“Freedom Matters” Website Portarays False Image of Colgate

Chrissy Hart

As I was walking through the Coop this week, I noticed an abundance of signs declaring “Save Colgate” and listing a web address: www.sa4c.com. “Save Colgate from what?” I thought to myself. Like any curious college student, I went to the website and was appalled at what I found. The heading on the homepage reads, “Freedom Matters: No Political Cleansing” with a headline asserting that, “The Culture Wars Have Come to Colgate.” In summary, the website declares that Colgate is being overtaken by ‘militant liberalism’ and asserts that, “At Colgate, diversity and tolerance only extend to those who share a progressive view. Those who espouse traditional values are not welcome. We are alarmed, angry and compelled to protect this great institution.” It goes on to blame the Board of Trustees, administration,””antagonistic” faculty, as well as the””Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgendered-Questioning cohort Colgate is seeking to attract” for placing””increasing emphasis on whether students feel good about themselves rather than their ability to master a”core curriculum.” Call me crazy, but I beg to differ. One of the things I treasure about Colgate as a left-leaning political science major is the effectiveness with which this institution embodies a plethora of varying and often opposing views. Over the past few years, we’ve hosted prominent speakers, such as Bill Bradley, Spike Lee, Hilary Clinton, Anne Coulter and Ed Koch – a group that embody views spanning the political and ideological spectrums. In my own experience as a political science major, I’ve taken courses with professors whose political views have ranged from liberal to conservative and everywhere in between. Regardless of my professors’ political preferences, I can happily say that in no class at Colgate have I ever felt inundated with any particular viewpoint. I commend Colgate professors for, on the whole, succeeding at the presentation of balanced perspectives on a host of issues. Further, the indictment that the “liberal militants” are somehow “dumbing-down” the curriculum is, quite frankly, preposterous. Each year, our national ranking improves and admission becomes more selective, giving a Colgate degree more and more weight in the ‘real world.’ The ‘Freedom Matters’ website suggests that “the trend at Colgate is to create a student body of androgynous graduate … who all tow the line of political correctness.” Again, I’d like to disagree. Another factor that I believe sets Colgate apart from comparable institutions is the prevalence of a range of views in any given classroom. I’ve taken classes in concentrations ranging from political science to education to religion in which students verbalized a variety of liberal, moderate, and conservative views – all to the betterment of our educational experience. Furthermore, I’ve never experienced a classroom in which non-liberal views were unwelcome by the professor. Finally, as an intern at the COVE, I’ve been significantly aware of and involved in the political activities surrounding the Presidential election on campus. I can honestly and happily report that all of these events have had an important degree of bipartisan participation that has made them informative and fair. From mock party conventions to panel discussions, Colgate students and faculty have done a thorough job of making sure that all voices are heard. Finally, I’d like to point out that the website does not attribute its viewpoints to any particular persons or group. I find it interesting that people so vehemently concerned with the state and future of Colgate don’t find it necessary to identify themselves. Colgate University is not the same institution that it was in 1819 or even 1990. We’ve retained a strong Liberal Arts tradition while adapting to the world of academia today – a world where we embrace differing views and experiences be it liberal or conservative, gay or straight.