Letter to the editor: In response to recent Socratic Club meeting cancellation

D. Thomas Ordeman, Jr.

I was disappointed to learn that the OSU Socratic Club was pressured into cancelling its upcoming debate on the grounds that the topic was offensive.

I can only assume that none of the potential demonstrators have ever actually attended a Socratic debate, nor do I consider their actions to be consistent with my alma mater’s finest academic traditions.

The Socratic Club’s premise is essentially that people should develop informed views on important issues. It is virtually the only remaining “safe space” at OSU where conservatives and progressives can discuss contrary ideas on their merits in a civilized manner.

I credit those fora with teaching me the value of learning from those with whom I may disagree, and with moderating my attitude toward such individuals, groups, and ideas. Stated otherwise, I am a kinder, smarter person for having participated in Socratic Club events.

Anyone who would protest such a forum, rather than participating in it, only undermines the credibility of their own cause.

According to Aristotle, “it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” This incident serves as further evidence that the administration is failing in its mission to create an environment of critical thought and investigation, in which students value opportunities to educate themselves by considering opposing arguments in order to arrive at informed, evidence-based conclusions about critical issues. I feel once again vindicated in my longstanding decision not to donate to the University or join the Alumni Association, but I will take this opportunity to donate directly to the Socratic Club to ensure that its mission continues apace.


D. Thomas Ordeman, Jr.

Alumnus ‘05

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