After protesters at Claremont McKenna College shut down a scheduled lecture and Q&A with Heather Mac Donald, a critic of the Black Lives Matter movement, by blocking the venue’s entrance, Hiram Chodosh, the president of Claremont McKenna College, promised to crack down on some student protesters for violating college policy.

Chodosh observed that, despite the protesters’ efforts, a live-stream of Mac Donald’s talk was viewed by nearly 250 people live and had been watched over 1,400 times at the time of his email. “In the end, the effort to silence her voice effectively amplified it to a much larger audience,” he wrote.

He outlined the college’s decision to not physically remove protesters, explaining that “based on the judgment of the Claremont Police Department, we [the college] jointly concluded that any forced interventions or arrests would have created unsafe conditions for students, faculty, staff, and guests.”

Chodosh also took the unusual step of promising punishment for those who blocked all exits and entrances to the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, where Mac Donald’s talk was scheduled to take place. “Blocking access to buildings violates College policy,” he wrote. “CMC students who are found to have violated policies will be held accountable. We will also give a full report to the other Claremont Colleges, who have responsibility for their own students.”

Chodosh highlighted the fact that the protest was composed of “a large group of students from the Claremont Colleges, including a small number of CMC students and some individuals from external communities.”

Echoing the statement released Thursday evening by Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of Faculty at Claremont McKenna College, Peter Uvin, Chodosh concluded by reaffirming the college’s commitment to protecting free speech:

“Finally, the breach of our freedoms to listen to views that challenge us and to engage in dialogue about matters of controversy is a serious, ongoing concern we must address effectively. Accordingly, we will be developing new strategies for how best to protect open, safe access to our events.”

Categories: Campus News
  • Chip Allen, CMC ’73

    Some views are so beyond the bounds of what is acceptable that those who challenge such views must be shut down. Or something.

    • terry

      if the spoiled fu##s only reason for being in a place is to destroy a speaker by shouting them down until the speech is impossible then its not a protest its sabotage. and i support them being removed.

  • terry

    He outlined the college’s decision to not physically remove protesters,

    no you really should.

  • stoptheinsanity

    They should have brought the dogs out on these people.

    The Affirmative Action experiment has failed. Is there any question now as to whether you can take a person with a combined 900 SAT score or a 23 Composite ACT score and put them into the front end of CMC and expect them to come out the back side a “normal” CMC grad? I don’t think so.

    These people don’t even have the common sense to understand the golden ticket they’ve been given. Jack Stark shaking his head right about now.

  • Disillusioned ’86 Alum from CMC

    It is heartbreaking that we continue to observe how the cowardly posture and decisions of the leadership of my once beloved alma mater, CMC, is institutionalizing the “Heckler’s Veto”. The signal to the protesters and agitators is clear: In the name of “safety”, the school will not call upon campus security or law enforcement to engage in any direct action to thwart the agitators (they will “be allowed their space” to agitate) and later on, if any CMC students can be identified from among the mob, they’ll be potentially “disciplined” in some unknown way, long after the certain and irreparable damage to free expression is done. Oh, and hint to the agitators intending to disrupt an event on the CMC campus: Just make sure you’re agitators from one of the other four colleges or from off campus – all outside of President Chodosh’s jurisdiction or the CMC Judicial Board. Unfortunately, the latest occurrence is simply the predictable result of the decisions made by the President and senior leadership last year when the “madness” described by Professor Kesler first arose. Thank you, President Chodosh for effectively codifying the blueprint by which the agitators can perfect their Heckler’s Veto. President Chodosh and Peter Uvin should perhaps spend less time quoting nostalgic from activists at Princeton, and perhaps reinvigorate their spines with the letter to incoming students by University of Chicago, Dean of Students John Ellison. Allow me to quote from Dean Ellison: “Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.” Would that President Chodosh and the similarly oriented CMC leadership educate themselves as to what it truly means to become champions of academic freedom rather than the enablers of its destruction. In the absence of such leadership, I will continue to redirect the donations I would have made to CMC, to the University of Chicago.

  • Harold Wyrick

    As was seen on the California campuses and more and more frequently at others across the US, administrations and the services responsible for campus security are willing to allow these terrorists to endanger the health and safety of others.
    Blocking the exits of any venue is one of the most egregious public safety violations evident at these “blocking” attacks. The blocking of exits to a building is a violation of the fire code and is not the joke these spoiled brats make of it. Call the nearest firehouse and ask how funny it is. As one who knows the value of clear routes of egress in an emergency, these exit “blockers” are nitwits and are endangering the lives of others.
    And to interfere with the free movement of disabled and handicapped individuals, either coming or going in public access areas, is inexcusable. So much for their ‘lives matter’ hypocrisy. Disabled lives, rights and freedoms never matter to people who are ready to physically interfere with other people.

    As a grand-parent who visits grandchildren at several college campuses, these protest Nazis have concerned me enough that I now have a T shirt that I carry with me every time I visit one of our grandchildren. The message is very simple;
    “I am Autistic. Do not touch me or my property without my permission.”

  • Melissa

    A few suspensions and perhaps an expulsion or two for blocking entrances would probably be enough to deter the most problematic aspects of the protests.

    Protest all you want, but don’t prevent others from hearing the speech. Once students see there are real consequences, few will be willing to repeat these tactics.

  • Ron

    Seems like freedom of speech is coming under continuous fire.
    So the test is this. Will offending students be suspended/ expelled or will the University just slow walk the issue until people forget about it.
    Second test. Will the University bring in the FBI to identify the non students and see if they are also doing this at other schools?

  • Publius

    The most important issue now is to look to the future. The odds are these student protesters are hard core progressives. In 20 years or less, at least some portion of these firebrands will run for elected office. Having the names of those who participated will be critical to scutttling their early political aspirations. Anyone who has access to the names of those that Claremont chooses to investigate and or punish for their actions, should release those names to the public.

  • Jaffanese American

    What people aren’t getting is that the rioting will not stop with guest speakers; it will escalate into classrooms. Will we again hear the bizarre Chodosh claim that more people heard Heather Mac Donald after all, than if her talk had gone un”protested”? This Orwellian logic has now become the standard mode of reasoning. Be prepared to have classes held online, with professors broadcasting from undisclosed locations.

  • Panzer

    Unemployed losers. Black lives matter children of criminals and welfare rats

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