I received a call at 8:30pm on Tuesday from the Government Liaison, who I have worked with and trust. She read the threatening e-mail to me and said that she had already talked to Chris Rufo. I told her that we needed to move forward. She said that Chris said the same thing.
Next morning everything is good. We do a walkthrough and I call my wife and tell her how awesome all of the security measures are and the sheer number of plain clothed and uniformed officers was overwhelming. She reminds me that I’m not getting paid. Hahaha.
Then at around 8:40 with no new information, Provost Sherman pulls me and Chris Rufo to the side and says that she is calling it off. Chris asks on what authority, Provost Sherman said that she is the President now that President Okker is off campus. Chris questioned that and then Chris said, “we are not stopping.” She says, “yes we are.” Chris says, “no you’re not.” Etc. etc.
We then take a vote of the trustees, Chris and I say yes Matthew Lepinski says no (Matthew did great today even though we disagreed on this one).
We all argued for a while and then I went up to the front and told the Sarasota police in charge that we were moving forward with the meeting. He said that he needed authorization. I told him that he has it. I then went and told the other people that we are moving forward including campus police. I then see that nobody is actually do what I asked them to do since they couldn’t figure out whose instructions to follow. I am grateful that they didn’t disperse the crowd at that point. I went ahead and told the crowd that the meeting was still happening. To make sure that didn’t happen.
I had people agree with me and then nobody was actually coming in the building.
Crazy scene right. Then I said that I am going to go out into the crowd if we don’t start letting people in. I understand that Chris agreed and now because of that the CFO in the blue suit here Chris Kinsley. A very quiet and unassuming man stated that the demand of the Trustees to go meet outside changed the situation and that now the safest thing is to move forward with the event indoors where we have a plan for security. He wisely found peace through all of it and stated that “it is not about who’s in charge. We have to make a decision based on the facts on the ground.”
But just before I started recording Provost Sherman walked up very angrily to the campus police officer and said, “Why did you go against me!”
I hope somebody has a video of that. As you can see Provost Sherman was moving fast. The manner in which she attacked the campus police with those words and that energy was threatening. And that is why I said what I said here.
This interaction tells me a lot about New College. I have seen abusive relationships before both in a church setting, in a business setting, in a romantic relationship and in a school setting. One commonality of all of the abuse is that loyalty is demanded. The abuser will see a person as power to be controlled. Alliances will be made. Lines will be drawn and sects of power are created and protected through fear and intimidation. the Bible talks about it if you are interested 1 Corinthians 1:10-17
Provost Sherman could have said, “why did you do that” or even “what were you thinking?!” But instead in a moment of crisis she spoke the truth “Why did you go against ME!”
To continue with the day. Generally we had a good meeting with the faculty and staff. Not entirely civil, but that’s ok. Some participants were definitely more disruptive and looking to agitate. But on a whole it was a good meeting and a necessary first step. I’m sure there will be more bumpy roads ahead but again it was a good first step. Matthew Lepinski and I shook hands and agreed on the need for the meeting to demonstrate respectful disagreements from a leadership perspective and that the meeting was a success in the end. So clearly everyone is more at ease after the first meeting.
I have now learned later that someone, I believe that it was Provost Sherman, sent out an e-mail to the students saying that the meeting was cancelled for security reasons. I’m told this was sent out at 10:20 as well as 1:05. I would like to see that e-mail/e-mails if anybody could forward it to me.
This is absurd. We clearly worked through the security issues and all of the police were much more relaxed at the second meeting. So it sure looks like she sabotaged the meeting with the students. There were less people in the student meeting than the faculty meeting. I thought that there would be more. One of the students even asked why there was such short notice for the meeting. More students wanted to meet but were intentionally discouraged from coming.
I talked to students who came up after the meeting and some of them were truly terrified. And I don’t think it is isolated to the students that I talked with. All I could do was commend them for coming out despite their fear. Then I remembered hearing from them that they were afraid of Proud Boys and Antifa. Where did this report come from. Maybe it was credible, but now I am less sure. I looked out at various times and didn’t see any protestors.
I sensed irrational fear in a few of the students. Trustee Rufo and I did what we could to dispel their oversized fear of us by being there and available to talk. But there is more here.
Keep in mind, I was the one targeted with the death threat and then I found some of the students telling me that they have to live with death threats practically everyday. I listened. And then afterwards, I called the campus police to confirm. The police office who answered said that he had been there for 5 years and had never heard of one death threat. It is possible that it is happening and not reported. If that is the case the students need to be told that they have to report death threats. But I don’t believe that is what is actually happening.
Mental Health Concerns
I am concerned for student’s mental health. And I don’t think that the administration is helping. Following the tenets of the religion of wokeness. Feelings matter more than facts and victims are celebrated. So you are encouraged to be afraid and rewarded for it. When you give in to this mindset it is no longer an act you are putting on it then becomes truly debilitating.
Wokeness and It’s Need for Fear
Here is a excerpt from a good article that describes this relationship between power, control and fear. Link below.
While some of these imagined fears are of one’s own making, many are the consequence of narratives created by those in positions of power. Individuals looking to take advantage of, and manipulate others, have long realized the power of fear. When one is gripped by fear of a threat, real or imagined, their rational and higher cognitive capacities shut down, making them easily manipulable by anyone that promises safety from the threat.
Regarding free speech, we can’t have current administration actively trying to stifle these discussions under the guise of we must protect you. Regarding their protection, I believe the protector is actually causing damage by instilling fear.
The Battle Before the Battle