The Cornell Republicans said they paid the University $5000 in security fees for the Rick Santorum event it hosted last November.

Michael Wenye Li / Sun Staff Photographer

The Cornell Republicans said they paid the University $5000 in security fees for the Rick Santorum event it hosted last November.

November 30, 2016

Santorum Calls Protests Disrupting Lecture Sign of ‘Liberal Intolerance’ at Cornell

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During his two presidential campaigns and throughout his terms in the House and Senate, Rick Santorum’s evangelical conservative views prompted protests at his events. His visit to Cornell was no exception.

The Cornell Republicans hosted Santorum as their fall speaker Wednesday night in Statler Auditorium, where he shared his political ideology and expectations for the future of American politics under Donald Trump, the candidate he endorsed for president.

Santorum was confronted by a hostile audience almost continuously throughout his lecture, often forced to pause his talk when his comments were met by jeers, boos and vocal protests. However, one of the tensest moments came after his lecture, in a question and answer session, when a student confronted him on his views on gay conversion therapy.

The student began his question by identifying as both “a gay American and a person of faith.”

“I spent about a decade of my life in conversion therapy,” the student said. “It was abusive, it was fraudulent and it was unethical.”

The student asked Santorum to initiate conversations with Republican leaders about the problems involved in conversion therapy. Santorum replied by encouraging anyone abused to report the incident to the church or law enforcement, in order to ensure that an investigation and report are filed.

“But to suggest that anyone going through that struggle is being counseled in a way that is abusive and fraudulent, when it is in fact within the church’s guidelines, I think is throwing the baby out with the bathwater,” Santorum said.

Earlier in his talk, Santorum said he enjoys speaking on college campuses, where conservative viewpoints are often underrepresented. He acknowledged that most Ivy League universities are overwhelmingly liberal, but said he appreciates the opportunity expose students a diverse array of opinions.

“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.”

Ironically, Santorum’s train of thought was cut short by protesters who stood, raised their fists and interrupted Santorum, challenging his stances.

The lecture, like most Cornell Republican guest events, began with a reading of Cornell’s policy of free speech on campus, which acknowledges students’ right to protest, as long they allow the speaker to articulate his or her views, and allow their fellow students to listen. Santorum’s lecture was paused midway through so that the statement could be read again, as protesters were continually hindering the speaker’s ability to address attendees.

The Cornell Republicans, as well as Santorum, reminded students and community members they would have the chance to speak during the question and answer period at the end of the event.

Chair of Cornell Republicans Olivia Corn ’19 called the protesters “very rude and disrespectful.” Even though she said she understands that many attendees disagree with Santorum’s political views, she said their behavior was not justified.

“I completely understand if you don’t agree with Santorum’s ideology. There are lot of different things I don’t agree with,” she said. “At the same time the childish way that they acted does reflect very badly on the school and makes Cornell look very intolerant … Nobody wants to hear a different opinion and that’s a serious problem and tonight it was exposed.”

Corn stressed the need to “further look into different opinions,” criticizing the way the protesters “shut [Santorum] down” instead of listening to what he had to say.

“That was very disappointing to me as a conservative student on an overwhelmingly liberal campus,” she said.

The lecturer also said that he suspected the students interrupting the speech claimed to champion tolerance around campus. While he noted that the majority of students attending the lecture were respectful, even if they did not agree with his views, he criticized the vocal minority of protestors for exemplifying “liberal intolerance.”

Santorum continued his lecture by speaking about his book, Blue Collar Conservatives, which he wrote in response to the loss of domestic manufacturing jobs. Santorum noted that the offshoring of industrial jobs is a significant problem in the United States and a cause of many Americans’ financial struggles.

Santorum added that wages have decreased because immigrants compete with domestic labor and are willing to work for less, a statement that was met with vocal boos. He also said the United States has welcomed more immigrants in the past 20 years than ever before, which he called a factor of the “increasing American angst.”

