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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

February 21, 2020   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

Commentary: Ithaca Talks is an avenue for public speech

From a young age, I have always had this obsession with watching TED Talks. I know this may seem strange to some, but this fascination with learning and listening to other people’s stories is intoxicating. If you look up “TED Talk” and something you are interested in, such as ‘procrastination,’ ‘why people are mean to each other’ and ‘injustice,’ you will get countless results in the span of a second. I have always wanted to give a TED Talk. I have a list of ideas in my phone right now based on all of the different things I could talk about. 

I love public speaking. I always have, and I always will. Maybe it is the fact that I come from a background of performing in musicals and plays, or maybe it is because I am secretly an extroverted introvert, but I have always had this magnetism toward speaking in front of large crowds. My passion for public speaking, however, is not something most people can resonate with. Getting up in front of a lot of people and speaking out about something that is important to them is not everyone’s cup of tea. But it is the most important thing, I find, that people should be doing right now.

As a communication studies major, I find the importance of speaking my mind on larger issues has become more important in this day and age. And while I am comfortable to share my opinions, but I also want to give students the ability, space and time to speak their minds and voice their own. Our world is changing every day, and I firmly believe that people should be given the opportunity to share what they need to say. I want people to feel safe to speak their truth.

Ithaca Talks is a new club on campus dedicated to bringing this platform of public speaking to the college. We want those from the Ithaca College community to be heard. While the main goal of the club is dedicated to bringing TEDx back to IC, as it was done previously in the year 2017, we also want this club to serve as an avenue for students to be able to fully express themselves and speak out their different points of view. 

We hope that this club serves as an avenue to helping college students feel safe enough to share their true opinions with the public. I cannot stress how important it is for young adults to have this chance and this ability to do so, especially on a college campus. College students are growing into themselves, and we needed to be given more opportunities to allow ourselves to be authentic and speak out against injustices and come together. In the future, Ithaca Talks will serve as this bridge for students to open up and have difficult conversations.