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The author claims that Liberi Erasmi reduces ‘social disputes (…) (such as homosexuality), to issues people can either agree or disagree with.’ This is a misinterpretation of our position. Liberi Erasmi advocates a space in which different opinions and beliefs, including those of people who feel differently about the LGBTI movement, can be expressed. This does not mean that we support homophobia. On the contrary, we strongly oppose homophobia. However, we do believe in the importance of freedom of expression and an open dialogue in order to come to a mutual understanding. People should be able to express their opinions – even if they deviate from the prevailing views of the time. By engaging with them and understanding the reasons underpinning their convictions, we can work towards creating a tolerant environment. We don’t take a binary approach in considering these issues. Our opinion is separate from the debate that we should all be able to have. Defending homosexuality used to be controversial, but open debate contributed to realising greater acceptance.

The author criticises the notion put forward by Liberi Erasmi that the university should not be imposing a specific ideology and argues that this is a ‘false’ type of neutrality. However, avoiding political symbols on campus can be an effective way of fostering a neutral and inclusive environment in which all students feel welcome, regardless of their political convictions. Liberi Erasmi believes in the importance of a shared space in which different points of view can be heard. At a time when all too often polarisation and division reign, the pursuit of a healthy debate and an inclusive environment is incredibly valuable and worthwhile. It is precisely by providing a forum for different ideas and points of view that we can create an environment in which diversity and equality are respected.

Liberi Erasmi’s commitment to a neutral campus does not mean that the party is ‘indifferent to the social safety and acceptance of human beings.’ Our goal is to foster an environment in which diverse opinions can be heard and in which students can engage in open debate and dialogue. By bringing people with different points of view together, we can build bridges and come to solutions that are equitable and inclusive for all.

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Dear Liberi Erasmi, indifference is an ideology too

The University Council elections started on Monday. One of the participating student…

These days, unfortunately, it often seems to be the case that those who shout the loudest get their way. Despite the fact that these people claim to be committed to ‘inclusiveness’, any dissenting opinion is very quickly labelled as ‘anti’ this or that. Even Senad Delic, the author of the article, is guilty of this and there is a clear reason behind his reference to ‘homophobic individuals’. For example, Delic claims that Nawin Ramcharan, the chair of Liberi Erasmi, is playing into the hands of homophobia. However, these statements  have been taken completely out of context and these misinterpreted statements are subsequently used as trump cards in Delic’s arguments against what we believe as a party.

These days, people who hold different opinions from those in the ‘vocal minority’ are labelled right-wing nationalists, homophobes and even fascists. We believe that this is a worrisome development. In a society that is more polarised than ever, a party like Liberi Erasmi is needed more than ever. Rather attempting to paint Liberi Erasmi’s commitment as ‘political cowardice and indifference’, we should embrace the pursuit of neutral dialogue and an inclusive environment. It is a crucial ideology that is a prerequisite to being able to make progress and to foster an equitable society.

We believe that the campus and the university as a knowledge institute should not be the arena in which ideological wars are fought. As far as we are concerned, the campus should and must be kept as far away from the conflict as possible. Our goal is to seek out connections, to connect people and their political views, rather than engage in identity politics in which individuals are categorised on the basis of their group identity and used to minimise personal growth. This is destructive to any environment that preaches inclusiveness and where at the same time groups of individuals are marginalised until nothing is left but political sameness and uniformity dancing to the tune of the zeitgeist. This is destructive to any campus that fixates and dwells on victimhood while fuelling the lack of intellectual diversity.

Liberi Erasmi is committed to intellectual diversity first and foremost and this principle will always form the basis of our ideas. It is a principle that will not contribute to increasing the polarisation between the various ideologies, groups and individuals. Liberi Erasmi focuses on the students rather than on the ideology. Let’s start talking about the issues affecting the students.

Jules Deelder once said: “The environment of man is his fellow man.” Let’s talk to one another, have meaningful discussions and stay critical – and may our intellectual diversity prevail.


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Two new parties in U-Council elections, last year’s winner quits

The big winner of last year's university council elections is quitting. Student party…

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