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March 18, 2010 3:29 am

Constructive dialogue necessary for NWC to progress

Written by Tribune Staff

The current situation at Northwest College recently reached a boiling point, with administration and faculty pitted against each other in what appears to be a power struggle of the Nth degree.

It's a sad state of affairs, but the forum hosted Tuesday by the college board of trustees may signify a positive movement toward reconciliation.

This community has much to be proud of in NWC: progressive academic programs, strong athletic teams, enriching extracurricular activities. As an institution, it is an established cornerstone of the Powell community — and rightfully so.

However, the situation at the college — and the subversive and toxic atmosphere currently associated with it — is causing many in the community to say, “Enough, already!”

That's not to say the issues at hand aren't serious. In fact, the contrary is true, but many of the methods that have been used to deal with the issues — by people and groups on both sides of the campus squabble — simply aren't constructive ways to bring an end to the conflict.

Anonymous e-mails, campaigns on social networking sites, T-shirts, buttons, posters — what happened to good, old-fashioned dialogue? Are people so used to being able to hide behind a computer screen and the cloak of anonymity lent by it, that they can't calmly sit down, look each other in the eye, engage in conversation and find a way to solve problems?

It's easy to become so embroiled in a situation that emotion overtakes reason — this seems to be the case here.

The current situation has the college this community is so proud of unraveling at the seams, and the example it sets for the students of Northwest College is atrocious.

That's not something to be proud of.

The warring factions need to put their anger aside and commit to the hard, meaningful work necessary to extricate NWC from this insidious and pernicious mess. Tuesday's meeting with the board of trustees indicated strong support for an outside mediator to facilitate healing.

That's good news. The college community would be well served to move forward in a more constructive manner.