People deserve respect regardless of age

Written By Brooke Stephens, Co-Opinions Editor

Growing up, it is likely you were in an environment where someone was labeled as more knowledgeable or mature than you. A doctor, teacher, or parent could have created a relationship where it was inherently disrespectful.

A figure who took their role to an extreme could disregard any similarities or friendly discussion because they had more of an elevated role in your life or even occupied a position of power.

As we get older, it is expected that young adults start to be treated with more respect, as they are adults. That is often not the case, especially in more professional settings, because older adults are great at making excuses as to why their mindset is superior to a whole 20 year old.

Point Park has an issue when it comes to professors respecting their students, some of which might be in their age group. Obviously, professors have worked hard to get to the point of teaching at a university, but respect is not a single-lane road. If you as an educator do not take the time to learn your students’ names, it shows that you do not care about their presence. Welcoming students’ thoughts, questions and concerns with sincerity will create a strong bond in any academic setting.

Just because you are older does not mean you are wiser. The superiority that comes just by living more years needs to change in society, as some older adults are not nearly as mature as most of the 18 year olds I have met in my life thus far.

We are all living through personal and global crises, which have been echoed heavily the past two years through platforms which people use to connect.

Students still deserve the right to feel welcome and safe in any educational environment. If you think just because you have more honorifics than anyone you teach that makes you better than them, your dismissive behavior will be detrimental to those who may see you as a mentor or friend. If you have made a point that you deserve more respect than someone else because of your educational standing, congratulations, you successfully have a degree and feel the need to take that out on another adult.

We as a collective need to hear each other out completely to see all sides of a discussion. Students have jobs, personal obligations and social time to squeeze into an already sandwiched week by lengthy homework assignments.

The university needs to take responsibility for the actions done by professors that are awkward, unacceptable, or otherwise harmful. There are too many students stressed not because of the class itself, but because of the person standing in front of everyone who is supposed to be a role model. At a university, we are supposed to be developing as young professionals and should be treated as the capable and competent individuals that we are. In logo parentis really shouldn’t be extending into college or university.

Students, respect your elders — but keep in mind it is not obligatory. And respect is something that’s hard to win back. It is, however, necessary to have and maintain a healthy learning environment and campus community for the instructors, staff and students.