By Vritti Goel ‘12Editor-in-Chief
As David Brooks’s book signing finally came to an end, the members of the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Public Affairs Program Committee breathed a sigh of relief. Another speaker had successfully brought a different opinion to the Scripps College—and surrounding Claremont area—community.
Though David Brooks’s views are considered to be that of a moderate conservative, the 5th Annual Elizabeth Hubert Malott Public Affairs Program brought him to the College because he is of a conservative mindset. The program, named after Elizabeth Hubert Malott (‘53), aims to “bring the world to Scripps students” through speakers with politically conservative points of view and expertise in areas of public policy.
Liza Malott Pohle, trustee to Scripps College and daughter of Elizabeth Hubert Malott, said that “College campuses are perceived to be liberal environments. My mother’s program would bring a more conservative—and different—point of view to campus.”
And the points of view brought up in this speaker series tend to be different. The first speaker, in its 2006-2007 program, was Mary Matalin. Matalin is a Republican political strategist whose career highlights include running campaigns for George H.W. Bush, serving as Chief of Staff to RNC Chairman Lee Atwater in the 1990s and working in the White House under George Bush and Dick Cheney. In the 2007-2008 academic year, the program committee brought Liz and Mary Cheney, daughters of former Vice President Dick Cheney, to campus. Liz Cheney is an attorney who worked in Middle East affairs for many years. Mary Cheney is an author, and was the Director of Vice Presidential Operations for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign of 2004.
The 2008-2009 program brought author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose opinions on women in the Islamic world have upset Muslims, to Scripps. Ali’s visit caused significant controversy within the Claremont community as well.
David Brooks’ predecessor, the 2009-2010 speaker, was former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich.
Said Pohle, “We choose conservatively-minded people, but at the end of the day we cannot know what they will talk about.” The Committee, headed by Barbara Bice and including trustees, faculty, staff and students, will soon meet to debrief on the event and commence planning for the sixth speaker in the program. “The committee will have a conference call to discuss candidates for next year’s speaker,” said Pohle. “That’s why we ask students to suggest people, so we can also have an idea of who students would like to hear from.”