There’s more to Antioch
Re “Who killed Antioch? Womyn,” Opinion, June 30
Well, women have been blamed for ruining the human race since one of us sought knowledge and ate an apple, so why not lay the death of Antioch College at our feet as well? Antioch’s admittedly lamebrained attempt at a “please ask and I may say yes” date-touch policy was developed in response to some instances at the college of male hormonal overenthusiasm. Better this policy, however, than instances of rape and worse like those at other U.S. universities.
Antioch is hardly obscure, nor a laughingstock. And don’t count on reports of its premature death. If the outpouring of e-mails calling alums to arms and half a million dollars raised in less than 24 hours are any measure of an institution’s heartbeat, Antioch is alive and well. Absent that, it will exist always in those who take seriously the college’s famed motto: “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” Not a bad way to lead a life. Or run a school. Eve would have been a graduate, for sure. And we would have been thrilled to have her.
Antioch College alumna
For 18 years, my wife has taught biology at Antioch College. During those years, I have met hundreds of students, and almost to the last one, they were respectful, mannerly, curious almost to a fault, intelligent and never boring. Their maturity and independence -- founded partially, I am sure, in their worldwide co-op experiences -- in my experience exceeds that of their contemporaries. Then, these committed students leave to become respected in many fields. In other words, the same cross-section of America emerges from Antioch that other colleges send out into the world every year.
When Antioch’s sexual-offense prevention policy (now adopted by other unmentioned universities) and the foolish claim that independent thinking is absent receive more attention than the contribution its graduates make to our society, I can only conclude that Meghan Daum is more interested in maligning Antioch than enlightening us about the remarkable legacy this college and its graduates have left.
WILLIAM V. DYER