The Beacon Editorial Staff
Last month Simone Newman, the President of Mount Saint Mary College in Maryland was reported to have said to some professors, “that they need to stop thinking of freshmen as cuddly bunnies.” He continued, saying, “You just have to drown the bunnies … Put a Glock to their heads.”
The comment, which has been substantiated as accurate by a Mount Saint Mary professor, was a part of a larger discussion regarding student retention rates and the colleges plan to dismiss 20-25 students who were “judged unlikely to succeed early in the academic year.”
While student retention rates and reporting enrollment data to the federal government does play a major factor in federal subsidies, there remains no room for this type insensitivy and use of violent metaphor in academia.
In rationalizing his choice of language, President Newman stated, “I’ve probably done more swearing here than anyone else, it wasn’t intended to be anything other than, ‘Some of these conversations you may need to have with people are hard.’”
One would think that all people, especially a college president, would choose their words a bit more carefully when having “these hard conversations.”