Sunday, November 20, 2005

Student perspective on Ayers (& others) at Monmouth

I've had a chance to meet with one of the rare openly conservative students on Monmouth College's campus -- we spoke for a few minutes before Bill Ayers began his little dance down revisionist alley, and this young man had a few things worth sharing. He has forwarded to me his reply to a number of campus bulletin board postings (closed to public access), and invited me to share his words with any other interested parties. Below is the e-mail (minus one non-related, technically-oriented opening sentence and some e-mail addresses. If you wish to contact Benjamin Sauer, please let me know, and I will forward your comments to him).

Rebekah -

Here is my posting:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the liberal student body of Monmouth College for making us conservatives on campus feel so welcome. As one of the few "out-of-the-closet" conservatives on campus and the founder of the Conservative Coalition, I felt that maybe I should both thank and apologize to the Monmouth community on behalf of the campus conservatives for our recent "blind attacks."

First, we would like to thank all of the liberals who have seen fit to post on this discussion board about our flyers and handouts, since, unlike our flyers, these posts can't be ripped down from walls or boards. This is advertising we couldn't even begin to pay for, so we thank you--what organization doesn't like free advertising?

Secondly, we would like to thank the liberals who have given us a short, easily remembered name: the CC. Does this mean you like us? Don't worry, we like you libs (see, we can return the favor!), too.

Thirdly, we would like to thank the liberal faculty and student body for making us feel very welcome in the "open dialogue" that is Monmouth's "intellectual discourse." We are truly happy to see that our opinions and ideas are welcomed in that dialogue and discourse. Oh, I'm sorry; I think what I meant to say was that if the dialogue and discourse were truly "open" and "intellectual," then our opinions would be given an opportunity in that discourse, instead of being rejected as "reactionary," "one sided mantras," "misguided," or given "to pettiness." Thank you for viewing our position as one that "denigrate[s] the name of this institution and what it stands for." With such an openness to different opinions, we can't understand why there hasn't been a more active conservative organization on campus.

Fourthly, we would like to thank the liberals on campus for correcting us conservatives on our policies and views. What would we ever do without such friends? Who else would spoon feed us liberalism in the guise of conservativism?

Now, I know we have probably forgotten to thank you for many things, so our first apology to you will be for forgetting all the other things for which we owe you thanks.

Our second apology, though, is for mobilizing a campus to attend a speech. We have been accused of "post[ing] all of these signs in annoying colors and mobiliz[ing] a campus to go and see this speaker." We have now realized the error of piquing the campus's interest in a speaker, and we would like to apologize for it; we are now sure that the interest the education and sociology departments aroused in the speech was greater than ours. Actually, we would like to apologize for all of the times in the future when we hopefully will be "mobiliz[ing] a campus." Come to think of it, we should thank you for that statement. We are a completely new, miniscule organization--the fact that we have been credited with "mobiliz[ing] a campus" gives us great hopes for what we can do in the future when we are more established.

The third apology is for using a "sadistic and obnoxious" shade of pink for some of our "annoying" flyers. If the liberals on campus could please decide on the more humane shades of pink so that we might use them for our next flyers, we would greatly appreciate it. We wouldn't want to disturb your seemingly delicate sensiblities. We would also like to apologize for how effective our flyers were in conveying our opinion about the speaker and their effectiveness in helping us "mobiliz[e]" the campus (please see above for our apology about piquing the campus's interest about a topic).

Fourthly, we would like to apologize for learning to read. This seems to have caused quite a bit of confusion, since we read the announcement posted by the college on the internet and the few flyers placed on campus by the college. On the college website, the announcement says that "...the free lecture [was] sponsored by the departments of education and sociology-anthropology." Obviously, we can see why Professor Vivian would say that the speech was not sponsored by the education department--we must have just mistook it to be because he was an education professor. Also, the title of the speech, according to the website, is "My Heart is not Weary: Reflection on Life on the Run," which was supposed to discuss "...his life on the run for his involvement with dissident organizations." The announcement specifically mentions how he "turn[ed] himself into the FBI in 1981." Since his speech never progressed beyond 1968, we apologize for having expected a speech that discussed his life as suspect of the government. If you read our handouts, which were not printed on "sadistic and obnoxious pink" paper, the bombings that led to his life as a suspect from the government began in 1970. We will try to avoid making these observations known to the campus in the future, since they seem to cause controversy. Additionally, we will try not to read the college's announcements about speakers in the future in order to avoid these types of confusion.

