Beginning with his inauguration address, President Wippman made clear his commitment to supporting civil dialogue across a spectrum of views and positions. And he has continually reinforced his belief that one of Hamilton’s core values and of a liberal arts education is a full and free exchange of ideas. Thus it is no surprise that this Wednesday’s Common Ground event features two individuals, David Axelrod and Karl Rove, whose views represent divergent political perspectives.
Serendipitously other programs have been developed and offered on campus around the same and similar themes. Events related to protections offered by the First Amendment, censorship, hate speech, and the evolution of journalism have or will allow students to explore a spectrum of issues related to today’s increasingly inflamed political rhetoric on and off campuses.
During the same week that Axelrod and Rove, along with USA Today’s Susan Page, will be on campus, the College is also hosting a history professor from George Mason University presenting a lecture on Free Speech and Unfree News: The Paradox of Press Freedom in America as well as a lunch discussion on Journalism and Free Speech. The following day, a political science professor from the University of Michigan will be presenting on The Progression of Repression - When Does Online Censorship Lead to Real World Repression. At the end of the week, Life Trustee and former TIME White House correspondent Barry Seaman will talk to students about The Future of Journalism.
Intellectual, social, and moral development … occur only when we confront new ideas and consider other perspectives, even if we find those ideas and perspectives uncomfortable.
Earlier this month, three experts in the field of free speech jurisprudence discussed the implications of free speech restrictions on college campuses and beyond. In September, students participated in a discussion on hate speech led by three of Hamilton’s professors.
In his Convocation address President Wippman said, “Intellectual, social, and moral development … occur only when we confront new ideas and consider other perspectives, even if we find those ideas and perspectives uncomfortable.” It is campus programs like these that promise to offer opportunities for students to consider and confront new views.