Beck on Intellectual Diversity

National Review Online has published an article by Stefan Beck ’04 on the need for intellectual diversity on college campuses. Beck bases much of the piece on his experiences at Dartmouth, where he said conservatives were often more willing to engage in genuine debate.

The second phenomenon I observed was the array of weak responses from our left-wing peers: frustration, pique, speechless outrage, even anonymous pre-dawn raids of vandalism and theft on our offices.

What I rarely saw was calm, persuasive, and informed reaction to conservative ideas. Two weeks prior to “Shock and Awe,” at an “open-mic discussion” (read: anti-war bongo jam), I saw the best minds of Dartmouth’s progressive Free Press destroyed by such verbal bunker-busters as “What do you mean by imperialism?” I saw the same dunderheaded hipsters, starved for approval, looking to their radical “Peace Studies” clerics for the answers.

He concludes by saying that there is a need for more conservative professors, but not through state-mandated management of “dissent” or “balanced viewpoints.” Indeed, Beck says that conservative students should regard their interactions with campus liberals as a rite of passage which can only make them stronger.