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Political diversity among Doane students, staff

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There are a variety of political views on campus. This difference in opinion can be a good thing, according to Doane students and faculty.  

“I am a medium conservative. If you split the conservative side of a spectrum in half, that’s where my beliefs would fall,” junior Sheila Murphy said.

Though Doane strives for an inclusive environment, there are times when Murphy feels she is limited to what she can say. 

“Sometimes, I feel that people are annoyed with me for my political views. I have a small group of people who I can go to express my beliefs. I don't believe it is okay for me to express my views in public spaces on campus. I whisper about my beliefs as though it is a bad thing because I don’t want to offend people who have differing opinions and get into an argument that I didn’t intend to start to take part in,” Murphy said.

“I think being at college has opened my eyes to how much is out there in the political world and what other people's opinions are. College is a place to explore how you feel and what you firmly believe in,” junior Kenneth Webber said.

Webber describes his views as independent with a preference towards the conservative side. Though the college has not changed his stance, it has allowed him to refine his political beliefs and empathize with others. 

Webber concludes that compromise is key to understanding one another and creating a positive community.

It is not just students who are interested in politics, but staff as well. Assistant Professor of Theatre Jeff Stander explains his current stance on politics. 

“I am registered as independent, though I was affiliated with other parties in the past. However, I do not agree with current partisan politics, because the focus of politics can and should be about compromise. Neither party represents this at this point in time.”

While on campus, Stander said Doane did not change his views, but the opportunities he had to travel were influential.

“Travel is the biggest thing that helped me open my eyes to other opinions. I had the opportunity of traveling to Egypt and Jordan for a study trip during my early career at Doane. This experience helped personalize situations that aren’t ones I've grown up with and this is essential to forming beliefs, political or otherwise,” Stander said.

The Doane community can encourage discussions and understanding of differing values and beliefs by cultivating a culture of inclusiveness. 

“We’re all different and that can and should be celebrated,” Stander said.