Page 1








& K C BA



Forum Hillsdale

October 2012

rt! P 5 a l a r e b i l Math: It’s the only


11 P ! s e i m e n e r F merica’s 1 -ball! P 2 B s y a l p en d i B

Contents Volume xiv, Issue i, october 2012

Conservative Features 3 Drones- Friend or Foe? by James Inwood The robot apocalypse is coming. What would George Washington do? 5 Math: The Only Liberal Art by Sam Ryskamp The classical liberal arts were firmly grounded in mathematics, but at Hillsdale the subject often falls by the wayside. Ryskamp campaigns for a renewed emphasis on mathematics because of its utility and inherent beauty. 7 Defense Spending and the Destruction of Liberty by Devin Creed America is spending hundreds of billions on defense in spite of the massive federal deficit. Creed argues for a paleoconservative approach to foreign policy like that espoused by many of the Founders. 9 Romney Ryan 2012 by Kelsey Drapkin Romney might not be Reagan, but he’s a nice guy. Drapkin explains why it took conservatives so long to support him, and how Ryan’s early interest in Randian philosphy may not be such a bad thing. 11 The “Frenemy” Dilemma by Spencer Amaral The Forum’s resident libertarian on how America is like a middle-school girl.

Campus Features

13 Alumni… Where are they now? by Corrie Beth Hendon 2012 alumni Adam and Samantha Nasser journey to South Korea to teach English. 14 Professor’s iPod by Anna Shoffner Become a better economist: find out what Dr. Wolfram is jamming to this semester. 15 Campus Smackdown: “Let’s Debate” vs. “Let’s Chat” by Chelsey Schmid Are you disillusioned with debate? You’re not alone. Hillsdale students weigh in on the respective merits of arguing and fleeing in terror. 17 Stepping Outside the Wardrobe: C.S. Lewis’ Dymer by Matt O’Sullivan C.S. Lewis’ only published narrative poem, influenced by his struggles with Christianity. 21 Politics of the Playground by Andy Reuss When Congress recesses, what sports do they play? Parliamentary games. Reuss explains all this and more in a humor piece about D.C.’s schoolchildren, politicians. 22: Spotlight on Fraternity Rush by Nate McBride Fraternity recruitment will be less of a rush this year: it will last a month instead of the traditional week. Greek authorities weigh in on the change.


With Extra Vitamins & Minerals!


Editor-in-Chief Wes Wright Staff Writers Spencer Amaral Mike Giles Corrie Beth Hendon Nate McBride Savannah Tibbetts Chelsey Schimid Associate Editor Corrie Beth Hendon Copy Editor Chelsey Schmid Editors Mike Giles Rebekah Lindstrom Caleb Eatough Photographers Sheridan Markatos Laurie Barnes Shaun Lichti Design and Layout Lauren Wierenga Nathan Wilson Business Manager Ryne Bessemer Advertisement Manager Nate McBride

Letter from the Editor-in-Chief ‘Condescending Wonka’ is destroying the American conservative movement. It is slowly undermining the rock on which our country is built, making moot the work of the Founding Fathers. For those unacquainted with memes, ‘Condescending Wonka’ is a still photograph from a 1971 movie based on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In it, a bemused Gene Wilder stares into the distance, flanked by sarcastic sentences in white bubble letters critiquing everything from politics to Hillsdating. New versions can be created in moments on web sites like quickmeme. com. The speed with which they can be produced and their intensely mocking tone make them useful weapons in internet arguments, to the detriment of public discourse. To be fair, few people go on Facebook to philosophize or debate. When such occasions arise, however, they quickly deteriorate into ad hominem assaults and brutal meme battles. All too often, actual discussion of ideas is lost in the mad effort to win the argument and portray oneself as humorous. This form of discourse can lead to one of the problems Plato describes in the Pheado: misology, “hating and reviling reasoned discussion”. The Facebook Generation is growing up in an atmosphere in which the most common methods of argumentation are out-of-context sound bites and sleazy meme attacks. Reasoned political discussion is virtually impossible on the internet (pun most certainly intended) and on television, where a “debate” consists of candidates reciting talking points and yelling at the moderator. Why would people like reasoned discussion if it always devolved into mindless lampoon? One aspect of The Hillsdale Forum’s mission is to

Mission Statement The Hillsdale Forum is an independent, student-run Conservative magazine at Hillsdale College. The Forum, in support of the mission statement of Hillsdale College, exists to promote a return to limited government as outlined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. We publish Conservative opinion, editorials, and campus news. The Forum is a vehicle to bring the discussion and thought of the intelligent students and professors at the heart of the Conservative movement beyond the classroom and beyond Hillsdale’s campus.

counteract this descent into misology, for “[t]here is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse.” A forum in both name and function, it provides a place for students to engage in rational discourse without the threat of Willy Wonka peering over our proverbial shoulder. Freshmen: The Forum is Hillsdale’s magazine of conservative political thought. Founded in 2003 as a newspaper partnered with the College Republicans, it has since become independent of that organization and is now entirely student-run. Last year, Rachael Wierenga changed the format from a newspaper to a full-color magazine. The Forum is divided into two sections: Conservative Features, a collection of student essays on conservative political philosophy and the liberal arts, and Campus Features, which highlights individuals and topics of student interest. This issue contains everything from George Washington to basketball, from fraternity rush to C.S. Lewis. Reasoned discussion is required if Hillsdalians are to successfully pursue Truth. As this edition’s ‘Campus Smackdown’ section suggests, some students have become disillusioned with debate – a precursor to the misology discussed by Plato. Without dialectic, debate, and discussion, one risks being trapped in one’s own views. Truth outside of one’s beliefs cannot be attained in such a situation. Discussion of classically liberal ideas – on which most Hillsdale students agree – is less likely to disillusion or to incite anger than is antithetical, impassioned debate. The Forum should be a comfortable milieu in which conservatives can more fully develop their ideas and pursue Truth. Interested in rejecting the meme culture and promoting the conservative cause? Has a professor’s lecture led you to better understand your beliefs? Like taking pictures of Hillsdale’s frozen tundra? Have a razor wit and a penchant for lambasting liberals? Can you meet deadlines? Let us know. We are always searching for contributors, and fancy magazines always look nice on a résumé. We hope to publish at least three more issues this year. Look for the next before Winter Break. In the meantime, beware of Insanity Wolves and Socially Awkward Penguins.

