Re: “Santorum Calls Protests Disrupting Lecture Sign of ‘Liberal Intolerance’ at Cornell,” News, Nov. 23
To the Editor:
I hope Cornell can become an institution where different points of view are celebrated, not silenced. Any university, particularly an Ivy League school, should encourage respectful debate with opposing viewpoints. Unfortunately at Wednesday’s Rick Santorum event a small, but vocal group of students inappropriately interrupted his speech claiming that his views are “offensive” to some. The Cornell Republicans did not invite Senator Santorum to campus because we expected a majority of the student body to agree with him; rather we hoped that his perspectives would be educational to students at a university which typically only provides one point of view.
“That’s actually a great gift,” Santorum said of being a conservative student on a liberal campus. “Because you get to hone your skills and hear the best arguments from a lot of smart people who have different points of view than you.”
A protest occurred across the street, at a location designated for protesters by the police. While in line for the event, some students snapped pictures on their phones, while others shouted back in reply, both in agreement and disagreement with the protest.
Re: “Cornell Republicans to Host Rick Santorum as Fall Speaker,” News, Nov. 14
To the Editor:
Appreciating the challenge of producing the immediate post-election issue of The Cornell Daily Sun I wanted to congratulate your staff on a fine job of grappling with both the emotional and strategic issues facing the Cornell and broader Ithaca communities at this time. One article reported on the front page deserves critical comment, however. The invitation of Rick Santorum to visit and speak on behalf of the Cornell Republicans is presented as an uncontroversial, even thoughtful choice of a group who claims to want to return its attention to conservative philosophy after being distracted by the Trump campaign, which Santorum, unlike the Cornell Republicans, supported and endorsed. Santorum is an extreme Islamaphobe, climate change denier, homophobe and sexist, who is opposed to the use of contraceptives even in marriage.
Several Cornell professors and students tell different stories of the roots and implications of Trump’s rise through GOP ranks. Their analysis diverges on whether the candidate has corrupted the Republican party or merely carried conservatives’ policy and rhetoric to their logical conclusions.
In some ways, the Cornell Republicans have been examples of this movement: the group broke party lines to endorse Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson over the Republican nominee on Sep. 4. Almost immediately after this decision, the New York Federation of College Republicans revoked the chapter’s credentials, chastising the organization for supporting another party’s candidate.
Following the group’s endorsement of Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, the Cornell Republicans faced a series of legal repercussions and finally have been reinstated in the New York Federation of College Republicans. Members of the Cornell Republicans remark on the organization’s endorsement decision and reinstatement process.