had been in this situation in 2001, I might have liked the political banter in the classroom.

But things have gotten so heated that it feels more like a personal attack each time someone brings it up.

I’m constantly seeing students openly coming into the classroom with Trump 2020 stickers and even worse, 2024.

I don’t want to be the kind of person that judges based on first impressions like that, but if this past election has taught me anything, it’s that his supporters tend to be against my very existence and that’s a terrifying thing.

When I sit down in class, I’m there to learn.

I’m not there to have a debate with another student about whether or not I should have the right to marry who I want or to even just exist as a woman.

I’m paying to learn about psychology, not your deep-rooted homophobia and problems with women.

Even if the opinions aren’t voiced outright there’s always this awkward tension in the air.

This feeling of knowing the person sitting next to you would hate you if they found out anything about your personal life.

It creates this kind of fear that can be hard to overcome.

The tension creates this wall that would have never been up in a different class.

A wall that makes it hard to form connections and make friendships like professors typically want you too.

Group projects become a nightmare because I could have to work with that person.

I shouldn’t have to feel that way in a classroom.

Nobody should.

The classroom should be a safe place for everyone.

A place where we can learn, as students, about things we’re interested in. College is supposed to be a fun experience, not one full of tension and dread.

I shouldn’t have to feel on edge all of the time waiting for the next comment to come out of that person’s mouth.

I shouldn’t have to be at the ready to fight about whether or not me and the people I care most about should have rights.

Especially not in a class that has nothing to do with it.

Everyone should be able to sit in class and focus on the lecture.

They shouldn’t have to worry about anything else going on, especially not the opinion of people who base their “facts” off of hate.

Professors shouldn’t have to keep playing moderator and students shouldn’t have to keep fighting.

All political and personal opinions should be left outside the classroom.

Alyssa McMillan

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