Wes Wright


DroneS: Friend or When America’s leading statesmen met to frame a new constitution for the young republic, they hoped to transform their ideas and principles into a framework of law. Not all of them got their way, however. Elbridge Gerry proposed that the Constitution limit standing armies to five thousand men. George Washington applauded the motion, but added that they should consider limiting invading armies to three thousand men. The convention laughed the motion out of consideration. Washington was in many ways the original conservative. During the Revolution, he had worked tirelessly to defend traditional American liberties and dedicated himself to keeping the Colonies unified. He also worked to keep the radicals in check, from liberals who dogmatically opposed any governmental action to nationalists who dreamt of a global mercantilist power. The Washington who ridiculed Gerry’s motion also believed that an excessive military establishment could impinge upon personal freedom. He hoped to maintain the military America needed and nothing more. Fast forward to 2012: rows of musketmen have been replaced by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) armed with everything from advanced detection equipment to high-explosive missiles. The issue divides Democrats and Republicans alike; even conservatives have no unified position. To some, drone warfare is part of a hallowed military establishment that must be never questioned. For others, the UAV is a terrifying encroachment of big government. Those who leap to either conclusion may well be die-hard nationalists or liberals. A conservative, however, must apply George Washington’s test: Is it potentially dangerous and/or necessary to selfgovernment? First: Are drones a threat to American liberty? Sadly, the answer is yes. Any policy grants the government power, which in the hands of a cabal is a threat to liberty – especially when it involves an exclusive claim on blowing things into little pieces. Further, the modern drone is not like a welfare check or a fancy new tank. It has incredible, almost inconceivable destructive potential.


The drone supports a myriad of aerial capabilities. The military and police can outfit it with a wider array of weapons, surveillance equipment, and other devices than any helicopter or fighter plane. Flying lower and more slowly, its precision with these tools surpasses most other aircraft, watching individual rooms or targeting particular people for annihilation. Its small profile and quiet propulsion make the drone almost unnoticeable. Drones are also incredibly cost efficient. Uncle Sam can buy thirty Predator drones for the price of one F-22 fighter, forty for an AC-130 aerial gunship, and 250 for a single B-2 bomber. In addition, there is no need to risk skilled flight crews, and it is fair easier to train remote operators than pilots. A few drones can cover more area than an AC-130 at lower cost and to greater effect. Will America’s humane and democratic government use this power against its citizens? Everyone – Left and Right, Occupier and Tea Partier – has witnessed the willingness of government to use violence against “dangerous dissidents”. Drones have already claimed American victims: Anwar and Abdul-Rahman al-Awlaki and Kamal Derwish, jihadi sympathizers killed by drone strikes in Yemen, were not saved by their United States citizenship. Law enforcement use of UAVs for surveillance purposes has already begun in American cities. The greatest danger, however, lies in a drone’s stealth. Unlike the siege at Waco or the clashes in Oakland, a UAV flying overhead is inconspicuous. Pakistanis have reported that one does not know a drone is around until a missile strikes. This is a deadly problem because Americans are oblivious to any problem not shoved in their face by the 24-hour-media. Consider our budget deficit: until right-wing commentators and politicians discovered how useful the issue was, nobody cared. Frankly, Americans would revel in their limitless freedom even if drones watched their every move. Our apathy towards the deaths of innocents at the hands of America’s militarized police force indicates that drones could murder our compatriots without inciting protest.

foe of liberty?

By: James Inwood

On to the second part of the test: might drones be crucial to our national defense? They have obvious potential: everything a drone can do to Americans can be done to jihadists. But potential and actuality are separate questions. So, is the United States making such productive use of this weapon that it is absolutely necessary? Today, the United States uses drones primarily for reconnaissance and precision airstrikes in the Middle East, especially Pakistan and Yemen. These strikes can kill jihadis, civilians, or both. What’s the ratio? Generally, locals think that most drone strikes kill the innocent. Most sources say that one or two civilians die for every militant neutralized. The CIA, on the other hand, claims that a series of strikes which killed over 600 militants resulted in absolutely no collateral damage. The ratio that really matters, though, is how much this campaign helps or hurts America. To the extent that drone strikes kill Taliban or Al Qaeda members, they are good and helpful. On the other hand, they serve as a propaganda windfall for terrorists, which is a problem. The New America Foundation reports that drone strikes have killed between one and three thousand militants, but the local population perceives the cost to innocent life and local sovereignty as excessive. The government of Pakistan has publically asked the United States to end the campaign. These perceptions may be false, even ridiculous in some cases. But this war is an ideological one, in which those same perceptions draw the battle lines. Middle-Easterners who see the jihadists as monsters will aid the US in their defeat, but those who see America as the murderous party will align themselves with the enemy, contributing opinions,

Heritage & First Principles

money, or rifles. The immediate family of a target often turns to militancy in response to the death of one they consider innocent. To justify itself, the drone campaign would have to kill as many militants as it creates – an unlikely prospect. Ultimately, the use of drones is a detriment to American foreign policy. The United States could solve this problem with a massive propaganda campaign or by abandoning the hearts-andminds doctrine, but these options are politically impossible. The US must either abandon the drone

program altogether or replace it with something better suited to the present conflict. Like President Washington, conservatives should be wary of an expansive military. That said, the shifting realities of geopolitics may someday make UAVs an integral part of America’s defense. Until then, however, we should not offer one iota of tolerance for a program that unnecessarily endangers our liberty.

James Inwood is a junior studying the liberal arts 4

By Sam Ryskamp I’m going to go out on a limb and say that, as a Hillsdale College student and avid Forum reader, you probably came here to study the liberal arts. Perusing the diverse institutions of higher education, you discovered that there is no better place to partake in the classical, Greco-Roman pursuit of the liberal arts than Hillsdale. Now that you’re a student, your schedule is brimming with classes in the Western and American heritage, rhetoric, economics, natural and social sciences, philosophy, music, and the U.S. Constitution. Soon you’ll march proudly across the stage, clutching a freshly printed degree that evidences your completion of the most rigorous liberal arts education in America. But if you’re like the majority of Hillsdale students, you will receive that degree despite having utterly ignored the entire field of mathematics, the subject that lies at the center of a traditional liberal arts education.

