Dean of Students says Professor Andrews ‘did not take issue with students based on their political views’ in new statement
Amy Badal released an official statement to The Tab
Dean of Students, Amy Badal, responded to The Tab‘s request for a statement regarding the email sent out to all professors by Professor Marcellus Andrews, which called for a “steep and lasting price” to be imposed on students who invited Milo Yiannopoulos to campus last year.
Badal’s statement says the university supports free speech and believes the nature of the email has been “mischaracterized on social media.” Badal said the university has been in contact with both Tom Ciccotta and Professors Andrews and that both parties agreed the email sent out was not a call to violence. The university “values and encourages the free exchange of diverse ideas and perspectives.”
In January, Professor Andrews sent out an email to all faculty, responding to Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech on campus last year. In his email, he said:
“The fascist should be allowed to speak — even on Bucknell’s dime — but the targets of his abuse need to be able to impose a steep and lasting price on the racists and fascists that invited him — since ‘free speech’ is the demand that government refrain from sanctioning speech, not a general principle that vicious speech is without a social price in general.”
Badal’s statements follow Tom Ciccotta’s, Bretibart contributor and Bucknell student’s, introduction to Christina Hoff Sommers, another controversial speaker on campus. During the introduction, Ciccotta said:
“I want to be clear: Professor Andrews’ conduct and the university’s weak response is not acceptable. I will do everything in my power to ensure that every living conservative and libertarian Bucknellian and their wallets know that our university finds Professor Andrews’ ugly public threat to be an acceptable form of conduct for our faculty.”
A professor instructed students to "impose a steep and lasting price" on me for my political beliefs. Here is how I responded. pic.twitter.com/842hXAkCBt
— Tommy John (@tciccotta) February 10, 2017
The full transcript of the university’s statement can be read below:
“We have spent considerable time reviewing the email in question, as well as a follow-up emails between the student and faculty member. We have discussed the emails with both individuals, and they both agree that none of the notes call for violence. The University feels that the faculty member who authored the original email should have been more thoughtful in crafting his message, and, after discussing the situation with him, it’s clear he agrees he should have chosen his words more carefully. That said, his original email has been mischaracterized on social media and in various blogs.
It’s important to understand that the initial email was a 2,100 word, 10-paragraph statement, and it needs to be taken in its full context as opposed to excerpting a few brief lines of text. Doing so makes clear that the author supports free speech, regardless of political views and perspectives, but that he believes those who support speech that others find offensive must be prepared to be intellectually and socially challenged for that support. Specific to the event that occurred last semester and that the faculty member referenced in his original email, he did not take issue with students based on their political views, as some have alleged. Rather, he singled out the event organizers because of the nature of the event itself, which was, by the organizers’ own account, meant to be provocative.
Bucknell University values and encourages the free exchange of diverse ideas and perspectives. That’s the very reason the University supported and, in fact, helped facilitate the event referenced in the email, despite strong opposition from some in our campus community who called for the administration to cancel the speech. Ultimately, this is a conversation about ideas and diverse viewpoints — a conversation that fosters the development of the critical thinking skills Bucknell promises to deliver its students.”