Here (doc) and here are the new rules for outside speakers/performers. It seems obvious that these rules were created in response to the controversies surrounding Uncomfortable Learning, especially John Derbyshire. Let’s spend 3 days discussing them. Today is Day 2.

There are lots of nitpicky new rules:

Student members of an OSL RSO must meet with the Assistant Director for Student Organizations & Involvement in the Office of Student Life at least one month in advance of the speaker/performer’s requested appearance to disclose and discuss contracts, funding sources, location, logistics, publicity, and other details.

Contracts for any outside performer/speaker being paid for coming to campus may be signed ONLY by an agent of the institution.

And so on. Comments/questions:

1) I doubt that all these rules could possibly be enforced. How can students give a month’s notice for an event scheduled for, say. September 30 when they didn’t even start to plan the event until school started on September 4?

2) There is nothing wrong with rules as long as the College enforces them in a content-neutral fashion. Do you think that Williams will enforce these rules against Uncomfortable Learning while giving progressive groups a pass? I hope not. The Record should certainly investigate.

3) The biggest problem with rules and bureaucracy is that they sometimes destroy the spaces in between. For example, do/should these rules prevent the Springstreeters from inviting a visiting a capella to perform? (Does this still happen? It was common back in the day.)

This section seems created specially for (or designed to stop?) Uncomfortable Learning:

The provision of funding from alumni, foundations, or other non-college sources for a performer/speaker and/or their program must be disclosed to the college. All agreements and arrangements related to such funding must be fully disclosed to the college at least two weeks in advance of an event. Contact the Office of Student Life for more information on seeking such approval.

But I don’t think it matters. UL will just inform the College (as they did in co-sponsoring last week’s speaker?) and the College will say Yes, as long as the speaker is not Derbyshire. The College already knows who the alumni funders of UL are. In fact, college officials have known from the start. And these alumni don’t care if the College knows. They just prefer to remain in the background, if only to avoid being hassled by social justice warrior wannabes like Sam Crane.

Nothing here need slow down Uncomfortable Learning, assuming, that is, that there are still students who believe in its mission of widening the range of opinions expressed at Williams. Are there?

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