“Plato inscribed these words above the door of the Academy: ‘Let no one ignorant of geometry enter.’” How will you manage this? Very simply. You need only score 24 or better on the math portion of the ACT. Even though Hillsdale College has an average ACT score of 29, a 24 is enough to allow you, a student supposedly pursuing a well-rounded education, to ignore the entire discipline of mathematics. In no other area are the requirements so meager. Can you imagine the outrage if the same approach applied to History or English? Unfortunately, Hillsdale College, like many other American educational institutions, has allowed the term “liberal arts education” to serve, at least partially, as a get-out-of-math-free card. But if we look at history, we see that there are few subjects as central to the liberal arts as mathematics. Mathematics has been in the liberal arts since the beginning. We trace our current conception of the liberal arts back to the medieval trivium and quadrivium, seven subjects that trained students to become knowledgeable citizens during the middle ages. The trivium was composed of logic, grammar, and rhetoric, and served as the basic education. The first is a close cousin of math, so it’s fair to count about one third of the trivium as mathematics. The quadrivium, on the other hand, was almost purely mathematics. It was made up of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. Arithmetic and Geometry are pure math classes. To medievals, however, music and astronomy were also essentially applied math courses. Of the original seven liberal arts, five were math-related—a proportion that is not reflected in the core curriculum. But let’s go back even further, to the original masterminds behind the liberal arts: the ancient Greeks. No one can deny the influence of Euclid, Archimedes, and the Pythagoreans on mathematics. The ancient Greek most gung-ho about mathematics, however, was none other than Plato himself. Tradition has it that Plato inscribed these words above the door of the Academy: “Let no one ignorant of geometry enter.” Plato viewed math as the ideal liberal art. For him, mathematics was a method of thinking, a tool for logically understanding the world in which we must first become proficient before we can tackle less objective topics. Socrates even went so far as to say that “The understanding of 5

The Only Liberal Art

mathematics is necessary for a sound grasp of ethics.” The Greeks and medievals recognized that one of the foremost purposes of a liberal arts education is learning how to think, and mathematics is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal. Math trains you to rigorously structure your thoughts without interference from preconceived political or religious biases. It forces you to recognize what is important, identify the larger principles involved, and then logically and systematically work toward an objective conclusion. In this way, math helps you build a framework for proper reasoning that can be applied to any subject. Plato stated in The Republic, “Mathematics are necessary, because by the exactness of the method, we get a habit of using our minds to the best advantage.” That habit is the essential goal of a liberal arts education. Mathematics is valuable not only in its ability to train the mind in rational thinking but also from a purely historical standpoint. It’s a telling fact that every culture, from the ancient Babylonians to the British Empire, has chosen to devote a significant portion of its leisure and its brightest minds to the study of mathematics. A math course is a journey in the giant footsteps of Leibniz, Newton, Descartes, Da Vinci, Einstein, and more. Throughout the ages, math displays remarkable continuity, free from major upheavals or interruptions. We still respect the work of the Pythagoreans, and our linear algebra textbooks even include questions from 2000-year-old Chinese manuscripts. You would be hard-pressed to find another discipline so universal and so continuous. Math is a cultural common denominator (yes, that is a math pun), a universal language spoken by educated thinkers across time and geography. As such, it is a more than worthy pursuit for the student of the liberal arts. Finally, mathematics synthesizes the twin pursuits of utility and beauty. At technical and career training schools, students sacrifice beauty for utility. At Hillsdale College, we tend toward the opposite. But math does both. You may not have recognized the beauty of math in your high school algebra class, but then again, you probably didn’t see much beauty in your high school composition classes either. As Aristotle himself said, “The chief forms of beauty are order and symmetry and definiteness, which the mathematical sciences demonstrate in a special degree.” Math is also exceedingly practical. According to Forbes Magazine, every single one of the fifteen most valuable college majors is highly math-intensive. Employers have always appreciated transcripts with a healthy dose of calculus, especially since the growth of the data-driven world. College is an opportunity to pursue what you love, and it is also a time of preparation to become a profitable member of society. Math reconciles these two goals like no other subject. But if math’s longstanding liberal arts tradition, its historical value, and its inherent beauty aren’t enough to convince you, there must be another reason, and I think I know what it is. It’s an unspoken, but real inhibition: You just don’t think you’re good at math, and you’re worried you could get a poor grade. But when’s the last time that stopped you, a Hillsdale College student, from pursuing a liberal arts education? Believe it or not, math is something you—yes you—can learn. It might be difficult, but “strength rejoices in the challenge.” As Ben Franklin once wrote, “What science then can there be, more noble, more excellent, more useful for men, more admirably high and demonstrative, than this of the mathematics?” I only ask that you don’t allow the fear of a healthy challenge to prevent you from pursuing a true liberal arts education.

Sam Ryskamp is a sophomore studying the liberal arts. 6

Defense Spending and the Destruction of Liberty Devin Creed According to presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, “The idea of cutting our military commitment by a trillion dollars over this decade is unthinkable and devastating.” Romney, like many Americans across the political spectrum, believes that the United States has a moral obligation to establish justice and democracy throughout the world. He argues that America received this duty because of her status as the world’s superpower and her role as a pioneer and promoter of liberty. This sentiment is a recent one in the United States foreign policy community. Prominent Founding Fathers, for instance, advocated noninterventionist international relations and a small military. George Washington hoped that America could “be upon friendly terms with, but independent of, all the nations of the earth. To share in the broils of none. To fulfil our own engagements.” In his Farewell Address, he observed that “Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent Alliances, with any portion of the foreign world.” By taking part in entangling alliances with a host of countries, the United States has ignored the advice of her first president. Such alliances have driven America to war and propelled the nation into conflicts that do not directly concern her national interests. J o h n Quincy Adams also discusses the problems of policing the world. In an 1821 speech he stated that “[America] goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom

and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.” Furthermore, Adams warned against fighting for the independence of others. The United States “well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest . . . which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.” There is little question now that America has – against the advice of her elder statesmen – become involved “beyond the power of extrication.” World War II pulled the U.S. into the affairs of foreign nations and helped the country attain superpower status. Now, in the shadow of the Cold War, America deposes monsters like Saddam Hussein and uses overwhelming force to spread liberty around the globe. By waging constant wars in the name of freedom, the United States has undermined its effort to serve as a beacon of liberty shining across the globe. In 1795, James Madison warned of the consequences of such a militaristic policy: “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes . . . known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few . . . . No nation could preserve its freedom in the 7

