By Elizabeth Carrier & Kassidy Hall | Echo
A portion of the Excalibur Board recently gathered for an over-90-minute public Q&A concerning their two recent publications - one full brochure in print and one online article, "With Love to Our Critics" - and the speculations surrounding them.
The discussion took place on Wednesday, March 7 at noon in the Hodson Dining Commons atrium. Jim Spiegel, professor of philosophy and religion, encouraged students from his classes to attend and spread news of the event. Spiegel revealed himself online as Durendal, the author of "The Importance of Imago Dei," from Excalibur's first publication on Monday.
The Excalibur website, containing their most recent article, "With Love to Our Critics," and the names of four board members, was taken offline on Tuesday after request from administration to consider removing the website.
"After next week, after this accreditation, I am going to be a lot more open and explicit," Spiegel said. "College campuses should be a free-flow of ideas from both sides."
Men's soccer head coach Gary Ross, who holds the pseudonym Legbiter and authored "The Shepherd's Voice," made a brief appearance at the event. Ross expressed concerns about a large, public conversation, but remarked he is willing to meet one-one-one and even buy someone a meal to chat.
Nicholas Kerton-Johnson, associate professor of political science and international relations, also took part in the event. Though Kerton-Johnson has not authored any articles with Excalibur, he answered questions from students and openly supported the group.
"The next edition is going to have new information," Kerton-Johnson said. "My challenge to students is to not jump onto particular arguments that you might like the sound of. Unless you have a full spectrum, you must be wary of what it is you jump on. Have you looked at the entire gamut of the theory you support?"
The faculty and staff agreed between each other that all those involved in Excalibur have differing, and occasionally conflicting, viewpoints on several topics. However, they reassured listeners they are each motivated by a mutual concern for justice.
Richard Smith, associate professor of biblical studies, entered the conversation in the DC at a later time. Smith was introduced into Excalibur under the name Skofnung, but has yet to contribute any articles.
"I'm willing to be disliked to be effective," Smith said in conclusion of the event. "How much are you willing to sacrifice in order to flourish?"