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Inquiring Minds: Where’s our Elie Wiesel?

Why isn’t Elie Wiesel coming to Eastern?

What is it about Cabrini, a college similar in size to Eastern, which allowed them to get a renowned Nobel Prize winner to come speak at their convocation?

Why doesn’t Eastern bring in high profile speakers to teach us about the world? Why not Anne Lamott, Spike Lee or Desmond Tutu? These speakers would easily fit into our mission statement of faith, reason and justice, and they are people most students respect.

Imagine Windows on the World with Bono or Donald Miller. Miller’s book Blue Like Jazz has become synonymous with college discussion groups, and Bono is leading a modern day crusade against poverty. They could both offer powerful insights into poverty and the Christian’s responsibility to help those in need.

The reason we don’t have these speakers could be that we have not asked.

Maybe we don’t ask because we don’t think we could succeed in getting these people to come. Eastern is, after all, a small school with a small endowment and cannot afford to pay large sums of money to get speakers.

But surely not every speaker would mind coming to a small school for a small sum of money. If Elie Wiesel agreed to come to Cabrini, others would come here.

In addition, getting someone of Wiesel’s caliber to Eastern would have benefits. Many well-known people such as Anne Lamott have ideas that are outside the box, startling, challenging and profoundly thought-provoking.

Students need more of these ideas. It is almost certain that students would appreciate a change from the routine speakers and the their often routine messages.

Students might be forced to think more deeply about crossing political boundaries with a visit from Ralph Nader, or might reevaluate what it means to be faithful to God in light of a presentation by if Elizabeth Elliot.

Thus, we should ask the Noam Chompskys and Nelson Mandelas to share their views with us. If a Catholic university can have a high-profile Jewish Holocaust survivor come lecture, then so can we. We need only ask.

Inquiring Minds is the collective opinion of the editorial staff and not necessarily representative of the entire staff. It is written by the managing editor and the editor-in-chief.

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