Santorum was then interrupted again by an audience member who shouted, “We are all immigrants,” before the audience was reminded again to save comments until the end of the lecture.

“Do you know what ‘the end of the lecture’ means?” Santorum asked. “Do you know what rights and civil liberties are?” shouted another audience member.

During the question and answer session, questions focused on Santorum’s stances on climate change, LGBT rights and religion in relation to politics.

Santorum said he is committed to his Roman Catholic faith and tries to “adhere to what the church teaches.”

“The church says ‘love thy neighbor as yourself,’” he said. “And that’s all your neighbors.”

Another audience member saw the apparent contradiction in this answer, asking how Santorum can preach loving “all your neighbors” without supporting marriage equality.

“The church teaches that marriage is between men and women,” Santorum said. In response to Hillary Clinton’s book It Takes a Village, Santorum wrote the book It Takes a Family.

“Half of American kids today will grow up in a house without a father,” he said, stressing that a two-parent nuclear family is “healthy.”

Santorum concluded by thanking the Cornell Republicans for having him and walked off the stage, leaving the audience to a mix of praise and frustration.

  • David ’15

    Hostile to differing points of views, so much for diversity and inclusiveness. Students on this campus are disrespectful, and cannot tolerate criticism; quite literally the opposite of what the $250,000 Ivy League education is supposed to equip them with.

  • R. v. Fuchs

    A quick note to the Cornell Sun copyeditor:

    Please do a minimum of fact checking before printing articles like this one. Even when it comes to religion, accuracy matters, especially at a university of Cornell’s caliber.

    Evangelicals are a subset of Protestant Christianity. Rick Santorum is a Catholic Christian. By definition, the two groups exclude each other. Accordingly, Santorum cannot hold “evangelical conservative views.” He can only hold Catholic views, even when those views may sound a lot like views some evangelicals also hold. What your author does is the equivalent of accusing a Shi’ite Muslim of holding Salafist views (impossible, because Salafism is a Sunni subset, and Sunnis and Shi’ites are mutually exclusive groups) or a Reform Jew of holding Chasidic views (ditto, as Chasidic Jews are a subset of Haredi Judaism). It’s a pretty obvious error, and simple to check.

    I think the phrase your author was looking for may have been “religious conservative views,” “conservative Christian views,” “socially conservative views,” “socially reactionary views,” or something of that nature.

    Thanks for encouraging basic cultural literacy in your writers and readers!

  • MJB

    Whoa. So much for freedom of speech and the sacred First Amendment. Guess what? Your views are protected under the same values that protect the criticism of them. Welcome to democracy.

  • Selfr

    It’s not about honoring “differing opinions”. The guy is a despicable bigot and racist, and there is no room in civilized society for “equal time” for him. He is only propped up by other bigots and racists, or those too uninformed to see him for what he is. Look at his extensive track record of hate. Would you invite a klansman to hear his “alternate opinions”, as well?

    • MMM

      Exactly the point Santorum was making. Intolerance from the side of “tolerance.” So basically, any views that do not agree with your own are not worthy of discussion, or belong in a civilized society. You prove Santorum’s point exactly. Good job.

      • Selfr

        No, it’s not about views which do not agree with my own. It’s views which are plainly based on racism and bigotry- which HAVE NO PLACE AT THE TABLE, BUT WHICH ARE SUPPORTED AND MADE ACCEPTABLE BY OTHER RACISTS AND BIGOTS.

        Did you even read my post? Apparently not, because I just had to repeat it for you.

        • …………

          try reading up some SC cases cases on free speech you liberal arts scrub.
          god no wonder the liberal arts arts are dying.

        • Lost on the Left

          People like you are why people like Santorum can gain support. Why do you think we have a president Trump now? Are you really so lost in your echo chamber as to think extreme xenophobia is that wide spread and not that there could be good reasons for his success? You really think you have morality all figured out and are so enlightened, and yet understand only one narrow ideology. The other 99% of the population is not a bunch of savages compared to us. They have a lot more behind their views than you give them credit. You have to fully understand them before you can hope to change things for the better. People like you make me embarrassed to be on the left.

