Opinion editor opens the forum for free speech

My goal for the opinions and editorial section is for it to be a space where students can freely voice their concerns. In this issue, I wanted a feel for how my peers’ mental health has been affected by recent restrictions implemented for the spring semester. 

I picked a day and time at random to survey a pool of students. And what I found is disheartening. 

Many of the quotes above were selected from that pool, but the space is too constrained to include them all. 

Students feel they have lost a key aspect of the college experience and a vitality to mental health: human connection. This is our community. These are our people. Virginia Wesleyan functions as a student body because of each student who makes up the body. If our body is sick, then the energy which the community thrives on is depleted. Each person is an integral part of our community and it disheartens me that students feel that they are suffering alone. 

Students feel their freedoms have been taken away, and I agree. When new rules are implemented, old freedoms are lost. This prompts me to look at society as a whole and reflect, if this is happening to a student body of 1,500, then what is happening in our nation, in our world? 

We may have our own spheres of friends or family or workplace, but our spheres tend to overlap in the most curious ways. We all attend the same campus under the laws of the same nation on the same planet, so remember that no matter what happens, you are never alone.

I believe every student has a right to have a voice in the community. I call on each member of this community to be bold and stand up for our freedom of speech by voicing what concerns you and respecting others who voice their differing opinions. 

If you want to voice your opinion on a topic in a future issue or have a story that you want to call attention to, then please contact Brooke Erickson at bmerickson@vwu.edu.