On Wednesday evening, November 9, the AHI’s Publius Society and the Days-Massolo Center co-sponsored a public discussion titled “Occupy Wall Street: A Hamilton Campus Discussion.” The event attracted nearly fifty people, including Hamilton College undergraduates, administrators, and faculty from a variety of departments. Professor of Biology Jinni Garrett moderated.
Professor of Government Peter Cannavo opened the evening’s discussion with a brief talk examining the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements. He discussed both the sources of and relationship between the two movements. Following his introductory remarks, a group discussion ensued on topics such as income inequality, the role of capitalism, and the role played by bankers in the financial crisis.
After the discussion, Publius Society Fellows Dean Ball and Max Schnidman commented, “We are thrilled by how well the event turned out. The discussion was respectful, thought-provoking, and incorporated a wide variety of opinions and perspectives.” Other participants expressed similar sentiments. “The Occupy Wall Street discussion,” stated Hamilton College Senior Landry Frei, “produced the largest turnout of any Publius meeting I have ever attended and brought a healthy mix of differing opinions and viewpoints. I was impressed with the high level of intelligence displayed by the participants’ comments, especially those from AHI undergraduate fellows.” All said, this co-sponsored discussion proved to be the Publius society’s largest event to date and successfully fostered an environment in which participants grappled with a diversity of views.