Professor Nate Kornell tweeted a link to this article:

Saying that such a dialogue was essential to the college’s academic mission, Williams College president Adam Falk confirmed Monday that the school encourages a lively exchange of one idea. “As an institution of higher learning, we recognize that it’s inevitable that certain contentious topics will come up from time to time, and when they do, we want to create an atmosphere where both students and faculty feel comfortable voicing a single homogeneous opinion,” said Falk, adding that no matter the subject, anyone on campus is always welcome to add their support to the accepted consensus.

This year, the one idea will center around the benefits of unrestricted illegal immigration, especially by poorly educated, unskilled migrants from backward countries. The College will explore this one idea through a required reading of Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario ’82, via the Williams Reads program.

Developed by the Committee on Diversity and Community (CDC), Williams Reads is an initiative offered as an opportunity for us to explore a book together that will help us to celebrate and deepen our appreciation of diversity.

Dean of the College Sarah Bolton noted that “Although we appreciate diversity quite deeply at Williams, we can never appreciated diversity enough. Every day, every month, every year, we must work harder to deepen our appreciation. This is all the more true in the aftermath of last year’s Taco Six incident, in which 6 undergraduates failed to demonstrate sufficient depth to their appreciation of Mexican Culture.”

“Whether it’s a discussion of a national political issue or a concern here on campus, an open forum in which one argument is uniformly reinforced is crucial for maintaining the exceptional learning environment we have cultivated here,” continued Falk. He also told reporters that counseling resources were available for any student made uncomfortable by the viewpoint.

The Williams Reads program kicks off today at 1:30 PM in the ’62 Center. If any EphBlog readers attend, please tell it what the event is like. Is more than one side of the issue presented? Or is the only acknowledged viewpoint pro-Enrique and his family? Will anyone mention Donald Trump’s shocking lead in presidential polls, driven almost entirely by his position against illegal immigration?

Here at EphBlog, we have been praising Enrique’s Journey for more than a decade. Too cheap to buy the book? Nazario won the Pulitzer Prize for the newspaper articles that form the core of the story. Read them here for free.

Highly recommended.

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