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Earlier this month, Middlebury College was beset by what could fairly be termed the Academic Perfect Storm. Not only did the lecture never materialize because of shouting, shoving and other intrusions, but Stanger also was injured in the process.
Much has already been written, tweeted and posted about this event. The college has launched several levels of inquiry, while apologizing to the community, alumni and others.
A New York Times editorial lauded her firm and visible commitment to free expression: Despite growing easiness about the imminent Murray lecture, Patton consistently reaffirmed her commitment to host the event.
She also agreed to chair the event in person and courageously remained on stage throughout the turmoil. Although only students were officially invited to attend, many observers noted the catalytic presence of a dozen or so nonstudents wearing black clothing and face masks that mirrored those of the disruptive contingent at a protest at the University of California, Berkeley, several weeks earlier.
A plan to extricate the speaker in the event of turmoil was invoked at the 11th hour but foundered immediately when protesters invaded the seemingly secure site; more advance planning and escape routes would have seemed an obvious imperative. Among the media accounts of these events, one offers a probing rhetorical question: A few colleges and universities have reluctantly concluded that a scheduled event posed so grave a threat that cancellation offered the only tenable alternative, with hopes that rescheduling would help.
On a quite different occasion, the then chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln was privy to carefully sorted, screened and verified electronic warnings of potential chaos attending a speech by surprisingly Bill Ayres, a University of Illinois at Chicago professor who had once been a leader of the Weather Underground, a radical left-wing organization.
While cancellation is hardly a welcome choice, it is option that should not always be categorically rejected. A vivid personal experience suggests another approach. In the spring ofprotestors at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where I served as president of the system, shouted down in its opening minutes a long-scheduled speech by former Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver, who by then had traveled a far different political pathway.
Then Chancellor Irving Shain and I agreed that if Cleaver was willing to return to Madison in the near future, we would ensure adequate security during his appearance, even if that required a secure sound booth.
The cost of such an arrangement, we realized, would not be trivial. We were delighted when Cleaver agreed to make a return visit under those different conditions.
But we concluded that our investment was well worth making, despite the cost, in the interest of free expression.
Campuses will continue to invite controversial speakers and face turmoil over it. What other advice is worth considering in order to keep such turmoil to a minimum?
First, careful advance planning with regard to sponsorship and other arrangements seems vital.Essay Question (note: full set of instructions in document above) Many of us hold democracy in high regard.
Yet liberal democracy is . Not only is the college essay a place to showcase writing skills, it's one of the only parts of a college application where a student's voice can shine through.
"The essays are important in part. [email protected] Jim Ralph Tips for Writing Effective Application Essays. Read questions carefully and answer them all specifically. Consider the story behind your resume. The personal statement is where the facts on the resume happen to a real person-- you.
In years past, Middlebury has required a supplemental essay and another graded analytical essay submitted by regular mail (at least that's the impression I've gotten by briefly searching).
As far as I can tell, Middlebury does not require those essays this year. Search for: Recent Posts.
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Frequently Asked Questions that students who were active in high school will be engaged citizens at Middlebury College. We use your essays to get a sense of how you think and how well you express yourself.
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