Fifthly, we want to apologize for adding to the intellectual discussions and diversity at Monmouth, especially concerning terrorism. As the discussion board evidences, students are now discussing what terrorism actually is and what actions could be defined as terrorism. We cannot promise to avoid this type of mistake in the future; thus, we would like to take the time now to apologize for all further intellectual discussions that may arise due to our actions. We know that this may be hard for some people, so we feel that with prior warning you should be able to ready yourself to cope with discussion.

Sixthly, we want to apologize for calling a terrorist a terrorist. This is our mistake. We will try to avoid calling something what it is in the future. The new "one line mantra" to open our meetings shall be two plus two equals five.

We would like to apologize for this seventh time for giving people the interpretation that we wished to eradicate all of campus liberalism, which some believe to be our "stated goal." If you wish to view our "stated goal[s]," we would be more than willing to send you a copy of our constitution, which has under Article II (ironically entitled Purpose) the goals of our organization. The slogan that has caused so much angst and confusion shall be taken into consideration, since we must apologize that the "Liberal Arts education" touted by so many has been confused with the word "liberalism" in our slogan. While the slogan is taken under consideration, we advise you to ready yourselves to be angry and irritated with our new slogan. Actually, if the liberals on campus could compile a list of slogans that they would prefer we not use, this would be greatly appreciated. We wouldn't want to expose you to controversial and differing opinions through our slogan.

We apologize now for an eigth matter--mocking the terrorist's title of "distinguished scholar." We erroneously held to the notion posited by the president of the Fordham Institute, whose president stated, "[W]hat does it say about this country's view of teachers and the proper preparation of those to whom we will entrust our children that a major state university confers so solemn a responsibility on such a person?" We will attempt to keep our opinions safely within the realm accepted by the liberal majority of Monmouth College; however, we must apologize now for any future failures.

Ninthly, we apologize for failing to see the "roundedness" provided by Monmouth College in their selection of speakers. The examples of Dinesh D'Souza and Mike Adams are two conservative speakers that gave talks in two differing years. Additionally, the Mike Adams speech was sponsored by the College Republicans and not the college itself. Thus, the last conservative speaker to be hosted by the college itself and not through an organization on campus was Dinesh D'Souza, which was two years ago. We apologize for not understanding that a conservative speaker hosted by the college every two years is equal to the hosting of several liberal speakers each year. We apologize now for any incident in the future where this issue may be raised.

Tenthly, we apologize for causing a "public outcry" to a terrorist, since the public should never be upset about terrorists coming to their areas or speaking for education departments. Also, we would like to thank the liberals for deeming our small measure against Monmouth's encouragement of terrorism as one resulting in "public outcry." This gives us hope for the type of "public outcry" that we can have once the organization becomes established. In that same measure, we apologize for believing that the "circus" that resulted after Mike Adams spoke was the result of his actions, since we erroneously attributed it to the actions of Professor Farhat Haq. We must apologize for continuing to believe this after you so graciously "corrected" us otherwise.

For an eleventh time, we apologize. This time, though, we apologize for your being "...sad to hear that people would choose to use their freedom of speech to do such a thing when it is contrary to the beliefs of the Liberal Arts education." We mistakenly believed a Liberal Arts education allowed the presentation of all views and opinions on a subject, which is why we used our "freedom of speech to do such a thing." Hopefully, the liberals on campus can aid us conservatives in knowing what is and what is not a proper use of our freedom of speech.

Finally, I would like to thank Luis Oviedo, Silvia Fabela, Sharon David, and Donato Latrofa for their excellent postings, without which I would not be able to write this one. All of the quotations scattered throughout the page are taken from one of their postings unless otherwise indicated--I would not want to plagerize their thoughtful postings.

We hope that the liberals on campus can one day accept conservativism in the "open dialogue" some claim exists here. Additionally, we hope that with the continued activism of the Conservative Coalition (a.k.a. the CC), the many closet conservatives on campus will feel ready to break free from their constrictive closets into a safe zone of conservativism.

Benjamin Sauer
Founding Chairman, Conservative Coalition

"You don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing--Liberalism!"

That is it in its entirety. I hope you find it enjoyable!!

frankly, Benjamin, I found it very much so!

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