Letter to the Editor
While I appreciate the nature of the Minnesota Daily’s editorial comments, as the author of one of the main complaints regarding the Student Conduct Code, I take offense at the claim that I do not understand the core complaint with the SCC.
While there is certainly heightened awareness, nationally and locally, of sexual conduct in the workplace, there is no crisis. Many of the events generating media coverage (and career destruction) in the recent months occurred years ago. What does seem to be happening is a change in the implicit and explicit rules governing sexual relations at work. That may be a good thing, but the institution of new behavioral standards is generally best implemented by development of consensus and education, not by administrative fiat and threat.
Bobby Hahn does something remarkable in his Feb. 12 letter to the editor of the Minnesota Daily. He asks whether it makes sense for University of Minnesota students to protest Ben Shapiro’s Feb. 26 visit to campus without actually mentioning the substance of Shapiro’s views. I don’t know whether Ben Shapiro is a white supremacist, but his inability to empathize with the pain and suffering of black and brown people has been well-documented.
Garrison Keillor is a former Minnesota Public Radio personality who was fired from the station in 2017 after being accused of inappropriate behavior. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1966.
In light of the anger and protest over commentator Lauren Southern’s invitation to speak on campus last semester, it is a reasonable expectation that the same sentiments will be displayed when conservative pundit Ben Shapiro comes to speak later this month. While there is no doubt many deplore the ideas of these and other speakers, certain trends exposed during the Southern protest hint that demonstrations may do little good.
I have not yet seen sufficient evidence to suggest the University of Minnesota is attempting to “quarantine” or silence Ben Shapiro. However, I am concerned that the University is allowing the heckler’s veto to triumph over free expression. A university that purports to value the free exchange of ideas cannot allow this to happen. There are thousands of students who want to hear Shapiro speak and engage with him in discussion. The University must make every effort to make that possible.
Endesha Ida Mae Holland was a civil rights activist in the Twin Cities and beyond, marching, speaking and registering voters. As a vocal public activist, she was incarcerated an additional thirteen times. Through her life and legacy, Holland, sex worker, activist, alumna, mother, dramatist and author, shows us we each have the power to not just change our own personal circumstances, but to change the whole world.
There's no confusion here
The planned closure of the University of Minnesota Child Development Center is simply reckless. As my spouse and I are recent graduates, the availability of quality child care at the University was a major factor in my family's decision to choose Minnesota over other attractive faculty positions, as well as a factor in retaining us as in the face of competitive offers while our daughter was of daycare age.
I love the University of Minnesota, and there are a lot of reasons I chose to come here. There are a lot of reasons I chose to go to college at all. But there’s only one reason why not going to college wasn’t an option. Every time I imagined myself deviating from the path prescribed by high school counselors, parents, friends and college recruiters, I imagined myself poor and miserable. I think many of us believe this deeply. It’s why we work hard and pay big to be here. Like it or not, my University benefits from that belief. My education was sold to me as a product and as a solution. I bought social mobility.