I write today with a heavy head. I try to separate emotion from fact and take a deep breath as I contemplate the base of my opinion. If this post is vague, I apologize. I’m not trying to flush out all the details of this week’s happenings, but give a gist of what I understand happened and how I feel about it.
TNDC is an institution at Darden and this year, we have had a number of disagreements regarding the boundaries of school-wide TNDC emails. Opinions flew early year, which resulted in the discontinuation of emails until recently, though not a discontinuation of TNDC. We had a Poobah (which is what we call the TNDC organizer) turnover and since have had 3 TNDC’s. The emails are meant to be comical and often make fun of classmates. I’d like to think that the majority of those targeted classmates take no offense to these emails. And if they do, that they would speak directly to the Grand Poobah. However, I suppose with some of the crude sense of humor embedded in these emails (of which, I personally, am a fan), you’re bound to insult someone in the community of 600+. I get that and understand that!
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Here are Darden, the foundation of the case method is part fact, part opinion. We’re learning in ethics, that there is no absolute right or absolute wrong in many instances. There’s a lot of gray matter, but analyzing different aspects of a situation from standards to consequences, and values to character will allow better decisions. So perhaps the consequences of publishing some off-color commentary was not as thought out as it should have been. That said, I believe there is no reason to ruin the potential livelihood of the publishing party because you believe they crossed your boundary of what is PC. If you have a problem, act as an adult. Everyone took Management Communications and Leading Organizations – which is where we emphasize difficult conversations and how to handle them. So test those skills and hold a difficult conversation. The United States has become so PC that we forget that we are allowed and encouraged to have different opinions. This, in my mind, is what furthers thought, ideas and creativity.
I also have two other problems with actions in response to the differing of opinions regarding boundaries – the first is being offended on behalf of someone else. First, the targeted person needs to be offended for this to matter, in my opinion. If that person acknowledges that they don’t care, leave it alone! My next problem is the 10 year old “mommy” scenario. This I equate to playing kickball with a group of kids, the child who owns the ball starts losing, so he decides to take his ball home, stopping the game, and go tell mommy, who proceeds to scold the rest of the group. I’m sorry, but we’ve all been through college and have “grown up”. Mommy, the faculty, the dean or your boss won’t always be there to “fix” your disagreements. A simply conversation could have easily resulted in an understanding between the parties. WE ARE THE FUTURE LEADERS OF AMERICA! Let’s act like them.
My disclosure is that these are purely my opinions. I believe that no organization is perfect and though I love Darden, sometimes these imperfections draw out opinions and thoughts in us all. I wanted to share mine.