SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Even though the current climate is cooling down in KELOLAND, Junior at Augustana University Sheldon Jensen says the it’s the opposite for the political climate that’s only heating up.
“We have a wide swath of opinion on campus, and, I think, that that’s really a good thing but, at times, does lead itself to division and people being negative toward one another,” Jensen said.
While these conversations can stimulate those feelings, he says they’re also the key to reaching something of an understanding.
“Having these conversations is a way where we can better benefit our local community by not having it be such a divisive and controlling atmosphere,” Jensen said.
To help students find it within themselves, he’s teaming up with Campus Pastor Ann Rosendale to start the ‘With Malice Toward None’ initiative.
“It’s a call to civil discourse, to being humble, to being honest about who you are and your neighbor is too,” Rosendale said.
The call starts by asking interested students to take a pledge to be civil no matter the outcome of the election. They’re asking students to take it even before they know who wins.
“Between now and inauguration day, our student planning group has been planning three different events to put our commitment into practice,” Rosendale said.
These events will bring students together in groups to discuss things they agree on and disagree on.
“It’s about understanding that the person next to you is a human being that brings something to the table and recognizing they bring a piece of truth to the larger conversation,” Jensen said.
“And maybe even understand a bit where our own side has challenges and where our own side needs to give a little bit or change a little bit,” Rosendale said.
Because the one thing we all have in common in this election is that we each have our own opinions.