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Nobody is “Pro-abortion”

I am writing in response to the article, “A Mind on the Right” (January Bulletin), which profiled conservative academic Robert George ’77. I don’t care how smart, well-educated, or well-credentialed someone is, anyone who can say “the most extreme pro-abortion legislator” is either being intentionally misleading or just doesn’t get it. No one is pro-abortion. [...]

Swarthmore’s Lacuna

It was interesting to hear Robert George talk about how much his students learned when he co-taught a course with Cornel West. Sadly, Swarthmore deprives its students of such an experience, because no professor publicly espouses a reasoned philosophy as different from the status quo as George’s. This remains a lacuna that the College should [...]

A Welcome Change

I could identify very well with your succinct story about Robert George’s journey from liberal to conservative, a journey that surprisingly started at Swarthmore and continued later. I also arrived at Swarthmore full of liberal sentiments imparted to me by high-school teachers, pastors, and friends. Through study and a deeper discovery of Christianity, I converted [...]

No Mainstream Conservative

My daughter attends Swarthmore, and it’s clear that the bent of the College is towards a liberal view of politics. The Swarthmore College Bulletin has every right to slant in any political direction the College chooses, but if “A Mind on the Right” was intended to somehow balance the liberal politics of the publication, it [...]

Unexamined Assumptions

I never thought much of natural law. It supposedly undergirds ethical systems with self-evident truths. For example, stealing is wrong, according to natural law, because it is inherently destructive of personal or community relations. This is presumably more elemental than saying that stealing is wrong because it is against custom, statutory law, or divine command.
Natural [...]

The Cobbs Legend

Only someone from the Class of 1982 (Amy Singer, “Letters,” January Bulletin) might be horrified or bemused that men weren’t allowed in women’s dorm rooms after 9 p.m. From 1959 to 1963 at least, it was only from 2 to 6 on Sundays and the door had to be open—six inches it was said—although that [...]

Messy on the Inside

The late John Lewis ’67 told me the following anecdote. He was called into Dean Cobbs’ office for a little chat because he had been neglecting his studies. As she put him on academic probation, she said, “John, you had a beard last semester. It is my observation that people who are messy on the [...]

Doing It Again

Although I attended Swarthmore six years after Amy Singer’s mother, perhaps I can shed some light: 1. “A soft Southern drawl” was indeed Dean Cobbs’s natural voice. 2. The rule then was very distinctly no visiting, period, except for occasional, very limited weekend open-house days, when the door had to be open and all parties [...]

And Again!

When I was a student, men were allowed to visit women’s dorms only on Sunday until, as I remember, 6 p.m., and the door of the room visited had to be open. A delegation went to Susan Cobbs to request an extension of visiting hours until 6:30 p.m. and argued, What could we do between [...]

The Constant Reminder

Dean Cobbs was ever the constant reminder of politeness, courtesy, and appropriate behavior for a maturing female person. In Singer’s letter, I noted the use of “nothin’” to approximate her Southern accent. She was educated and would never have said “nothin’”—it was just hard to hear the final g through her cultured Southern accent.
It was [...]