By: Associate Editor Alec Dent
This past week, the Carolina student body gave Ben Shapiro a big ol’ Chapel Hill welcome; which is to say they wrote negative letters to the editor, staged a walk out, and called him, and all other conservatives, every name in the book. On a rather amusing side note, the protestors demonstrated an incredible lack of timing, leaving only moments after Shapiro said walk outs were the weapon of the close-minded. Sadly, this sort of response was expected as college students across the nation are forgetting what it means to engage in civil debate.
This point of view was epitomized in a public letter to UNC students written by the chairwoman of the Carolina Union Board of Directors, Jaelyn Coates, and signed on behalf of all members of the board (which, by the way, includes students as well as faculty members). Coates opened the letter saying the board wrote “in the spirit of upholding our values of diversity and inclusivity,” and proceeded to explain that the best way to uphold these values was though preventing certain voices from being heard, the obvious interpretation of which was a condemnation of the Shapiro event.
The counter to this view was eloquently expressed by our own Frank Pray, in a response to the Carolina Union Board of Director’s letter. “Their call for safe spaces flies in the face of the express purpose of a liberal arts university. The purpose of such an institution, of OUR institution, is to allow all viewpoints to express their ideas, to debate those ideas, and, after having done so, to attempt to find the truth.”