Are College Campuses Illiberal?

This letter was originally published in the December 19, 2016 New York Edition of The New York Times.
To the Editor:

Nicholas Kristof called the actions of Oberlin students an example of “liberal hysteria.” As a student senator at Oberlin who had a direct hand in the boycott of a local bakery accused of racial profiling, I found his claim to be devoid of nuance.
Time and again, the students of Oberlin College are represented in mainstream media as a monolith conforming to illiberal values and practices. This could not be further from the truth.

Oberlin students are strong-willed and steadfast in our beliefs, yet we are a diverse group of deep thinkers with the capacity to understand dissenting opinions.

We Obies may get it wrong from time to time, and for that we deserve criticism. But Oberlin isn’t an echo chamber. Oberlin is a hub for the progressive movement, a home for intellectual inquiry, and a space for students of all ideological backgrounds to come and have their beliefs challenged.

We just want to make the world a better place. Can you blame us?


Oberlin, Ohio

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