Jack Thurston

Professor Injured in Protest Wants Apology

Professor Allison Stanger is breaking her silence after being injured in a protest at Middleburry College in March

A college professor from Vermont who was injured when a campus protest went too far is breaking her public silence, discussing the ugly chapter with C-SPAN in an interview to air this weekend.

"I still have a couple of muscles in my neck that misbehave," Allison Stanger of Middlebury College said in the interview, describing her recovery from whiplash and a concussion. "I feel like my brain is functioning decently."

The Middlebury College political scientist was caught in a melee on campus in March when moderating a presentation by a controversial author.

Charles Murray calls himself a libertarian researcher, but his critics have long been furious about past writings on race and intelligence.

"Having those ideas invited to our campus makes me and other people of my community feel as if we are not welcome here," Elizabeth Dunn, a student of color, said on March 2 before campus demonstrations got out of hand.

As necn reported this spring, student protesters and outside groups would later shout Murray offstage and pull fire alarms.

Stanger said a masked mob yanked her hair and shoved her on her way out with the guest, who was invited by a student active in Vermont’s Federation of College Republicans.

"You have two groups who just don’t want to listen to each other and don’t understand each other," Phil Hoxie told necn on March 6.

In the interview on the C-SPAN program "Q&A," which airs Sunday, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. and again on Monday, Oct. 30 at 6 a.m., Stanger reveals she never got an apology from protesters, though really would like one.

"Shutting down speech is an invitation to violence," Stanger warns in the interview.

Previously, Stanger did not respond to an interview request from necn.

Middlebury College said it disciplined 74 students, putting most on probation, but police and prosecutors couldn’t come up with enough evidence to charge anyone criminally.

Stanger said in the C-SPAN interview that she believes certain factions of the faculty might’ve whipped some students into a frenzy.

"And that upsets me," Stanger said. "Eighteen to 21-year-olds are still developing, and need to be advised in the right ways."

College administrators have promised to strive for a campus culture where everyone listens better and respects, even embraces, a range of views.

Middlebury’s president, Laurie Patton, said earlier this year that an open and civil discourse is vital in our deeply polarizing times.

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