In the constant stories of how alternative views are punished on many campuses, nice to see some universities like Clearmont McKenna taking a stand toward upholding what institutions of education should be, venues of free inquiry and debate. Instead of allowing students to get away with blocking access to an event and speaker that they didn’t like, the college suspended and blocked degree access for those who violated institutional rules (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/07/18/claremont-mckenna-suspends-5-students-blocking-speech). Such a defense was probably put best by the University of Chicago, when they released letters to an incoming freshmen class last year. In them, the university proclaimed that “fostering the free exchange of ideas reinforces a related university priority…building a campus that welcomes people of all backgrounds.” (http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/univ-chicago-pushes-back-trigger-warnings-safe-spaces). Such an exchange ultimately involves even sharing peacefully those ideas which might be shocking or unpopular. If an idea is truly superior, it doesn’t need walls or boundaries erected around it against challenges, for it wins on it’s own merits. The students involved in the McKenna case took it upon themselves to get in the way of an event that was voluntarily set up by other groups on campus, and therefore showcased themselves not only to have little faith in the values they supposedly care about, but also to stand in opposition to educational prudence. Glad to see that Claremont McKenna took action, and hopefully others will join in that cause.

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