“Saint Vincent president Father Paul R. Taylor denounced the conference and apologized to students”
This is one of the main reasons taxpayers should not be expected to fund ‘free’ college. Most schools don’t even have free speech.
Mike Sabo writes at Real Clear Education:
Free Speech Under Fire at Saint Vincent College
The opportunity to speak freely and openly – especially on controversial topics – is a cornerstone of civic education. But events that unfolded after the “Politics, Policy, and Panic: Governing in Times of Crisis” conference at Saint Vincent College demonstrate that freedom of speech at America’s institutions of higher education continues to stand on shaky footing.
Organized and hosted by Bradley C. S. Watson, director of the Center for Political and Economic Thought, the conference featured nine speakers, including former Trump White House science advisor Scott Atlas, political scientist Wilfred Reilly, and Johnny Burtka, president of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Over the span of two days, participants discussed a broad range of issues relating to the breakdown of public institutions and politics in the United States.
In a presentation provocatively titled “Black Privilege and Racial Hysteria in America,” Hillsdale College assistant professor David Azerrad argued against treating Americans differently due to their race. “I denounced all forms of preferential treatment for black Americans,” Azerrad said later about his talk, “and defended the core American principles of meritocracy and the rule of law – that is, the idea that desirable positions in the private sector should be awarded on the basis of competence and not skin color, and that all Americans should be equal before the law.”
Students vigorously debated Azerrad’s opinions, and he responded in turn. Conference participant Jacob Howland wrote of Azerrad’s presentation: “His frankness, precision, and patience in dealing with strongly worded objections and emotionally charged audience questions modeled a combination of intelligence, courage, and commitment to teaching and learning rarely found in academia.”
Since then, however, St. Vincent College has taken a series of actions that Watson calls “very disturbing.”
Letters by Gary Quinlivan, CPET’s co-director, and Saint Vincent president Father Paul R. Taylor denounced the conference and apologized to students. Quinlivan contended that Azerrad’s talk “may be interpreted as a form of invidious discrimination which inherently degrades the sanctity of human life.” The college initially prohibited the publication of all presentations, though a complete playlist was published on YouTube a few days later.
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