      • Selfr

        Read “Cornellian”‘s response made at 8:17am, below. No, really, read it… and think about it. THEN you will see what we are talking about. That person made the point about as well as you can make it, and I dare anyone to refute it.

        It’s amazing how in a land of freedom-of-religion, many of those who are from certain religions, want us all to live by their religion’s criteria. HILARIOUS, BUT A PAINFUL truth about how these people think… Using religion as a shield against bigotry and hate… and then empowering their politicians to legislate this hate.

        • Lost on the Left

          You guys act like Santorum is the next Hitler proposing concentration camps or something. I hate him as much as the next person and disagree with him on basically everything, but you can’t even listen to what he’s saying (which you clearly don’t understand). It’s so much easier to attack a straw man than attempt to truly understand your opposition’ s viewpoint. People like him gain traction because people like us are too busy being disruptive and putting forth BS arguments propped up by emotion and logical fallacies instead of making real arguments against him. The people in the middle see us throw temper tantrums while the right puts forth arguments that are weak, but at least something surprisingly nuanced compared to the people on the left that always seem to be the standard bearers.

      • MJB

        Santorum supports measures that would redefine academic freedom (a “secular liberal” value that conservatives LOVE to borrow opportunistically) at all levels of education, installing non-science in science classes while privileging Christianity over any other ideology, religious or otherwise. He continuously inflicts his radical conservatism on people who are doing no harm to others, but are just trying to live their lives. He promotes unscientific and oppressive notions of sexuality and reproduction and dismisses victims of rape as responsible for “making the best out of it.” Santorum is gross.

        Cornell is a research university that is host to a number of policies that would condemn, possibly expel or fire, a student, a professor or an administrator who tried to promote the kinds of things he has built his political reputation upon. So why should he deserve an unperturbed platform here?

        A “civilized society” includes the right to assembly, speech, and yes, religion. All piled under the same Amendment. So we protest his misinformation and agenda of oppression; he gets to try to make his terrible points. One big happy civilized society, no?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santorum_Amendment
        http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/10-completely-vile-things-rick-santorum-has-said-20150528
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/23/rick-santorum-abortion-rape_n_1224624.html

    • Dirk

      The views of BLM are despicable. The views of socialists are despicable. The views of open borders advocates are despicable. But yes, these views should not be suppressed.

  • vocal married radical fairy

    Unfortunately, Santorum like all politicians in our elitist democracy thinks all speech is equal, whether it’s spoken by a corporation, a journalist, a student, a domestic worker or a politician who is miked and paid to be speaking. Although they are all equally protected speech they are not equally free nor are they equally amplified. I’m sorry to say to all the republicans and accomdationist democrats in the room who patiently waited in line to respectfully ask their intelligent and well-informed questions, only to have them ignored or outright dismissed after Santorum spent 10 minutes dancing and dodging each of the five he took (of fifty questioners on line), your participation in Santorum’s self promotional spectacle only served to prove the powerlessness of electoral spectator politics.

    Trump won because our elitist democracy and its institutions are broken. The willful fantasy that dialogue among equals is possible in a setting like tonight’s talk only proves the tremendous lack of imagination that is the real ill of left and right alike. A middle ground between bad and worse is still not good. We have to think outside of what is given, outside of the auditorium where future elites talk to today’s governing elfites. To make a religious reference little cited by those who cite scripture most often, we must chant down Babylon.

    • free speech matters

      Trump won because of elites? Really?

      • vocal married radical fairy

        @ Free speech matters: Please read more carefully.

        He won b/c we live in an broken _elitist democracy_.

