- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 22, 2018

A professor of philosophy at Siena College has withdrawn from a committee formed to promote “civil discourse” on campus because the prospect of working alongside “evil” conservatives made her “miserable.”

In a March 20 email, professor Jennifer McErlean condemned an upcoming free-speech conference, “Let Freedom Ring,” featuring former Trump campaign consultant Roger Stone, Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe and U.S. Senate candidate Austin Petersen of Missouri.

The email appears to have been accidentally sent to a conservative student, Antonio Bianchi, with whom Ms. McErlean, as a member of the civil discourse committee, was working to organize the conference.

Mr. Bianchi, the chapter president of Turning Point USA at Siena College, shared the email in a Facebook post Tuesday.

He said the professor’s email “exemplified everything wrong with collegiate bias and discrimination against conservative students.”

In the email, which was first reported by Campus Reform, Ms. McErlean said she withdrew from the committee because “it was making me miserable thinking of how to work with students like Antonio!”

She said Mr. Bianchi “greatly exaggerates the number of ‘conservative’ students who agree with his position (they are a small band) and his description of them feeling threatened borders on the ridiculous.”

One of the perks of no longer being on the civil discourse committee, the philosophy professor continued, is that she is now “free to protest at the conference” should a demonstration take place.

If there is not a “wall of people” there to “greet the conference goers,” Ms. McErlean feared some people may come away with the impression that Siena College “is generally happy with the list of speakers,” and there will be “no acknowledgment of how evil these organizations are!”

Other speakers lined up for the conference include Kassy Dillon, founder of loneconservative.com, Nico Perrino, director of communications at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and Christian Ragosta, a grass-roots field coordinator with the National Rifle Association.

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