World Defense Spending (2012)

midst of continual warfare.” Madison’s prediction is an eerily accurate description of modern America. Extended foreign wars have caused burgeoning debt and diminishing personal freedoms. The new millennium has seen an unprecedented expansion of the military-industrial complex. In fiscal year 2013, the United States will spend $851 billion on defense and security, approximately 22% of the budget. The United States spends more on defense than any other single area of expenditure. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the U.S. accounts for 41% of the world’s military spending and outspends the next highest spender, China, by a factor of four. Even the next fourteen countries combined fall short of American expenditure on defense, and most of those nations are allied with the U.S. Such high levels of defense spending beg the question whether the U.S. is making untenable commitments to its military. A look at the facts reveals that policing the world is an expansive and expensive endeavor. The US has a military presence in about 130 of the world’s 192 countries. A 2010 Department of Defense report states that the US has 297,286 active duty personnel in foreign countries, not including actual combat deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Europe. More than sixty years after World War II, the US maintains over 53,000 troops in Germany, over 34,000 troops in Japan, and over 9,000 troops in Italy. The usefulness of these deployments is highly suspect and highly costly. Statements of contemporary legislators concerning the apparent dangers of cutting defense spending fly in the face of the American heritage. When considered in the context of America’s monstrous debt, such commitments seem still more irresponsible. Debt has exceeded 100% of GDP, the magical barrier that

Russia 4.1% United Kingdom 3.6% France 3.6%

speaks doom to nations of lesser clout, such as Greece. If the current state of affairs is not drastically changed, America will default on her debt. If America cannot curb the largest part of her budget –defense– how can she expect to escape default? Surely, sensible cuts can be made that do not threaten the defense of the nation. If America continues down her current path of exchanging liberty for force, she will not be able to preserve the freedoms of her citizens. Madison accurately predicted that debt and taxes would result from extended militarization. The former threatens to crush the American economy, a much more pressing problem than outspending our closest military rival by a factor of three instead of four.

Devin Creed is a sophomore studying Economics and History.


R R omney



By Kelsey Drapkin

While visiting a V.A. hospital, a politician looked through the hospital ledger. Impressed with the hospital’s financial responsibility, he asked what they might lack in supplies or equipment. “Milk,” they reported. The politician, uncomfortable with the heavy press coverage of his visit, jokingly responded in his own awkward way that they should teach the patients how to milk cows. About a week later, the milkman arrived at the hospital with 7,000 pints of milk, the exact amount the hospital needed. This delivery continued weekly for two years funded by an anonymous donor. Only when the milkman retired did the identity of the donor become public: Mitt Romney. Conservatives were looking for a bold, Reaganesque leader to spark an awakening of sorts that would return America to its founding principles: a free-market society where personal responsibility and good morals reign. Unfortunately, it has taken Romney much time to convince the public that he is that man. It was only after his selection of Ryan for running mate and the first presidential debate that the public was able to clearly identify his stances and philosophy. To his credit, Romney was immensely successful in the private sector. He was an extremely competent businessman which allowed him to accumulate much wealth. This activity is not to be frowned upon. In a free society, the accumulation of wealth is the result of improving other people’s lives; the only way to make money is to provide benefi-

“Romney took a strong stance on the extent of government: ‘The role of government is to promote and protect the principles of [The Declaration and Constitution].’” cial services to others. Applying this definition, Romney was able to improve many people’s lives through his work in the private sector. In addition, his 2011 tax return shows that he gave nearly 30% of his income to charities. Romney’s philanthropic actions stem from his bePhoto by Gage Skidmore lief that the service of good souls is more effective than the bureaucracy of the state. As his charitable giving and business career indicate, Romney is a good-natured man and—if it is not an oxymoron—a good-natured politician. But there are red flags in Romney’s political past that may overshadow his executive experience and benevolent nature. His Massachusetts healthcare legislation, “Romneycare,” became the blueprint for the Affordable Care Act. Romney has promised to repeal Obamacare, an action conservatives across America have supported since the bill passed. While it is heartening to hear Romney promise to repeal Obamacare, he added the word “replace” to this campaign promise. Rather than replacing Obamacare with legislation based on the same premise, Romney should promote the idea of free market control in an insurance sector free from governmental intervention. Meddling from Washington has been one of the primary causes of rising healthcare costs. Romney’s selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate excited many conservatives and


helped convince voters that Romney might be the leader for whom they had hoped. Ryan’s biggest struggle has been his youthful experiments with Randian Objectivism, which liberals criticize as a heartless and immoral philosophy. In an interview with Brit Hume of FOX News, Ryan pointed to Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” as his reason for interest in economics. He has, however, repeatedly said he disagrees with “objectivism” due to its inherent atheism, but he does agree with Rand’s emphasis on how free enterprise and liberty trump other socioeconomic systems. Ryan makes a compelling argument for his partial acceptance of Rand’s philosophy: “We’re coming close to a tipping point in America where we might have a net majority of takers versus makers in society, and that could become very dangerous if it sets in as a permanent condition. Because what we will end up doing is we will convert our safety net system — which is necessary I believe to help people who can’t help themselves, to help people who are down on their luck get back onto their feet — into a hammock that ends up lulling people into lives of dependency and complacency which drains them of their incentive and the will to make the most of their lives.” While Ryan is clearly encouraging personal responsibility, he is not promoting isolation of man from society. A safety net exists, but we expect our fellow man not to abuse it. Society expects him to try to provide for himself, but if he absolutely cannot, society will help get him back on his feet. Discussions of the four major economic issues in the upcoming election – Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare – should focus on these principles. During the first presidential debate, Romney took a strong stance on the extent of government: “The role of government is to promote and protect the principles of [The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution].” He systematically evaluated the line from the Declaration of Independence – that all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” – emphasizing that it is our Creator, not government, who grants these Rights and who has allowed us to flourish in the freedom to which we have grown accustomed. Americans need to remember that this is a country of opportunity, not guarantees. While all men are created equal, equality before law does not require the imposition of uniform economic outcomes. To ensure our country’s success, Romney and Ryan must champion the principles of personal responsibility, drive, and hard work.

