Hollins University – Student Body
This November, Kate Obenshain will be coming to Hollins to speak about the Obama Administration. A vocal group of students is now protesting Ms. Obenshain’s speaking: they have circulated a petition asserting that allowing her to appear on campus would cause harm and “ruin the Hollins community” because they deem remarks she has made in the past amount to hate speech. Not only that, they have now gone as far as taking their petition to the school lawyers arguing Ms. Obenshain speaking goes against Title IX. As a Republican on the Hollins campus, I have been struck by the unfortunate degree to which dialogue on issues which matter to me has been strangled. Kate Obenshain is the first openly Republican person to speak on campus in seventeen years, and while the beliefs that she speaks of are different than the beliefs of those who would muzzle her, her s peaking on campus will not “ruin the Hollins community.” I believe very deeply that what ruins a community is the censorship of ideas, and the tyranny of ideological gangs whose primary aim is to silence other merely because they hold differing views.Republicans on the Hollins campus are routinely and unfairly attacked for our beliefs, to the degree that many are scared to even speak up about their beliefs in class, or in general conversation. I myself have been attacked by both students and, sadly to note, by professors; I have been called a racist, accused of being “anti-women”, and generally denigrated because I am a Republican. A community is ruined when its members are prevented from hearing opinions that a militant few do not agree with, and when those members of the community who do not agree with the majority’s beliefs are ostracized.