        Hillary Clinton won the _popular vote_ by more than 2 million voters. Donald Trump won the _electoral college_, a system that blunts the voice of the people. Trump did not win _b/c of elites_ (which is not what I said), he won _b/c our elitist democracy_ channels all political expression into the incredibly limited act of voting by which we can choose between a bigoted elite or a relatively enlightened one (when it comes to cultural questions). It’s a false choice that has the added benefit of discouraging everyday politics and pacifying dissent. We should also bear in mind that Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Rick Santorum, the liberal and conservative news media, and a good part of Cornell students and their families pertain to political and/or capitalist elites. So, he didn’t win b/c of elites, but his win is another win for the elites.

        If the system is broken, reform it or work outside of it. Neither democrats nor republicans nor the capitalist class are willing to do either –hence the intense effort to normalize Trump to ensure he doesn’t inaugurate American fascism–, b/c the status quo of elitist neoliberal democracy is good for them. But that status quo is bad for the electorate, regardless of party affiliation. A billionaire like Donald Trump and his incoming cabinet represent the status quo when it comes to the smooth functioning of capitalism (so too would a Clinton administration).

        The only change that Trump will affect is the normalization of bigotry in its many forms, which is exactly what we saw last night at Santorum’s talk. That’s worth fighting against, b/c the lives of women, black and brown, muslim, and LBTQ people are on the line.

        • great idea

          yes lets run things by the popular vote instead.

          in other words anyone who is not from california illinois or new york can go fuck themselves right you liberal arts brat??

          • vmrf

            Yes, at least it would be the voice of the people and not the electoral college. The country has changed a lot since 1787 and 1804. The constitution should change with it. Adapt or die (perhaps that’s too much like the theory of evolution for someone defending Rick Santorum?)

            And, please, there’s no need for name calling!

    • Chad

      sure we can get rid of the electoral college and in return california new new york and illinois does loses a lot of the clout they have in elections so it wont be a curbstomp in favor of those states you activist nutjob.

      • vmrf

        Sure. At least whoever wins our corporately funded/bought elections can claim the to have a backing of the majority of the people.

        And, Chad, please, there’s no need to use anonymity as excuse for rudeness.

  • Selfr

    By the way, evangelical Christian views are not conservative Catholic views. The other commentor was right. Evangelicals think that Catholicism is a cult, that it represents the “whore of Babylon”, and that its followers are going to burn in hell. Not my words, theirs. (Check the famous Chick’s tracts, or drop in on a born-again service- I’ve done both) I’m an outsider to religion, but have studied it enough over 5 decades to know the difference.

  • CornellSoLiberal

    The Liberals at Cornell exert their ideological privilege to oppress and marginalized other viewpoints

  • Curious

    I’d like to hear more about how Mr. Santorum is prepared to be accountable for the consequences of his policies, and whether he takes personal responsibility for those consequences. His reaction as reported here shoes him to be more intent on criticizing those who would hold him accountable.

  • Cornellian

    Some guy thinking I should be psychologically tortured in a conversion “therapy”, who wants me to live under his religious views on contraception and family life (im atheist, so much for my religious freedom) isn’t offering me just a “differing opinion”, he is telling me he wants to take away my freedoms and has to power as a politician to do it. Diversity of opinion is great, but the way institutions frame discussions and allocate platforms shouldn’t follow the philosophy of “let’s give Hitler 5 minutes to make his case on the Jewish question and the Jews 5 minutes to make their case”. We should realize that there is a difference between having an opinion on taxes and having an opinion on whether a fellow citizen who hasn’t harmed anyone should have their freedoms taken away just because you don’t like the way they live their life.

  • Don

    I was disgusted by the intolerance, disrespect and quite frankly the immature behavior of a segment of this crowd. If my children, University of Scranton ’14 of Marywood ’17 ever acted in this manner by treating anyone with total disrespect, they’d be paying their own tuition and told welcome to adulthood; where you do have the right to do what you want and experience the consequences that come with them. I traveled 35 miles to witness what you see every night somewhere on the news. Do America a favor lock them in their “crying rooms” and throw away the key …

  • Andy K.

