Letter to the Editor: Engaging with diversity

November 4, 2015 by Alison Roach

To the Editor:

In light of recent national critiques suggesting a lack of intellectual diversity at the College, it is worth noting that the College does offer courses that promote thoughtful pedagogic discussion designed to challenge and engage students regardless of political affiliation. Notably, “Political Leadership,” a course cross-listed under political science and leadership studies, is taught by Governor Jane Swift, a former Republican governor of Massachusetts and the youngest female governor in American history. The course examines leadership strategies of U.S. political leaders with a specific emphasis on communication strategies. Governor Swift balances a diverse spectrum of readings with a number of guest speakers from various political backgrounds. For instance, Neil Newhouse, often cited as one of the top GOP pollsters in the country, has visited every year that the class has been offered. Similarly, David Guarino, a Democratic political operative, Rick Klein, a producer for ABC News and David Kensiger ’93, an active Kansas GOP lobbyist and political operative, have all appeared as guest speakers in the course.

In my own experience, the seminar format of the course caused me to challenge and defend my own political beliefs in an environment that fostered passionate, respectful and non-judgmental discourse. Governor Swift will be teaching “Political Leadership” once again during the upcoming spring semester, and I strongly encourage anyone interested in engaging in a robust political dialogue to register for the course.

Alison Roach ’16

 

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