Symposium Features Constructive Dialogue

Melissa Landa, President, Oberlin Alums for Campus Fairness

To the Editors:

On behalf of the Oberlin Chapter of Alums for Campus Fairness, I want to thank all who attended our symposium, “Building a Hate-Free Campus Through Civil Discourse.” More than 60 people participated in the event, including students, faculty, administrators, clergy and town residents.

Despite some pre-event concerns voiced by students, the symposium was productive. For 45 minutes before the symposium began and during the 45-minute question-and-answer session, interactions occurred among students, alumni and the speakers — Kenneth L. Marcus, Chloe Simone Valdary and Stacey Aviva Flint. In spite of difficult questions, student criticism of ACF and complex and sensitive topics, the tone remained respectful and civil.

At the end of the evening, I was glad to exchange contact information with a member of the Student Senate. In the same vein, I was pleased when Interim Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo expressed her hope that alumni and students will pursue partnerships in the near future, suggesting that students plan another event with alumni support.

It is my sincere hope that all interested members of Oberlin’s greater community can work together to address the concerns that we have communicated, as well as the concerns expressed on Thursday night. We all hope to see Oberlin grow from strength to strength, maintaining its proud legacy of social justice, respect for individual self-expression and intellectual rigor.

– Melissa Landa, Ph.D.

President, Oberlin Alums for Campus Fairness