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2012 Fall Issue 3 (October 5, 2012)

An Open Letter to “Carleton College”

October 6, 2012
By Matt Weinstein

“The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.”

With this in mind, I urge Carleton College to take an institutional stand against the Marriage amendment to the Minnesota Constitution. Eric Sieger, Director of Media Relations, has stated that, “[Carleton] does not take political stances on social issues that do not involve our core educational mission.”

Does oppression not necessitate taking a stand against an injustice to many of the faculty, staff, and students of Carleton College?

The fact of the matter is that Carleton’s core educational mission is at stake.

On November 6th millions of Minnesotans will vote on the worth of hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans. To claim that this does not involve educational mission of this institution is false. This constitutional amendment is an assault on equal treatment for every person - a central tenant of the liberal arts education.

Every academic year begins with opening convocation, an event marked by professors garbing themselves in archaic costume. Academic regalia, described by some as elitist, is actually a symbol of education’s ancient commitment to equality. These robes were worn in medieval times to disguise the wealth of the wearer - students and faculty alike.

This was, of course, a radical statement - whom believed in equality for all in the 11th century?
The “core educational mission” of great institutions like Cambridge, Oxford, and the University of Paris has included equality for hundreds of years. If Carleton’s mission does not include equality, I am not sure what it is or if I want to be a part of it.

Taking a stand against a policy that seeks to oppress members of our community is precisely what my Carleton education has taught me to do.

The Carleton Student Association and Carleton Faculty have already declared their opposition to this amendment; I respectfully ask that you do the same.

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