I have hesitated to comment on the current political campaigns and climate, but I find that I have this to say: Here in October of 2016, it seems we are more polarized than any time in the 40+plus years I have been observing the US political system. Our political debate has devolved into name calling and tweet-shaming. Does anyone remember a recent informed and civil debate on the issues? Right, because there has not been one—at least not at the national level. I am saddened by the lack of concern and consideration for the things I care about. I am chagrined by the negative role models our politicians are for young people. What happened to hope along with the needed change? What happened to respect for diversity and appreciation for the contributions of every hard-working person? There is significant benefit in hearing all the perspectives in background, opinion, or expectations that inform discussion on the problems we face. What happened to disagreeing without being disagreeable? Here at BCTC, we practice open-mindedness, consider others, focus on helping students, and collaborate in problem-solving. Our faculty, staff, and students are taking training on how to identify and respond to sexual misconduct so that women and men are safe within our walls, and one national politician bragged about participating in it. Another has faced many federal investigations.
We understand that no one person has all the answers, but let’s at least look for candidates that stand for the things our constituents need. Our Mission Statement references this approach to helping the individual. It says “BCTC transforms the Bluegrass Region—one student at a time, one employer at a time, one community at a time….” Our Values Statement talks about Building Respect, Communicating, Transforming, and Creating Community. Choose carefully those you support. And vote.
Augusta A. Julian, Ed.D