College of Arts and Sciences

Free expression on campus

Speech on campus? As we approach another important election, few topics are more contentious. An administrator's nightmare, to be sure!

I've nevertheless been cheering the recent outpouring of speech here.

Speech that addresses contested topics, including talks sponsored by our
Ethics/Religion & Society program, the Brueggeman Center, and our Take It On initiative -- all animated by the Xavier Way of Dialogue and our commitment to Ignatian Civic Engagement

Poetic speech too, shared last week by
visiting poets in celebration of our library's new Humanities Reading Room.

And I can't neglect the rich density of the academic speech that breaks out when scholars converge, as they did when
Mich Nyawalo hosted the Society for Comparative Literature and the Artsa few weeks ago.

Keep your eyes peeled on campus Friday afternoon, and you may just glimpse a member of that vanishing species, the medieval historian -- when Miti von Weissenburg welcomes the Midwest Medieval History Conference to Xavier.

But none of that can bring as broad a smile to my face as the return of the pop-up typists outside Alter Hall, proffering "Free Thoughts on Any Topic."

Who can object to that?

David Mengel

Photo: Richard Polt & Bethany Henning with student clients

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