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Thank you

Reader comment on item: The War on Campus

Submitted by Gordon Bowen (United States), Sep 17, 2002 at 16:36

Your Sept. 17, 2002 column used the two incidents (Colorado College; Concordia Univ.) to reveal a large truth. Colleges and universities have an obligation to permit broad discussion of issues of public importance, and few fail as fully as did Concordia. But the shortcomings there in administrative commitment to protect the ideals of the university are not the usual type.

At Concordia, at least speakers were invited (B. Netanyahu) to present their views; only a failure of will seems to have been involved in authorizing adequate security for the event.

More commonly, university administrators acquiesce to faculty who wish to stage events treating controversial topics by permitting only one side to speak. This common problem has two sources: a faculty so riven by zeal for political correctness that leadership positions in the faculty now are occupied by people quite anxious to exclude the opinions of those they don't like; and administrators unwilling to insist that their institutions not be used for one sided presentations. In this regard, it seems that Colorado College may have met its obligation, barely, if I am to understand correctly that they included you (Daniel Pipes) as a second speaker after the pro-Palestinian speaker.

I am sure your readers now will present dozens of examples of this prevailing form of campus propagandizing, but if for some reason that mailbag turns up empty, do feel free to write me for some details.

And thank you, too, for the real work you do analyzing Middle Eastern politics. I still treasure the tour of ethnic Lebanon you wrote early in the 1980s for Foreign Policy (I think), entitled "The Real Problem." And yes, the Syrians still are there.


G.L. Bowen
Professor of Political Science
Mary Baldwin College
Staunton VA 24401

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