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ZY: Thank you, Dr. Auslin, for joining us. We are really pleased to be able to interview you for The Beacon. Just to start off, you taught in Yale’s History Department for 7 years. What was that experience like?

MA: Well, it was my first job so a lot of it was a learning experience. It was a learning experience in an incredibly fast-paced, intellectually demanding environment. When you’re young, and this is your first opportunity to be on the other side of the desk, everything is new. What made it very easy was the quality of the students—the ability of students to not only handle

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JA: Senator DeMint, thank you so much for sitting down with me. To jump right into it, over the past year and a half, free speech has become one of the most pressing issues on college campuses. We’ve seen uninvited guests, the proliferation of so called “safe spaces,” and a growing aversion to tolerating speech that we might find offensive or speech that might be something that we disagree with. So, my first question is, what do you see as the cause of this phenomenon over the past couple of years.

As I waited for my twice-delayed flight to board in shimmering, subtle McGhee-Tyson Airport, Air Force One descended into Knoxville, Tennessee. This Presidential visit had no scarcity of fanfare – miles of interstate blocked off, a kaleidoscopic display of armed officers from various divisions, and even an entire floor of a local hospital occupied by Service agents in the event of an emergency. This kind of preparation I find entirely appropriate, though I question the purpose and result of President Obama’s visit to my quiet town of the South.

It was in Knoxville that the President would announce his new plan, “America’s College Promise,” a clumsier parroting of Tennessee’s own state-level initiative Tennessee Promise. The state’s governor, Bill Haslam, has become well-known for his activism in the realm of education: spearheading the drafting of Common Core State Standards as a member of Achieve, Inc., expanding TVAS (a student performance based teacher evaluation system), and seeking to fill an increasing job demand throughout the state requiring college degrees. The governor has made substantial progress, despite my fundamental frustration with his pragmatic, career-concerned motives.

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Interview with Carlos Eire

January 28, 2015

Conducted by Benjamin Marrow

BM: As you know the Obama administration opened up relations with Cuba in december—what do you think the purpose was behind this move?

CE: The purpose behind the move is for the man in the white house to make special claims for himself. That’s the real reason. Purely personal. And ideological because he’s the type of thinker who comes from a place in the political spectrum that has always thought there is something nice about the Cuban Revolution.