Last month, Linda Osborne, director of the Baptist
Collegiate Ministry, received an angry phone call from a Tech professor who was
wondering why the BCM was “encouraging hate.” The professor was complaining
about the small signs placed on campus that had “Hate” written on them. After
Osborne explained to the professor that “Love” was written on the other side of
each sign, he then understood and apologized. Just like the professor, we too
sometimes forget to look at the other side.
We are not a race. We are not a religion. We are not a
gender. We are not a sexual orientation. We are not a college. We are not a
political party. We are not a country.
We are individuals.
This is the idea that has come out of the Love/Hate
campaign that started this spring quarter with a barrage of controversy. It’s
amazing how two simple words have sparked a million thoughts over the past
month. The campaign motto of “Building Bridges of Understanding” has exposed
the campus to the wide variety of perspectives on religion, politics and other
topics that are at times hard to swallow.
Let’s be honest, every person has stereotyped another
person at least once in their life whether intentionally or not. At times, it
seems like human nature to condemn rather than to understand. We have become a
society of pointing fingers that chooses to blame problems on others instead of
ourselves. Why? Because it’s easier to do so.
This campaign has become the call to truce for the
student body; a chance to lower our egos, walk outside of our foundation of
labels and stereotypes and acknowledge the rainbow of diversity that encircles
The main topic that has been targeted is the issue of
religion in our country, mainly Christianity. The BCM, who put the Love/Hate
campaign together, wanted to see what people’s impressions were of Christianity
and Christians. In doing so, BCM students then acknowledged the responses to
Christianity and personally apologized for the misconceptions and negative
representations of Christianity over the years.
Donald Page, a senior photography major, said the
campaign has been a growing experience for him.
“This has been a kind of re-opening for me to realize
that there are so many different perspectives from my own. To get to see those
in others again makes me happy.”
The idea of this campaign itself should be applauded
because it has become one of the most creative and revealing looks into campus
relations in our school’s history. Love/Hate is an idea that transcends campus
relations and extends toward the concept of nationwide harmony. The message is
to listen, to understand and to see everything; from both sides.