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 3.

The College retains the right of refusal for any outside speaker/performer and/or their campus sponsor for any reason.

The College is a private organization and so it is within its rights to refuse any visitor. You might think that this new policy makes things harder for Uncomfortable Learning. You would be exactly wrong. Uncomfortable Learning is now in a stronger position than ever because now the College must decide, ahead of time, which speakers it is going to ban.

Imagine that UL leaders want to make life tough for Adam Falk. All they need to do is ask him (or the “Assistant Director for Student Organizations & Involvement in the Office of Student Life”) if they may invite person X to Williams. That is what the policy requires of them. They don’t have to — in fact, they are not allowed to! — invite person X before getting this permission. But this procedure (permission first, invitation second) means that they can endlessly torture Adam Falk by asking for permission for speakers that span the continuum from John Derbyshire on leftward.

The College is then trapped. Either they allow Uncomfortable Learning to develop a long list of all the speakers that Williams has banned (imagine the Washington Post article that would come out of the leaking of this list!) or they have to draw the line at Derbyshire and allow just about everyone else in. With luck, they will be smart enough to choose Door #2.

Does Uncomfortable Learning have the necessary student leadership to take advantage of this opportunity? Time will tell. What are your predictions?

And, perhaps more importantly, who should Uncomfortable Learning invite? Here and here might be good places to start . . .

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