A women’s college in California pulled a speaking invitation from conservative columnist George Will this summer after he penned an op-ed questioning inflated campus-rape statistics and accused progressive federal and campus policies of promoting phony victimhood.
The Claremont Independent, a university publication encompassing the five Claremont colleges situated outside of Los Angeles, spoke with Will about the incident. The Washington Post columnist had been scheduled to speak at the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Public Affairs Program, a guest lecture series set up by Scripps College, an all-women institution at Claremont, to present conservative views — or “opinions with which we may not agree, or think we do not agree” – to a deeply progressive student body.
But after Will’s June 6 column – which prompted an unsuccessful campaign to push the Post to drop his syndication and caused four U.S. Democratic senators to single the columnist out for opprobrium – things changed. “It was in the works and then it wasn’t in the works,” Will told the newspaper. “They didn’t say that the column was the reason, but it was the reason.”
The decision was not without its critics, Will continued, saying that former American Enterprise Institute president Christopher DeMuth resigned from the program’s speaker-selection committee in protest.
A study by one of Scripps’s sister colleges, Claremont McKenna, found that of the 532 core faculty on the Claremont campuses, only 15 were Republican. Not one of them taught at Scripps.