Kelsey Drapkin is a Sophomore studying Political Economy and Journalism 10

The “Frenemy” Dilemma* By Spencer Amaral


ike any middle-school girl, America has BFFs and frenemies. Such relationships on the part of a major power indicate that the United States also has the planning capacity of a seventh-grader, but these strategies have been the basis of American grand strategy since World War Two. It is high time to realize its inadequacy to address the threat of terrorism. Mob bosses and foreign policy wonks always want others to do their dirty work when confronting an enemy. The problem is dealing with these allies-of-the-moment after they have accomplished their mission. American history is rife with examples of this “frenemy” problem. The Soviet Union was a vital ally in WWII, keeping Hitler occupied on the Eastern Front and paving the way to an eventual Allied victory. The USSR then became Public Enemy #1. America spent the next 45 years locked in the Cold War, ducking under a doorjamb every five minutes and interrogating filmmakers accused of promoting communism. The U.S. then fought a proxy war against the Soviets, supporting those who stood up to socialist superpower. The Mujahedeen, freedom fighters in Afghanistan, fiercely resisted Russian occupation for almost a decade, with the help of American weapons and funding. After the fall of the USSR, the Mujahedeen became Al Qaeda and turned against the United States. The 1991World Trade Center Bombing, the attack on the USS Cole, and the 9/11 attacks eventually forced America to follow Soviet tracks into Afghanistan. Eleven years later, the U.S. still struggles to do what the USSR could not. In the 1980s the United States backed Saddam Hussein, militarily and financially supporting Iraq’s war against Iran. In 1990, less than three years after that war ended, America fought Iraq in the first Persian Gulf War. The sequel came out in 2003, but the U.S. never found the nuclear MacGuffin that the Bush Administration used to justify the war. Such precedent should not be taken lightly. America must realize that the enemy of its enemy is not necessarily a friend. For how long will Congress keep sending taxpayer money to “allies” who end up using their new resources and training against the United States? Once again, utilizing Russia as an ally in the Second World War was a crucial aspect of the plan to defeat Nazi Germany. But WWII will never happen again. The days of conventional warfare waged between world powers struggling at max capacity ended with the invention of nuclear weapons. As long as America continues to intervene in the Middle East, it will be waging a war that its military is not designed to fight. Though the U.S. has the best and most technologically advanced fighting force in the world, it is being forced to fight on the terrorists’ terms, playing to their strengths. America maintains the moral high ground while insurgents plant IEDs and take * “Frenemy” is a portmanteau of “friend” and “enemy.” It refers to someone who is purportedly a friend, but who is actually an enemy. 11

pot-shots in crowded cities, using non-combatants as human shields. It is up to Washington and the Pentagon to utilize the troops in the most effective way possible. They can surely do better. As Machiavelli points out in The Prince, the greatest mistake a new ruler can make after he has secured a new region is to gain the enmity and hatred of the common man, who would normally be uninterested in matters of power and politics. Today, the U.S. faces a similar issue. The longer America fights in the Middle East to support regimes with whom it shares no common ideals, and the more likely it is to gain the hatred of previously uninterested individuals. Anything from propping up an unpopular government to a drone strike that kills can cause distrust and hatred of the West. The end result is the creation of more enemies over time, in a culture capable of holding grudges for thousands of years. Some argue that American power ought to be used to support those fighting for common ideals. Others respond with statistics about crushing debt and a war-weary public, seeing folly in the needless extension of the military on feel-good ventures not directly related to national security. But, for the sake of argument, where are these good, liberty-loving people whose oppression the U.S. is uniquely poised to remove? The Arab Spring did not arise from shared ideals, unless you consider the Muslim Brotherhood and other extremist Islamic groups with ties to Al Qaeda as manifestations of American-style democracy. Is there moral satisfaction in supporting pro-democracy regime change when the new regime is defiantly anti-American? The answer is an emphatic no. The United States must change its grand strategy to better deal with a Middle-Eastern culture that has embraced constant warfare and religious extremism for millennia. By adjusting to this reality, America can better utilize the strengths and abilities of its military, protect the lives of its servicemen, and keep the nation safe from terrorist and frenemy alike.

Spencer Amaral is a Junior studying Political Economy 12

Alumni... Where are they now? Adam and Samantha Nasser graduated from Hillsdale in May 2012, were married a few days after graduation and are currently teaching English in South Korea. What made you decide to go overseas, and why Korea? We initially thought coming to Korea after school would be a fun “adventure” before starting work in “the real world” and/or grad school. However, as we got farther along into the process, we began to realize that this is the perfect opportunity for a recent graduate—way better than we initially thought. You don’t have to worry about interviewing with a bunch of companies, trying to find an apartment, etc. Though the application process was very rigorous in the amount of paperwork required, it actually seemed easier than the constant interview/waiting game that many of my friends were going through our last semester. What exactly does your job entail? We work with EPIK (English Program in Korea), which is a government sponsored program to bring English teachers to Korea. On a daily basis, we are either teaching or making lesson plans (I teach Kindergarden, 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th, Adam teaches 4th, 5th and 6th). However, we have a lot of free time during the day, which is sweet because we never have to take work home with us—there’s always plenty of time at the office to get everything done. How do you think your Hillsdale education is going to be helpful/hurtful in the work you are doing? I don’t think that my Hillsdale education will be particularly helpful here - if anything, the idea of teaching English in isolation of other subjects goes against many of the ideas I learned at school. However, I think this is pretty similar to teaching at most elementary schools in the US, except teachers are well respected and treated far better here. Oh, there is one way college did prepare me for this job. Korean drinking culture is HUGE and on our first faculty dinner, the vice-principle literally went around the tables and did a shot of Soju (a Korean drink that is like watered down Vodka) with every single teacher. There is a lot of pressure to drink socially here and fortunately, many of the Koreans are lightweights so we don’t have a problem keeping up. What do you miss about Hillsdale? Hands down, I miss my friends and professors more than anything else at Hillsdale. Though there are plenty of English teachers in Sokcho, where we live, it’s just not the same as the kinds of people I knew at Hillsdale. What’s one thing you learned at Hillsdale that you think you will remember for the rest of your life? The things that will stick with me the most are great memories, not things I learned: nights with friends, the last preference party I got to be a part of, my first hangover, our Calvin discussion group, joining a church, office hours with professors full of great conversations, office hours with professors where I was terrified and stuttered the whole time, failed exams, learning not to care about failed get the idea. Any final thoughts you’d like to add? I really really think more graduating seniors should consider spending a year abroad teaching somewhere like Korea. There is no better way to experience a culture, while being allowed the freedom (both time and financial) to explore other areas. For example, we get 3 weeks of paid winter vacation, which we will be spending in Italy—an opportunity we absolutely would not have had if Adam had started grad school and I had begun working.

