A recent viewpoint (“Suppressing Dialogue Opposes Speech’s Purpose,” THE HOYA, March 28, 2008, A3) claimed that the College Republicans had suppressed the dialogue between specific students and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). Not only is this false, but it makes unjustified claims that I would like to clear up.

Christopher Dicks wrote that “the only persons selected to stand behind the microphone were actual members of the College Republicans.” Perhaps Dicks should not make such claims when he has no idea or proof of the GUCR membership. As chair and moderator, I knew every College Republican in the room. Only two were called on. There were three to four other questions from non-GUCR members, who were, as the entire Georgetown community was, welcome and invited to attend the event. Unfortunately, not every single person in the room could be called on before the former senator’s time was over. College Republicans was perfectly fair and balanced. Any claims to the contrary lack justification or reason. In order to have open dialogue on this campus, as Dicks claims he wants, it is important that students show respect for the speaker and the time allotted for the event. No one’s voice was silenced; rather, their voices were encouraged. The former senator was gracious enough to stay and speak to several people who wanted to speak with him. The former senator was kind enough to address all issues he was asked about. Perhaps students should show the same respect.

Not only was the claim that there was unbalanced dialogue false, but the issue of freedom of speech deserves to be addressed. With the right to protest and have a freedom of speech comes a responsibility to do so respectfully. Perhaps the students who held signs on the way to the former senator’s car reading, “We love Anal Sex” should consider how to use their rights in a constructive way. Their actions were a mockery to the freedom of speech as well as an embarrassment to the maturity and professionalism of Georgetown University. I agree that students have the freedom of speech and the freedom to respectfully protest – the key idea here is “respectfully.”

Ellen Dargie (COL ’10)

Chair of Georgetown University College Republicans

arch 29, 2008

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