Hansen Hall Facebook group has good intentions but insults many


Issue: Some students are concerned about Residential Life and the traditions associated with Hansen Hall; however, in making their argument, they equate agriculture and farmers with “hicks.”

Over 250 students have “liked” the Facebook page “Keep the Ag Tradition alive in Hansen Hall.” The group was made in response to Residential Life trying make the all residence halls more inclusive. Apparently, people who are invested in Hansen Hall believe what they call the “ag tradition” of Hansen Hall may be lost in the process.

Residential Life made it very clear they are not trying to do away with any traditions but rather making sure everyone feels at home and included in every hall. Will this lead to a breakdown of tradition in Hansen Hall? Residential Life denied that it would, but if students are still concerned, they should bring those concerns to those in charge. Their worries deserve straight answers, and students should contact the Residential Life at 605-688-5148 or talk to their Community Assistants and Residence Hall Director.

We’re always glad when students are passionate about something and take positive action; however this Facebook group also insults a large number of people. From the group description:

“So considering all of the traditions and foundation built on Agriculture why is our university trying to phase out the “Hick Hall’ feel? … This is a state school founded in agriculture people. Let’s remind the ResLife folks that being a resident in Hansen isn’t a punishment. Being labeled as a “Hick’ for living there should be something to be proud of!”

We don’t appreciate equating the numerous ag related majors, students who grew up on farms, or the many farmers and agricultural business people of South Dakota to hicks, which is a derogatory term describing people from the country who are unintelligent and unsophisticated. That’s not something to be proud of, and saying part of the “ag tradition” is being proud to be a “hick” is offensive and only furthers a very untrue, negative stereotype.

Stance: Students rallying together for a common concern, whether the concerns are valid or not, is great; however insulting a huge portion of South Dakota and SDSU in the process by equating hicks with agriculture is inappropriate and downright offensive.

UPDATE: The group has changed the original quoted description. It now reads: “Being labeled as an ‘Aggie’ for living there should be something to be proud of!”