My name is Erin Elliott. I’m a staff writer for The Lantern, but you may know me as a tutor in the writing side of the Learning Center. Every two weeks I will be posting a story for my column here, which I’m naming “Point of Contention.” It is titled this because I believe that topics that are divisive—points of contention—are often not mentioned to avoid conflict. But, why do differing opinions have to incite conflict?

We are all human beings gifted with the capability for critical thinking, and all of the different backgrounds, cultures, experiences, and diverse locations in the United States make it such a unique country. It is therefore natural that we should have so many different opinions. This is a good thing. The problem lies in a lack of communication and understanding concerning these differing opinions.

Like many others, I tend to associate myself with those who share my opinions, but when I meet people with different views who are still willing to respect mine, the conversations that I have with those people help me grow and learn as a person. I want others to have this experience as well.

Every two weeks, two students with differing or opposing views on a current issue will provide their various insights and opinions. Hopefully, upon reading or contributing to this column, you will find that having a conversation with those who think differently than you may make you a better person as well, or at least reaffirm why you believe in something even when it is being challenged.

I have many opinions, but my job as the writer of this column is not to push any agenda. I am genuinely interested in the thoughts the students here at Clermont have about the world today. While I will be reaching out to students I know to have differing views, I encourage anyone who is interested to reach out to me via email: Your views can be written as an opinion editorial, but if writing is not your thing, we can meet up for an interview, and you can choose to be anonymous. I hope to hear from you!

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