13 13

Interview by Corrie Beth Hendon


iPod By: Anna Shoffner

Dr. Gary Wolfram’s Political Economy class is on the bucket-list of many Hillsdale students. Wolfram’s weekly installments of “Band pick of the week” and “Classic album of the week” add further delight to interesting and insightful discussion of events. He also shamelessly promotes his son Wyatt’s band, Mileo (see mileo. If you missed out on Political Economy this semester, never fear! The Hillsdale Forum is here to provide you with Dr. Wolfram’s musical recommendations:

Must-hear Bands: The Rolling Stones Fleetwood Mac Eric Clapton Van Morrison Bob Dylan Mumford and Sons The Who Flogging Molly

Best Country Bands:

Two Albums Every Hillsdale Student Should Listen To:

Favorite One-Hit Wonders: Suds in the Bucket, by Sara Evans

Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks

Dirty Water, by the Standells

The Rolling Stones, High Tide and Green

All on the Watchtower, by The Paperboys

Waylon Jennings Hank Williams, Jr.


VS “Let’s Chat”

Jennifer Shadle, Sophomore

Why do you personally dislike serious debates? “It isn’t so much the seriousness of the debate. . .as the intensity. . . . I recognize that many people like heated banter, but I am not one of those people. When I am pulled into a debate, it’s rather like being placed in front of car with smoke pouring out from under the hood and being told to fix it. I am equally capable of handling both situations. As in, not at all. Therefore, I attempt to avoid them as much as possible. Debates, that is. Cars are kind of a necessity in modern society.” What is your least favorite debate topic to listen to? “Catholicism vs Protestantism; however, that might just be because that is the most common. Scratch that. My least favorite debate topic is who was the better Joker, Heath Ledger or Jack Nicholson. I mean, really. It isn’t even a contest.” Can you recommend any tactics for those wanting to steer their Saga companions away from debates? “If they feel that the conversation is about to pass the point of no return. . . well, desperate times call for desperate measures. . . • Tell them a funny story related (or unrelated) to the topic • Sing; obscure Broadway show-tunes work very well for me, but pick your poison • Hold your awkward balloons (awkward turtle works as well). Trust me, at some point someone will ask you something along the lines of ‘what are you doing?’ However,. . ..these rarely, if ever, work. Honestly, you’d be better off staring into space dreaming of being the twelfth Doctor or the newest member of the Avengers.”

15 15

Compiled by Chelsey Schmid

VS Spencer Amaral, Junior

“Let’s Debate”

Why do you think it’s important to discuss political and religious topics? “First and foremost, because political and religious argumentation are what make Hillsdale special. Take that away, and we’re no different from any state school. But on a side note, many consider religion and politics essential factors in the central inquiry of a liberal arts student: How one ought to live.” In what situations should one refrain from arguing over topics? “When you start receiving threats of violence from disinterested by-standers, you are either doing something wrong, or among unfavorable company. Either way, just let it go.” What is your favorite thing to argue about? “Whatever it takes to make neo-cons mad. Which is easily done.” From where do you draw inspiration for your debating style? “On a serious note: George Washington, who exemplified good motivations and overriding ethics. You have to approach any discussion assuming your opponent means well, and is not necessarily evil. The best way for you to show love and care for them is by sharing your deepest convictions, by providing factual evidence and sound logic in a sincere manner. It’s a difficult standard to always live up to, --especially amid a heated debate-- but a sound one to aim for.”

Photos by Shaun Lichti

16 16

Stepping outside the

Wardrobe: A review Hillsdale students adore C.S. Lewis. Most students Lewis for two reasons. First, Lewis wrote it during first heard The Chronicles of Narnia in between the essays of the Federalist while they were still in the womb. At the age of three, these wannabe-Narnians chased the family pet crying, “Aslan is on the move!” By fourteen, they are refuting the last vestiges of atheism by posting quotes from Mere Christianity on Facebook. At college, they seek the prince or princess with whom they will have four children in the hallowed boy-girl-boygirl alternation and bend the laws of nature to their will. Perhaps the above is hyperbole. Regardless, Hillsdale gets excited about C.S. Lewis. They pore over the Chronicles and peruse Lewis’ nonfictional greats like Mere Christianity and The Abolition of Man. Yet many readers – even those who call themselves triple-A fans (Avid Aslan Aficionados) – never step outside the Wardrobe to delve into some of his richest and, arguably, greatest works. Dymer, one of Lewis’ four narrative poems, hides in a little box of treasures overshadowed by his major works. The idea for Dymer “came to [him]” when he was seventeen: “a man who, on some mysterious bride begets a monster: which monster, as soon as it has killed its father, becomes a god.” He first published the poem in 1926 under the pseudonym Clive Hamilton and then republished it under his own name in 1950. As he wrote the poem, Lewis stood locked in his intellectual wrestling match with Christianity. As such, the little nine-canto narrative poem gives readers a view of Lewis unseen in his other books. Dymer offers the reader a keen perspective on

his early years as an author, years in which he sought to stake his claim as a poet. Although we know him best for his fiction and prose, poetry marked Lewis’ beginnings. Some critics dub Dymer “his supreme effort at writing narrative poetry, that kind of poetry by which he hoped to achieve poetic acclaim.” Lewis resisted the poetic style of his day, writing in a manner akin to that of History’s poetic giants. His structure of choice is the rhyme royal, or “Chaucer Stanza”: seven lines of iambic pentameter in an ababbcc rhyme pattern. By writing in this style, he joins a history rooted in great English poetry – the rhyme royal was “the standard English stanza to use for serious verse” until the late sixteenth century. Because his poetry goes against the tides of his day and the fact that Lewis tried to root it in the styles of classical literature, Dymer offers plenty for both the seasoned English major and the freshman muddling through The Odyssey, The Divine Comedy, and Paradise Lost. Second, Dymer refines our view of C.S. Lewis himself. Hillsdale students should be careful not to make a god or thirteenth disciple of Lewis. The epistles do not include letters intercepted from the correspondence of two demons, and the Lion of Judah is not named Aslan. As Petrarch wrote during his dealings with the Scholastic Aristotelians in the 1300s: “I certainly believed that Aristotle was a great man who knew much, but he was human and could well be ignorant of some things, even of a great many things.” Like most of Lewis’ works,


