President Kroger’s Statement
As you know, I made the decision to cancel two Paideia classes. One involved the smoking of unregulated depressants, and the other was on how to trip on hallucinogens. The first class raised significant health and safety concerns; the second both health and legal issues. The college staff also asked a student to modify a class on fermentation, which promised students, including underage students, instruction on how to make all the “booze … they could ever desire.” The student was asked to teach his class without the alcohol component, again for health and safety issues.
Alcohol and drugs cause significant and sometimes lethal harm to students at colleges and universities across the country. As you know, I have already seen several of our students go to the hospital because of dangerous misuse of both alcohol and drugs.
As president, I take seriously my responsibility for the health and safety of our community members. I am sorry about the lack of process that preceded these cancellations. Normally, I would wish to have a larger community dialogue, with full community participation, before taking any such steps. Unfortunately, I learned about these classes right before Paideia began and felt I could not responsibly let them go forward without real risk of harm to community members.
In the coming weeks, I will schedule a community forum, in which students may share their concerns about this decision. I will gladly listen as well as explain my own views.
– John R. Kroger, President