The LGBTQ Resource Center at Washington and Lee University sent an email expressing its anger over Thursday evening’s upcoming YAF campus lecture featuring Matt Walsh and encouraging students to join its protest efforts as opposed to hearing what he has to say.
“11 years of having an LGBTQ Resource Center on campus, 11 years of Equality Galas, undergrad and law student organizations focused on LGBTQ+ identity going back decades, and so many other positive strides on campus . . . and this happens? We wish we had the magic answers to fix all of this,” wrote Jake Reeves, assistant director of the W&L LGBTQ Resource Center, in the email.
Instead of encouraging students to engage with and challenge Walsh’s ideas, the center has called for leftist students to protest the event. This approach denies the opportunity for meaningful dialogue and debate, which are essential to a thriving academic community.
As an institution of “higher learning,” Washington and Lee has a responsibility to promote intellectual diversity and foster an environment that welcomes and encourages the free exchange of ideas.
The center’s response to the upcoming lecture suggests that the university has fallen short of this responsibility. Students and faculty should be open to hearing and engaging with diverse viewpoints, regardless of whether or not they agree with them.
Rather than encouraging protest, the LGBTQ Resource Center should encourage students to attend the lecture and engage in a respectful and productive dialogue with Walsh.
Unfortunately for Reeves and his fellow W&L leftists, there are no “magic answers” to alter the truth.