    I’m a Cornell alum. Graduated 35 years ago. I was “liberal” then — and still classify myself that way. But I’m disgusted that members of the Cornell community would disrupt Santorum’s remarks in the way that was described. Cornell should be a place where opposing viewpoints are welcomed — or at least tolerated. Then people can discuss them, debate them, argue about them as much as they want. But please, give people the courtesy to let them speak. If you don’t want to attend, stay home. But please let others have the opportunity to listen, without disruption — and decide for themselves what they think. You’re trying to create a bubble on campus where no one with opposing views — even those you find repulsive — can express them without being shouted down. That is inconsistent with American values and Cornell’s values. When you leave Cornell you’re going to find that some people of deep faith may have views that you will find distasteful; but they’re not bad people. They’re just wired differently. Personally, I find Santorum’s views repulsive, but he has every right to believe what he believes and say what he says. We already have MSNBC where you can tune in, watch all day and hear only the types of liberal views you want to hear — please don’t turn Cornell into MSNBC.

    • Alumnus

      I generally agree with this post. I oppose probably everything that Santorum stands for, but I do believe he should be given the chance to speak. I do think it’s unfair to say that “they’re just wired differently.” He wasn’t ‘wired’ to oppose gay rights, women’s health initiatives, or sustainable climate practices. He actively chooses to oppose all of those things. He makes that choice every day to discriminate against groups of people and put his own interests above those of the health of the world climate. To say “they’re wired that way” is similar to saying someone does not choose to be gay or straight. This is true – people do not consciously choose their sexuality. They do, however, choose how they treat individuals, and how they let their faith unlawfully seep into their government. I think a distinction should be made.

  • borris batanov

    I do not agree with what Santorum says, but will fight to the last for his right to say it.

    And, of course, in the universe of Cornell “activists”, Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler, tasteless trash which demeans women, is a hero and icon of freedom of speech.

    Freedom of speech applies to everyone. You may demonstrate against the messenger and his message, but you cannot shut him up.

    • Selfr

      I do love the 1st Amendment too, but there is a line to be drawn when it comes to hate speech. This was/is not a debate about him coming to speak about taxes or unions. It’s outrage at giving an individual known for his bigotry and hate speech- and who is trying to legislate hate- a forum. Would you give Hitler, or the Grand Wizard of the KKK their place on that stage?

      • borris batanov

        Yes, I would and have. And there were demonstrators and bomb threats. (Know and confront your enemy.)

        Comparison of Santorum to Hitler and the Grand Wizard is specious, revealing a weak mind prone to excess.

        He’s no more noxious than Obama, an arrogant tyrant used to hectoring people.

        • Selfr

          So you either don’t know Santorum’s previous words and actions of discrimination well enough, and the dangers to democracy that these pose- or you are one of him. No matter whether you hate Obama or love him enough to want to sniff his jock strap, there is no place for discrimination in a democracy. The “weak mind prone to excess” is the mind that ignores discrimination because “Santorum’s on our side”

          • borris batanov

            I have heard Santorum in nationally televised debates and seen him on TV. I didn’t hear any hate or bigotry, just religious conservatism, which I and the majority of Americans, do not subscribe to.

            Obama is far more dangerous because he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Julian Assange, for example, has stated that Obama has done more to curtail the freedom of the press than any other US President. And Assange is not alone.

            Obama has subverted US laws & the Constitution, flouted crony capitalism, and lied at every opportunity. He is the prefect example of Orwell’s Animal Farm, where all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

      • Dirk

        You hate the first amendment and you have no understanding of it. I would give anyone a platform who wants it. Stay home if you don’t like it. What are you worried about? That someone might be offended? You are a moron.

      • great idea

        but there is a line to be drawn when it comes to hate speech

        great idea. then when your ideas become old and prejudiced you can get in trouble too. you have no idea what your doing do you?

        • dirk

          No, there is no line between free speech and hate speech.

  • Selfr

    Trust me, I hated that Trump won, but I celebrate the process of his win as part of our democracy. Without our process, you have Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea- they all have elections.

