Should colleges bother to take a stance nowadays?
There is no doubt that this war is very different from any other conflict in American history. Moreover, the relationship between the government and its constituents has changed: the main interface has become the media. Despite the recent frenzy of protest, there seems to be a greater reluctance to speak out as a nation. Thus, we acknowledge that in this more subdued environment, coupled with the current regard for academia, a statement made by Amherst, or any other institution of higher education, does not carry the same weight it once did.
Yet, we feel that the College should speak out concerning its stance on the war, but if it chooses to do so, the manner in which it does should be considered carefully. Because there is such a range of opinions, no one statement should be released, declaring itself as the view of the entire College. Rather, it is more fitting to issue one supported by a vote, stating that a certain percentage of students are either for or against the war, depending on the stance the College majority would like to express. We encourage the AAS to facilitate a statement of this kind.
The most appropriate form of expression is a personally signed letter like the one published in The Student on October 2, 2002, in which several faculty members made known their anti-war sentiments. Faculty members should feel free and encouraged to air their views through other media. We would, after all, like to know what our professors think about affairs outside of the classroom.
Finally, while this campus does appear to be overwhelmingly liberal, any minority voices should make themselves heard because unfortunately, silence is almost always interpreted as concurrence.