John Noelke has a follow up to his hilarious QSU spoof.


I just had an hour and a half discussion with a member of the QSU who brought to my attention that the intent of my first post was misinterpreted by many readers.

I did not intend this post to be a personal attack on anyone, and I sincerely apologize to anyone who may have been offended. My intention was not to damn the general motivation to make Williams a campus where everyone can feel accepted.

My intention was to use humor to lighten the issue purely to open up discussion in which no one would feel marginalized on either side. It seemed that there were people who disagreed with the QSU’s methods but were uncomfortable speaking out. I wanted my initial post to lead everyone into diving into the heart of the issue at hand. My goals are similar to that of the QSU, it was my tactics used to achieve them that I differed on. The reason for my alternative means was to ensure that we do not limit freedom of expression or damage the meaningful connections that people can make with each other on this campus because we have silenced ourselves in an attempt to display omnipotent sensitivity toward others.

My vision is not to have a Williams where we focus on race or gender or sexuality, but a place where we are Williams students first and where people are individuals defined by their values, character, and intellect. The smallest minority in any group is always the individual. To protect the individual is to protect everyone – regardless of other characteristics that they may have.

At this point I invite any member of the QSU or anyone distraught with my original post to voice their opinion so that we can have the productive dialogue that I wanted in the first place.

I do not retract any of my previous statements; I see no need to after this clarification. Any retreat from what I hold to be true would be entirely superficial. To prompt discussion, here are the main points I wanted to get across:

• To what extent do we have a right to not be offended?
• Who is to decide the point to which the definition of a marginalized group extends?
• What are the reasonable and effective ways to adjust the attitudes of the Williams community and allow everyone to feel accepted?

Great questions. My answers:

1) Not at all.
2) The First Amendment. If you can say it on Spring Street, you can say it at Williams.
3) Tough question! Greater ideological diversity among the faculty and students would help. And don’t forget my Eph Style Guide, a genius idea whose time may never come.

Your answers?

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