of CS Lewis’ narrative Poem Dymer Dymer offers a puzzling story full of meaning, but it serves as a reminder that he did not always churn out dazzling prose laced with Christian symbolism that brings the high and divine down to the layman. The meaning of the story does not come easily. Though it is always difficult to pin down the exact meaning of a story, when an author says of his work, “Every one may allegorise it or psychoanalyse it as he pleases: and if I did so myself my interpretations would have no more authority than anyone else’s,” one can be sure that serious interpretation will require great care. Indeed, in Dymer Lewis crafts a patchwork quilt that strings together the greatest of themes: anarchy and authoritarianism, dreams and disillusionment, love and lust, destiny and downfall. The jam-packed feel of the poem has drawn much criticism: “Taken as a whole, Dymer fails. Considered episode by episode, there is a checkered pattern of failures and successes.” In other words, say such detractors, Dymer’s quilt has its pretty patches, but the blanket as a whole is ugly to behold. But not all quilts weave the particulars into one clear image. The most meaningful quilts are often not made of the finest fabric but the scraps of t-shirts emblazoned with prints from summer camp and the frayed corner of a childhood blanket. Such quilts do not meld into one unified idea – they tell a story. Lewis’ narrative poem is a deeply personal quilt of old t-shirts from the philosophical places he had been. Thus, Dymer captures a glimpse of Lewis’ quest for joy and his struggle with Christianity. Dymer’s feeling of “some fear of being found, / Some hope to find he knew not what” may serve as an expression of Lewis’ own soul. This looming fear and faint hope makes Dymer become more than a loosely related series of themes connected only by the binding of the pages. It is a vivid account of the search for meaning everyone endures. Viewed this way, the

frantic transition between themes becomes a powerful portrayal of life’s great chase. In that chase, one sometimes runs from what one wanted all along, in the manner of Lewis. Thus, when Dymer ponders the nature of joy—“Can it all die like this? . . . Joy flickers on / The razor-edge of the present and is gone” —we can see Lewis still waiting to be surprised by Joy.

1. C.S. Lewis, Dymer, in Narrative Poems, ed. Walter Hooper (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1969), 3. 2. The C.S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia, Ed. Jeffrey D. Schultz and John G. West Jr. (Grand Rapids: ZondervanPublishingHouse, 1998), 144. 3. Jack Myers and Don. C. Wukasch, Dictionary of Poetic Terms (Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2003), 55. 4. Francesco Petrarca, On His Own Ignorance and That of Many Others, in Western Heritage Reader, ed. Hillsdale College History Faculty (Hillsdale: Hillsdale College Press, 2010), 524. 5. Lewis, 3. 6. Chad Walsh, The Literary Legacy of C.S. Lewis (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979), 46. 7. Lewis, II.4.3-4. 8. Lewis, V.10.5-6.

Matt O’Sullivan is a Sophomore studying the liberal arts.


Dan Reynolds



Year: freshman Major: ...the liberal arts? Hometown: Beverly Hills, MIchigan What is your favorite personal asset?

Humor—I’m always trying to keep it light. I haven’t met a girl who doesn’t like humor. Also, gotta keep the hair lookin’ good…condition more than you shampoo.

If you had to marry somebody from a novel, who would it be and why?

I wish I had read more recently. I’ve been stuck reading books from Great Books, and I wouldn’t want to marry anybody from Great Books. But maybe Hermione Granger… she’s a witch, and she’s down with me being a muggle.

Describe your dream girl in terms of a motorized vehicle. Shelby Cobra GT-500—it’s American, handmade, awesome, and when you look at it you’re like “That’s a Shelby cobra…like, whoa.”

Assuming you will actually “settle down” with one of the thousands upon thousands of desperate girls throwing rocks at your window every night, how many kids do you aspire to have one day? How’d you guys know about that? Probably two or three. Three would be a compromise.

What is more romantic—a heart-shaped box of chocolates or a heart shaped necklace? I never did the classic stuff. I gave one girl a teddy bear, and I sprayed my cologne on it…it worked pretty well.

How do you feel about dates in Saga? I would casually go get a meal with a girl, but I would never go out of my way as a first date and say “Oh, wanna catch a date at Saga?” First of all, I wouldn’t even be able to swipe the girl in because I’m on the wrong meal plan. And secondly, 90% of the time all I’m doing in Saga is complaining about the food so I would probably be a bad date. a. Assuming one lucky guy got to take you into Saga one day, what would be the appropriate meal (if any) to do so and why? Assuming I was forced into doing it, I would probably just get some pizza because it’s basically the only thing that’s consistently good.

b. Would you carry her plate? humor

I think that’s a little much…I mean, I already have my hands full with my plate 17 and my drink—I’m not a waiter, I can’t hold two plates and two drinks.




Compiled by Savanah Tibbetts

t Victoria Zajac

of the month

Year: Frosh. Major: Undecided Hometown: Toledo, OH

W hat is your favorite personal asset? Probably my really tiny baby ears that don’t allow me to have more than two piercings. If you had to marry somebody from a novel, who would it be and why?

Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. Purely so I could say that “my husband is Mr. Darcy”…you have to say it with the accent.

Describe your dream guy in terms of a motorized vehicle. A Vespa.

Assuming you will actually “settle down” with one of the thousands upon thousands of desperate guys throwing rocks at your window every night, how many kids do you aspire to have one day? A solid 12 to 24. They’re just gonna roll out. But realistically… like, 5. What is more romantic—a heart-shaped box of chocolates or a heart shaped necklace? A heart shaped box of necklaces.

How do you feel about dates in Saga? I don’t like to eat in Saga…even by myself. It’d be like going on a date with an audience.

a. Assuming one lucky guy got to take you into Saga one day, what would be the appropriate meal (if any) to do so and why? I feel like Taco Tuesday is always an event. But Fish Friday is kinda similar to a night on the town. Pulling out all the stops for Fish Friday.

b. Would you expect him to carry your plate? No, absolutely not…because I’m usually eating while I walk to the table. Especially if there are French fries involved.

Describe yourself as a Crayola Crayon. It’s that one crayon that looks blue in the box but draws purple and confuses everyone. It’s a different experience for each person.

On average, how many dates do you go on per month? I understand this could be a pretty large number so a rough estimate is okay. A rough estimate? I mean, I go on dates with my stuffed dinosaur every night— it’s a true story. 18 So the average per month is 30.