    But a democracy has to draw a line on hate, and especially on religious persecution under the guise of “religious freedoms”. Practice as you see fit within your home, Mr. Santorum, but don’t force your religion on everyone else. Yet, Santorum and his followers use this guise of democracy and religious freedom to empower him to legislate discrimination and hate. Discrimination and hate is not supposed to be a part of “a differing opinion” in a democracy. Remember that “all men are created equal”, thing? Not if you are Santorum (and his followers) and you are talking about anyone LGBTQ. I’m straight, by the way, but I know hate and intolerance when I see it.

    • borris batanov

      “Mr. Santorum, but don’t force your religion on everyone else.”

      Christianity and Islam exhort their f0llowers to proselytize. Many have died and continue to die because of this.

      • Selfr

        Yes, that is where we will AGREE!- and why it is wrong, and why it has no place in a democracy, and why I am an atheist. Live and let live. (Which Santorum does not want to do.)
        Even earlier in life, when I was raised Catholic, I believed it was something you did in your heart, in your home, and did not force your beliefs on everyone else. A democracy is not a place for forcing one’s religious beliefs/practices on others.

        • borris batanov

          Religions may proselytize, but cannot force anyone, not in the US. Parents, however, can.

          Agree with him or not, Santorum is free to express his ideas about homosexuality, abortion or anything else. This is what makes America strong, America great.

          • Separation of church and state

            Christianity is still running rampant in US politics. Republicans almost shut down the government recently in their efforts to defund and shut down planned parenthood. Their religious beliefs caused them to attempt to shut down the government.

  • Emaar

    I detest Santorum and just about everything he stands for, but I also deplore those who attempt to disrupt and shout down him or any other speaker that they disagree with. Such conduct does nothing to advance your causes or beliefs, and it is vital that the marketplace of ideas be allowed to flourish so that the truly superior ideas will ultimately be legitimized and accepted by society.

    • vocal married radical fairy

      The marketplace where all voices and all ideas stand on an equal playing field, right? Where all voices are equally amplified by donor money and speaking engagements and media coverage and advertisements? Sounds like free market fundamentalism applied to political discourse. I’m happy to talk to you in this forum where we are on something like an equal playing field, but Santorum is not equal players in a “marketplace of ideas” unless that marketplace is made up exclusively of ideas proffered by political and capitalist elites. You can see that in the way the very format of the event: Santorum’s magnanimous openness to other’s opinions in the Q&A –which he skillfully dodged and weaved – and his running down the clock with circuitous answers so that 5 of about 50 questioners could actually ask their questions.

  • Dirk

    If “hate” speech is shut down, there will be no political speech at all. After all, leftists hate the police, white people, older folks, men, capitalists, Christians, straight people, rich people, and those who obey the law (I’m sure I missed a few). After all, if leftists could not rain their hate down on these groups, they would have absolutely nothing to say.

  • Ezra Tank

    I don’t agree with all of Santorum’s views but the students that interrupted him and booed just PROVED his points.

    I don’t agree with open borders, men peeing in women’s bathrooms, “free” college but I can understand the other side of that argument without interrupting that person.

    Look back at the whole election and see which side constantly interrupted and got violent? It wasn’t the people that leaned Republican.

    Again the left preaches tolerance … until you disagree with them then they lazily throw out the terms racist, bigot … etc etc …

    • vocal married radical fairy

      I like the slippage from interrupting a talk to interrupting an election (?) by getting violent. If I get your insinuation, then the organizers of last night’s free-speech charade should have sent in the police to keep the peace… and the K-9 units for good measure (and added intimidation)!

      Liberals may preach tolerance; not the left as a whole. (Again, the narrowness of the American political imagination where there are only two positions). Fortunately, I’m not a liberal and I’m about as tolerant of people like Rick Santorum as Rick Santorum is of people like me, which is to say, not at all.

