K.C. Johnson, a former Williams professor, has written a detailed description of the WIFI saga for The Tablet.
He pulls the whole matter together including the chronology. He hits many of the salient points that caught my attention including a truly bizarre Williams Record article, signed by 11 anti-WIFI activists, saying “The state of Israel does not need a student group defending its ‘right to exist’ on this campus any more than we need to ‘defend’ the rights of wealthy, straight white men.” What?!
K.C. moves the narrative forward when he dissects some of the key arguments made before the College Council. He writes,
Though constricting the spectrum of acceptable positions on Israel would seem to undermine principles of free speech, a WIFI critic explained otherwise. “It’s really important,” he reasoned, “for us all to take a moment to just think about what ‘free speech’ and ‘democracy’ actually means.” Two sides should present “clashing free ideas,” after which the council should “vote in what we think are the best ideas and for us to vote out what we think are ideas we think are worthy of being discarded.” Defining free speech as tyranny of the majority is a mainstream view on too many contemporary campuses.
K.C. Johnson expresses gratitude for the way Maud eventually went all out to protect and fully fund WIFI. Nevertheless, he sees this as a national-level conflict which will continue to worry us.