Posted by Professor Ted DeLaney
Perhaps the problem here is that department and program heads are not usually called on to advertise speakers that students are bringing to campus. I don't mind passing on notices to my staff, but I prefer to limit those notices to speakers who will offer balance and not represent a specific perspective. Abortion is a hot button issue, and Alison surely knows that. When anyone champions a controversial position they have to be willing to take the bruises that come with it; you need thick skin to be an advocate on either side. Abortion sparks deep emotions, and there is no apparent middle ground. This debate seems to side track many other important issues in the United States because of the emotions it evokes. And there is no end to the debate.
Perhaps student groups with specific agendas should not ask department heads and other faculty members to advertise in their behalf. This is a small campus and posters are very visible; so are campus notices. Alison's email opened a door that evoked responses that may have offended her and Regina, but that was bound to happen whether the respondents are faculty or students. That is part of the agony of this debate. I don't think anyone owes her an apology; angry or emotional responses come with the turf.