Campus Commentary Events by Luke Wanden

Campus Events Humanities Fall Semester

John Kasich 

The John Kasich event was one which I was surprisingly interested in attending as I was curious to understand the perspective of someone who I viewed as a more “traditional” Republican in today’s political climate. Much of this speech was controversial on campus due to the large cost associated with Kasich’s presence. I found his speech to be quite engaging and effective, it is clear he is an established politician with excellent speaking mannerisms, however I felt he lacked originality in his presentation, and it was no different to an autobiography I could have read off a shelf. Most of the talk was centered around the idea that us as students at a private liberal arts college could achieve whatever we wanted and that the world was ours to explore. This led into the idea that politicians aren’t the people who make decisions, it’s the people. This idea was interesting as in many circumstances this is true, however in today’s political climate I associate politicians 

Professor Quillen 

Professor Quillen’s speech on “what it means to be human” was quite intriguing to me especially as it closely aligned with our first topic of study surrounding the area of what defines us as humans and makes our humanity unique to us? This was further investigated by making references to great philosophers of our time such as John Locke and Karl Marx and their views of what it means to be free and equal. Furthermore, the idea of how we define liberal thought was discussed and even open to the audience for interpretation. Before attending this talk and the humanities program as a whole, I would have considered the word “liberalism” relatively easy to define, something to do with free open-mindedness and unobstructed thought. Liberal thinking, I found was more than this it involving thinking, interpreting and understanding others through both stories and actions and using this information to understand humanity in a more complex and thorough manner. 

Raymond Santana 

The Raymond Santana talk was one which shocked me in many ways, mainly through hearing his story and the immense wrongdoing of the criminal justice system in destroying his life as part of the exonerated five. Despite this Santana was not deterred in making a positive impact on the world, something I feel especially in today’s society is becoming less and less achievable. The part which struck me the most was just hearing the whole trauma and ordeal it is for any person, let alone an innocent one, to face ridicule and public backlash, especially for ones differences whether that be race or social status etc. The positive message and energy I mentioned before was really brought through by the end of the speech where he took the path of showing the importance of life. Especially for Santana, freedom is a gift, not just a given right, and he treasures this more than anything. We all need to change, blaming others for the faults of today’s society will do nothing but worsen the problem.

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