Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor-in-Chief,

The March 3 article about the request to form a Students for Justice in Palestine chapter contains the following sentence: “Among the ideas on the sticky notes were to address government and law professor Ilan Peleg’s ‘propaganda class’ ….” We are deeply concerned about this claim being made about the teaching of a respected faculty member, and that an anonymous, mean-spirited sticky note was quoted in the article.

Sadly we are experiencing heated rhetoric across the country regarding what is, and what should or should not be, taught in a college classroom. Lafayette has long been a college focused on providing academic depth, breadth and rigor, where students are pushed to move beyond facile understandings and to engage meaningfully and respectfully with each other in the exploration of difficult topics. Professor Peleg has a distinguished history at Lafayette, having earned multiple awards for his teaching and mentorship of students. His student evaluations frequently contain comments about his ability to engage a class in productive, solution-seeking discussions about thorny topics where many have strongly held opinions. We appreciate Professor Peleg and all of our faculty colleagues’ contributions to building the skills and providing the opportunities needed to move toward reflective and respectful engagement with such topics.

John Meier, Provost
Ingrid Furniss, Interim Dean of the Faculty