The first time I heard about vandalism at Bellevue College was about a year ago. A friend of mine who was in charge of the Jewish group on campus had posted a status that all the flyers had been ripped off, crumpled and thrown on the ground. I remember feeling angry that anyone could be so disrespectful and I wondered if BC was as welcoming a community as I was used to in high school. But the more time I spent here, the more I gathered that it was must have been a random occurrence. BC’s atmosphere was warm and accepting to everyone, and soon I forgot about it.
Two weeks ago, almost a year since the flyer incident, the LGBTQ Resource Center had been broken into after hours and vandalized. The fact that someone had gone out of their way to break into a locked office after hours to write a few rude words on a board just seems utterly ridiculous. What was the point? What had they achieved? To raise awareness to the fact there is an LGBTQ center on campus?
It is a rather well known fact, so their actions did nothing but create unnecessary noise that benefited no one. And really, when does vandalism ever benefit anyone?
The fact of the matter is it doesn’t. The perpetrators attempt to remain unknown, and all that happens is that the victim ends up reading some mean words or owning destroyed property.
And vandalism is just another form of bullying, and no one should be made to feel ashamed for who they are. Of course, there’s always the Freedom of Speech argument; as American citizens we have the right to say whatever we want! But as human beings, we also have the freedom tochoose.Vandalism surpasses being simply an issue of freedom of speech. It is an issue of human decency. No one is asking you to love everyone you meet and every idea you hear, but that does not give you the right to disrespect others.
The most incredible aspect of BC is its diversity.
The fact that so many different kinds of people can come together harmoniously, this is a feat not easily accomplished. But we are a community that is aware of each and every component and regardless of personal or cultural beliefs, we accept it. Certainly every group has its critics; you can’t ever expect to win over everyone. There will always be those trying to disrupt peace and creating unneeded animosity, but they will only succeed if you let them.
They can forsake their human decency if they so choose, but do not forsake yours. Do not let a couple of idiots ruin what is more unique about BC; our acceptance of one another. They will only win if you let them—don’t. The power is in your hands.
This opinion does not represent the Watchdog.