Working Together



Yes, this is going to be a post on the election, I know – cliché huh? Well, I told myself last week, “Ryan, next week you will not write an obligatory post on the election”, but here we are, and here I was yesterday reflecting on what to write about while I was watching both President Obama and Mitt Romney’s post-election speech. So I promise this will not be a politically charged post, but rather a synthesis of the words of wisdom bestowed upon us as a country by two leaders this week and my experiences as a #SApro and #SAgrad this election season.

Tuesday nights, after working from 9AM – 4PM and class from 6PM – 9PM, I have the privilege of co-advising a complex council. The students in this group are excited, motivated, forward-thinking students seeking to make a difference. What was exceptional about this Tuesday night is when I arrived in the conference room they were crowded around a laptop, incessantly refreshing the screen to see how the votes were coming in, and talking about the candidates. It was clear that there were several differing opinions at the table, a friendly banter and conversation ensued about both candidates and what a victory would mean – at one point someone said, “If Obama wins it’s community bathrooms for all” and immediate laughter from all ensued. Eventually, towards the end of the conversation someone said, “No matter who wins, we will all still have to work together”. 

I so strongly agree with this student, and I think this though was resonated by both speeches offered by both presidential candidates, which are quoted below. It can be so simple, yet so difficult, to fathom how you’re supposed to sit through a meeting with someone who does not agree with your initiatives or ideas, and believe they want the same goal – student success. I think sometimes we need to stop and remember what my student said, “we have to work together”.

How do we continue to work with people we disagree with? How do we teach our students to do the same? Please share with me!

In peace,

Ryan Bye
@byebyeryan

 “That's why elections matter. It's not small, it's big. It's important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won't change after tonight. And it shouldn't. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty, and we can never forget that as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter — the chance to cast their ballots like we did today” – Barack Obama

“Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It's not always a straight line. It's not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won't end all the gridlock, resolve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward.” – Barack Obama

 The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. We look to our teachers and professors. We count on you not just to teach, but to inspire our children with a passion for learning and discovery. We look to our pastors and priests and rabbis and counselors of all kinds to testify of the enduring principles upon which our society is built — honesty, charity, integrity and family. We look to our parents, for in the final analysis, everything depends on the success of our homes. We look to job creators of all kinds. We're counting on you to invest, to hire, to step forward. And we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics.” – Mitt Romney

Student Affairs - the First Years

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1 comment :

  1. Great quotes! It is nice to reflect that through our differences, we are all people trying to get to where we need to be and to do that, we should all work together.

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