Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Gene Nichol resigns as president of William and Mary

Interesting what one unassuming brass cross can do. No wonder it was necessary to first put it in a closet and then under plexiglass. The fear that the power of one small cross seems to generate in the hearts of free-for-all, no values folks is amazing in and of itself. I just learned that Gene Nichol has resigned his position as president of The College of William and Mary. Good for him! He will continue to work a The College as a Professor of Law. Several references are here: William and Mary president resigns in disgrace from Michelle Malkin; here. Search on Wren Cross, Nichol, and you will find more. But for those shocked at the resignation, be mindful, that Mr. Nichol created his own crucible and he tore the student body and alumni apart. That is not the work of a "great" man. ~~~~~~~~ Here is a comment I received today from Chris which speaks in support of Mr. Nichol: As an alumnus (twice, once for graduate work and once for undergraduate) and speaking from the perspective of an individual who has worked with two president's of our fine university, I am forced to disagree with your comments. While I do not approve the manner in which President Nichol enacted his changes in the policy of the Wren Chapel, I do approve of the spirit in which they were enacted. I think it is important to remember several things in regards to this issue: 1. The "Wren Cross" is not a piece of history. It is a recent addition to the chapel, donated from a nearby church (of which I was a member). The "historical precedent" argument put forth by so many is entirely false. 2. The cross was easily accessible by any wishing to use it, more so than it is now following the committee's choice of displaying it off to the side in a case. 3. Though a very important historical building, the chapel is also a currently functioning portion of a state academic institution; the very same institution that educated many of our nation's early leaders. These men went on to espouse ideas of separation of church and state, and Gene Nichol has acted accordingly. On the note of the Sex Worker's Art Show, I am proud of Gene Nichol's restraint on this issue. He does not personally approve of the show (nor do I, or many students). The decision to bring the show to campus (twice) was made by the student assembly. The SA controls the student fee money and spends it on behalf of the students. While it may have been in President Nichol's power to prevent the show from coming to campus, to do so would contradict the spirit in which the SA was founded. If you don't like the Sex Worker's Art Show, talk to Zach Pilchen or Ryan Scofield or any SA Senator. Do not blame President Nichol for following a system of student freedom upon which our university is now based, and for which many students fought. As I have said, I worked with President Nichol personally, though briefly, and I am deeply troubled our loss. More troubling are alumni such as yourself who do not have the mental acuity (or have not taken the time to employ that acuity) to fully examine this issue, and who instead resort to inaccurate media reports. It is a dark day in the history of our beloved alma mater. The loud, angry minority has struck a deep and hard blow against the virtues that our institution represents. ~~~~~~~~ The following is my reply, keeping in mind that I did not know that Nichol had resigned when I responded to Chris. 11:28 AM Beach Girl said... Chris, thank you for your excellent points. I have to say that I was in very good company in our efforts. The good news is that we all love our alma mater. I believe The College of William and Mary can weather the storm. Among those virtues our institution represents is the virtue held within the freedom to disagree with each other. From my position, Nichol initiated a "crisis" which need not have ever been. It was the "crisis" that he generated that was designed to strike at our virtues and indeed he was successful. Nichol started the "crisis" then stepped back to do the classic liberal or even more extreme ploy of creating a "committee" to solve the "crisis" he generated. Classic far-left liberal methodology in addition to ripping away at tradition. If one is to be troubled, perhaps one should look to the "sex shows" permitted on campus. From your approval of such use of student fees, you seem to imply that any such degrading shows the leaders of the student group want to advance using fees from "all" students is acceptable - regardless of the offense it might cause to other students. Not so... The College of William and Mary at one time had a good name for honor and integrity married to good taste and class. And in this age of "sensitivity" to the female gender, it seems blatantly sexist and degrading for the students to condone such exploitation. But then that's just one doctor's opinion. I believe the discussions, the debate in the Wren Chapel, the raising of issues among the students, the alumni, and others was healthy for the students. The bonds of attachment we have as graduates from The College of William and Mary surpass the fleeting hubris of man. It is such an honor to have graduated from The College and to be in such good company. Again, thank you for your comments. We can both be assured that our college will survive and flourish. ~~~~~~~~~ The students, faculty, and alumni - all of whom engaged in debates and in disagreement or as well as agreement with Nichol's assault on so many of our American strengths - all can be proud that freedom and heritage won. WE all did what our professors have taught us to do: exercise our rights to debate, to disagree, and to remain students and graduates of The College of William and Mary bound by tradition and honor.


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