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Students free to engage with Brooks

November 8, 2019

This piece represents the opinion of the author.

To the Editor,

Last week you published an editorial titled “What are you afraid of?” I agreed with almost all of the sentiments you expressed in this editorial. However, it contained a problematic series of assumptions about Dr. Brooks’s visit included in the following paragraph:

We are critical of what comes across as an attempt to create a manicured environment for Brooks. Why is the administration so reluctant to allow Brooks facetime with a broader audience? Are they imagining that the College’s many left-leaning students are likely to disagree with Brooks in combative and disrespectful ways?

After having the privilege to attend two of the talks with Dr. Brooks, I believe that the structure of these discussions was designed to promote inquiry in an intimate setting while still extending the opportunity of engagement to as many students as possible. The small setting allowed for what I found to be a very thought-provoking discussion. I highly doubt the College was acting perniciously in the way it formatted the talks. Nonetheless, I hope more students will have the opportunity to engage thoughtfully with Dr. Brooks and future McKeen Fellows will have a more extended presence on campus. I just ask that you tread carefully when trying to hypothesize on the motives of others.

Thank you,

Will Hausmann ’22

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