Thank you to Dr. Torres for taking the time to answer our questions!
You said during your speech on Tuesday that silence is complicit consent—that we cannot stand aside while people are hurting our peers. So I wanted to ask you about what you think people should do to break this silence? How do we stop people from remaining as bystanders?
Let me use an analogy. There’s been a lot of concern around bullying. If you’re a bystander, you must speak up. In airports, security measures dictate that if you see something, say something. If someone were to steal your laptop, and I said nothing, wouldn’t I have done something wrong?
I don’t know what happened that allowed these posts to happen. The first person who would’ve seen this would have had a responsibility to speak out.
Social media, in some way, emboldens people to say things that are crass and not civil. But we must still be responsible for our actions. Even if you’re using a pseudonym, it’s not allowed.
Do you think social media is a problem?
I don’t think it’s a problem. There are good sides to it. It has helped in creating revolutions and has helped to liberate people.
We also need to heal, and you said that it would take time. Do you believe that we can ever fully heal and that IMSA can become a perfect, diverse, and inclusive community?
I don’t know if we need to be perfect, because humans aren’t perfect. I think we can be more inquisitive and shouldn’t judge people on what they look like. We need to use the full power of the intellects around us to try and create this environment. We cannot advance the human condition in a divided form. My vision would be to get better every year.
Many students have been worried that these posts reflect poorly on Clash of the Halls. What do you think about Clash? Is it valuable to the IMSA community or more like a distraction or mix of both?
There are people on both sides of the issue. This year is going to be only my third Clash. What I saw last year was a deep desire and commitment to create IMSA spirit and unity. But some faculty have said that students use this as an excuse to not do homework.
I want to clarify that I don’t see the posts as being very connected to Clash, and I think that Clash was more of a vehicle, rather than a cause, of these posts.
Dr. Dahleh asked all of us to think about what we should do as a community from here. What do you think we need to do?
We’re taking the first steps and that’s to listen to others.