Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Initial Thoughts on Pomona Email

Please note, we are waiting for CMC to respond to the email. We should reserve judgment on Feldblum's allegations until then. As far as public communications are concerned, CMC President Pamela Gann has handled this situation very appropriately -- in fact she has handled this better than I could have expected.

As such, we should not deny CMC a response in this matter. I find it very unprofessional that Pomona Dean of Students Miriam Feldblum would have the gall to start an email war with CMC's administration. She obviously knew that her email to the Pomona students would have been leaked to us and found its way into administration hands (I'm assuming she did not blind carbon copy our administration).

We cannot ignore that Pomona has a lot to account for. It is obvious given Dean Feldblum's comments to David and Kyle personally, as well as her email today, that Dean Holmes' letter banning Kyle and David was factually inaccurate. It accused them of breaking college policies. Dean Feldblum admits that they had never done so, and the ban was supposedly because of their "behavior" and violation of "community trust."

It seems that Pomona was acting hastily, irrationally, and inconsistently. That said, if she truly did believe that due process had been conducted by CMC, she is on slightly stronger grounds to defend herself. As such, we should wait and see how this plays out, and not rush to conclusions. This late-night letter to the Pomona students merits the wait for a response before forming judgment.

None of this changes the fact, however, that Pomona still owes David and Kyle an apology for what, in the end, was its own actions. While it matters a great deal how and why this decision was made, none of it matters in terms of an apology now that Pomona has slandered the two students. Pomona should immediately issue its apology.

Other notes from the letter:

"I didn't consent to be videotaped" definitely did NOT mean in this context to turn it off. See the video (a couple posts below) to decide for yourself. They were arguing about whether the tape had to be deleted and whether they had broken any laws. David offered multiple times to leave.

It has been well established that the video recording was NOT secretive, and not in any mean spirit. Again, watch it for yourself.

On the forum:

As David rightly says in the comment section, VOX and the WU refuse to debate on the abortion issue. Check out this post that I wrote not long ago about how abortion activists are instructed to avoid debating the issue. Here are the relevant sections:

Shields also illustrates the frustration pro-life students face who want to engage in debate on the issue, because liberal activists on campus are actively discouraged from debating. Writes Shields,

Such frustration is fueled by NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood, whose leaders discourage their campus affiliates from debating or even talking to pro-life students. NARAL’s ‘Campus Kit for Pro-Choice Organizers,’ for example, gives this categorical instruction: ‘Don’t waste time talking to anti-choice people.’
Neuhaus add that “the campus organizer for Planned Parenthood told Shields that she ‘discourages direct debate.’”

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