Politics of the Playground By: Andy Reuss

Most of us were children once. Of those that were, many played sports during recess. Whether it was on the court, the field, or the diamond, we were exposed to different kinds of people, different kinds of players. The children we met playing sportsball are very like the adults we know today. Tenacious or docile, careful or careless, the broad spectrum of man can be found on the playground. Politicians in particular have barely strayed from their schoolyard games: after all, how is their pouting, unfair play, or time-wasting any different from that which occurs on the blacktop? Politicians –corrupt and honorable alike– parallel boyhood basketball stereotypes. The first sort of kid is the bully. He is big, he is strong, and he knows it. But he’s not very athletic. He’s just large, and uses his obtuse size to push others around. The bully plays for the sake of feeling included. He doesn’t want to play by the rules, and often cheats to win or pursue attention. There lies the one redeeming thing about the bully: he can help win. With size, the desire to garner attention, and … size, the bully can assist any team in winning. In politics, the bully is the loudest and most obnoxious person speaking. They desire attention and do whatever they can to garner it (often making people want to smack them in the process). Thankfully, the media acts as a teacher, catching them saying things they would rather others not hear. In contemporary politics, one might think of a certain individual from Delaware: with his classic technique of “open mouth, insert foot,” Joe Biden plays the unathletic, undiplomatic bully to a T. Next, we find the “Ice Man.” This kid is smooth, from his trendy clothes to his on-court attitude. He’s pretty good, and he knows it. This kid has been playing basketball for years, goading himself with visions of grandeur and greatness. While his talent is unquestionable, his performance is lacking. He doesn’t share the ball. He doesn’t always go for the right shot. In many cases, his stubbornness and the resulting lack of success turn his friends against him. Pride

gets in the way of his perception of error. While this could also describe many politicians, only the most gloriously erroneous can compare. What is the problem? It doesn’t matter. Is there even a problem? It doesn’t matter. He’s the one to do the job, for better or for worse. And when he misses the layup at the end of the fourth quarter, it’s probably just the referee’s fault for not giving him enough time. Sound familiar? President Obama likes to take the shot, but doesn’t like to admit it when he misses. Finally, we have those kids who are good, know they’re good, but still play as a team. Who doesn’t love the guy who can shoot just as well as he can pass the ball to others? A true athlete and a winner, the ideal schoolyard basketball player is the one with whom everyone wants to play. He doesn’t cheat, but he does whatever else needs to be done to lead his team to victory. This ability is the result of long hours of practice, thought, and a pinch of natural talent. Thankfully, politicians like this exist. The best of them are called ‘statesmen’ or ‘leaders.’ Famous or not, such politicians are essential to the America of free-throws and backboards. They keep order and preserve the rights of those they govern, much like the star players drive the action and maintain the fun of competition. With any luck, the dynamic Romney-Ryan duo will fit this bill for our country. The final parallel between playground basketball and the political arena is choosing teams. While the players themselves can vary, it is our job to pick them. We captains have the choice. To win, we must make the right one.


M∑αλZµπKΩXßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπK ΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZ αλ ZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩXßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩßXΓ ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆T ∑αλZµπK ΩßΓ∆T MφZM∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZXM∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩß ∆TφZ MX∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπK ΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπΩßΓ∆TφZM∑α Compiled by Nate McBride - Some Photography by Laurie Barnes λZµπKΩßΓ∆TφZM∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆Tφ M∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆Tφ M∑αλZµπKΩßΓ∆Tφ

Spotlight on...


The Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) and the various fraternities on campus have elected to change Rush Week to Rush Month for the 2012-13 academic year. The Dean of Men, the IFC president, and the president of ATO weigh in on the new fraternity rush process.

Dean Petersen

What do you see as the ultimate goal of the Greek System? The ultimate goal of the Greek Community is to help the College fulfill its mission of developing the minds and improving the hearts of its students. I expect the fraternity community to be a good example of the College’s mission, not an escape from it. In sum, the fraternity community is to be exemplary, with each chapter thriving on our campus and meeting or exceeding the standards of its own national fraternity. What led to the formation of the new rush process? I think most who are involved with fraternities today are aware of the current trends in recruitment strategy. Open-recruitment is common on campuses today, where men can join a fraternity at any time, 365 days a year (similar to men’s service organizations like Rotary or Kiwanas). Traditionally, there is a one-week formal recruitment period. This year, we used a hybrid of the two strategies that are used on other campuses: a four-week open recruitment period. This change allows potential members to get a good look at the respective houses so they can make a more informed decision. How will the new process benefit the Greek System and those men looking at joining a fraternity? It allows for a more comfortable and thorough recruitment process and offers potential members a more transparent look at each house. By spending an entire month with the active members, they get a better sense of which house would fit them best.

Matt Delapp

What led to the formation the new rush process? This all started with an IFC alumni board meeting that took place at the end of last semester. In attendance were current IFC members, multiple administrators including Dean Petersen, and 4-5 alumni representatives from each fraternity. The main topic of discussion was the declining numbers of each house. Ultimately, we decided to modify the rush process to make it more attractive to potential new members and easier for rushees to go through. How will the new process benefit the Greek System and those men looking at joining a fraternity? We felt that an open rush period would give more men opportunities to rush; rushees would feel a reduction in stress because there is not the one week, intensive recruitment phase like in the former process. Subsequently, we also felt that it gives the fraternities more time to get to know guys, and it increases the incentive for each fraternity to rush harder as competition is greatly increased. Also, we saw the potential for a rushee to persuade his friends to rush if he was given a bid. How do you think the system has worked out thus far? It is not a permanent system. In the coming weeks and months, we are going to review the negatives and positives and go from there. I can say that thus far this is a vast improvement from the former rush process.


Cody Eldredge

What led to the formation of the new rush process? The male Greek numbers had been declining; this new system is an attempt to try something new. How will it benefit the Greek System and those men looking at joining a fraternity? Instead of each fraternity putting on a show for a week, they must now work to get to know men over the course of an entire month. This also allows the men interested in joining the Greek system to make a more educated decision on whether or not they will join a fraternity. Possibly the most important aspect of this is the quantity of men this system is applicable to. There is a saying “quantity drives quality” and this makes sense in this instance. The more men fraternities are able to recruit, the more selective they can be. How do you think it has worked out thus far? Since this is the first time we have done this, I cannot yet say how successful it will be. However, I do not have anything negative to say about it. In fact, it has allowed for some positive changes to the IFC as far as an improvement in functionality.

Hillsdale in Photos By Shaun Lichti

The Hillsdale Forum October 2012  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you