A student-run debate club at the University of Massachusetts Amherst recently had so much difficulty finding a professor who could argue the conservative side for one of its events that its members had to turn to Smith College, a private liberal arts school eight miles away, to secure a scholar.
That’s saying a lot considering UMass Amherst employs some 1,300 faculty members.
The experience was the impetus for The University Union, a politically neutral student-run debate club at UMass Amherst, to launch a petition this month calling on administrators to offer more “intellectual diversity” on campus.
“We came to the conclusion that the petition was necessary because planning debates has been so difficult,” Owen Wiggins, a junior business management student at UMass and president of The University Union, told The College Fix in an email. “The diversity of thought among the faculty at UMass is so slim that we’ve had to ask professors from Smith College to participate in the debates we have planned.”