  • Afraid

    I HATE Rick Santorum. I disagree with him on just about everything. And yet, I am equally repulsed by the bigoted, anti-intellectual crowd we gave him. I think if we all agree that he’s unworthy of serious conversation, we should give him an empty lecture hall. Coming to his lecture to boo and such undermines your own position, and in turn, my position. Nobody has ever, EVER been persuaded by that crap. Outside the bubble of academia people generally recognize how immoral, offensive, and destructive to our society this behavior is. To a rational person without strong opinions about the issues discussed, Santorum made better arguments for his bat-shit crazy ideas than all the protestors and other students. That is pathetic, sad, and scary.

    To more concretely illustrate what I’m trying to convey, imagine we had a vocal flat Earth proponent come speak on campus. I’d just not come. But let’s say you’re in the mood to debate. Staging a protest or booing or preventing the talk from proceeding would be mind-numbingly idiotic actions to take. Pressing the speaker with your conflicting personal experience or other form of antecedent would hopefully never persuade anybody with half a brain. Complaining about how personally offensive you find their position and announcing what harm they are doing and what a horrible person they are is also egregious. If you want to confront them, the only rational, intelligent approach is to give sound, legitimate reasons for why you disagree with them. Tell them about Eratosthenes’s brilliant method of measuring the Earth with two sticks. Explain how we can observe the motions of objects in the night sky and how the data fits 2-body, 3-body, and n-body models of a heliocentric solar system. Explain to them how angular momentum conservation influences the evolution of celestial structures. Show that it’s mathematically impossible to construct a consistent set of governing equations for the observed orbits if we assume a geocentric solar system. Give them reasons, not this disgraceful bullshit. And people wonder how we let Trump win.

  • Maldon the Great

    I have been a loyal and active Cornellian for a very long time. I have attended and enjoyed every one of my Class reunions, including my 50th just last June. I have not always agreed with the statements of people who live and work under the Big Red Umbrella. But I have never seen events as appalling as those transpiring at my beloved alma mater since the election. The disruptive behavior of students at the Santorum lecture is inappropriate just about anywhere, and especially at CORNELL. What a shonda!

  • David Morthland, ILR–’62

    JOIN MY PROTEST: When I attended Cornell [58-62], I heard Gus Hall, then Chairman of the US Communist Party, speak at Bailey Hall, where he openly advocated and encouraged the violent, forceful overthrow of the US Govt. [which if successful, would in turn destroy his very right to make the speech he was then giving]. No mater how despicable it was, he was allowed to do so w/o any disturbance or disruption of the nature Rick Santorum just faced in his recent talk at Cornell. Worse than that, Ann Coulter, a Cornell graduate, in the not too distant past, was forced to cancel a scheduled speaking engagement at Cornell, her own alma mater, due to threats of violence and bodily harm by both faculty and student protestors who disagreed with her views; yet one more example of the liberal so called party of ‘tolerance’ taking the ‘high’ road with their crybaby bullying acts of unruly protest against anybody who might have a view on an issue different than their own!!! So much for the so called self labeled ‘diverse’ university!?!
    When will the Cornell President and its Board of Trustees wake up and do something to put a stop to such despicable conduct.
    This is one alumni, an issue driven political independent, who will continue to protest with my pocketbook. Since the ‘Coulter incident’, Cornell has seen the last $ it will ever see from me until, at a minimum, it [a] restores some real diversity and balance in it’s ultra left wing faculty pushing their ultra left ideas in its classrooms and, [b.] openly adopts, institutes, and implements stated policy clearly demonstrating that ‘free speech’ will be respected and protected at Cornell w/o one more ‘Coulter’ or ‘Santorum’ type incident being allowed to take place w/o serious consequences.
    So, no matter what your ‘giving capacity, [a 1o$ figure, a 6 figure, or a 7 or more figure gift], I invite you, as a student or alumni, to please join my protest and boycott by speaking with your pocket book. Let them hear from us, once and for all, stronger than horseradish. Maybe, something will finally be done to stop this nonsense!