Commentary: Professors are people too

Christina Collins Burton, Editor in Chief

College is the start of every student’s professional career. Here we are able to expand our minds with lectures about our field of interest and discussions in the classroom.

The “no-no” topics are suddenly a learning experience where students can share their opinion and hear feedback rather than a personal attack from a stranger waving a picket sign in their direction.

However, this treat is sometimes misconstrued in some student’s minds to mean torture. Being “forced” to sit through your classmate’s opinion leads to gossip or just childish complaining.

What could possibly be worse than hearing friends complain about someone’s opinion? Hearing your peers complain about their professors having an opinion or belief structure they follow.

How dare they have thoughts of their own.

It is sad when I see professors flinch about being asked what their personal beliefs are when discussing ethical decision. Being ripped into because someone was offended by one comment sucks.

It is extremely childish to take a comment, not directly addressed to a situation, to heart.

I have received several emails about professors who have personal blogs where they express their opinions or have been redirected to websites where they contribute to discussion on topics they feel passionately about.

Honestly, I understand if a strong right-wing or left-wing opinion offends an individual.

I am sure there are posts in the dark parts of the Internet that I have left a comment I regret. However, this should not be world shattering.

I do not recall any of our professors marching out into the middle of campus and setting something on fire in the name of a belief.

I hardly believe we should treat a blog entry the same way we would treat real danger.

While some of the opinions people put on a blog might be horrible, it is not a truly public forum.

I cannot wrap my head around student activists that believe they have the right to stomp around on others ideals in the classroom but refuse to be open to questions.

The University of La Verne is just one of many campuses that is blessed with tenured professionals with countless experiences that could help students who might be interested in the same topics.

I find it confusing when I hear students being offended when a professor corrects them or offers a different point of view for a research paper or to help build an argument. It is input, not law.

Professors are not trying to brainwash students into being little disciples. They are merely trying to keep students open-minded so when graduation finally comes, they are all the much more prepared for the life outside the safety of the University.

So sit back and think about this: Should a job that actually promotes critical thinking silence opinions that differ from the majority? No? I did not think so.

Keep discussion civil and mature in the classroom.

While we are here we can kick and scream all we like about someone’s words, but try getting away with that in the workplace or with your future partner. See how far you get in an argument.

The way you carry yourself in discussions with someone that has completely different beliefs is how people are going to gauge your professionalism for the rest of your life.

Stop being children and have a little respect.

Christina Collins Burton, a junior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by email at

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