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Albion College president allegedly defended assault of white student due to her ‘privilege’

Two witnesses say President Mauri Ditzler justified violence against a young woman due to her ‘privilege’

A private college president allegedly told a student government meeting that a young woman’s assault at the hands of campus protesters was justified on the grounds that the victim had “privilege.” The president, meanwhile, denies that he made such a claim.

A student who attended the Sept. 25 meeting relayed the alleged remarks by Albion College President Mauri Ditzler to The College Fix Wednesday night, saying the president’s comments “had everyone in the room shocked.” The young woman who was attacked also tweeted the same allegations.

The student senate meeting followed a campus demonstration against “racism and hate” last month, which itself stemmed from a document within a College Republicans email to members that contained political talking points but also a jocular message about “hunting” progressive activists.

Protesters also issued a set of demands for the college that include mandatory diversity training and gender-neutral housing.

Ditzler strongly denied that he had excused the “pushing” in an email to The College Fix, saying he had simply told the meeting that his “privilege” shaped how he saw the protest as he passed by it.

Protest kicked off by controversial email

The email by a “student leader” in the College Republicans instructed recipients in how to debate the topic of “white privilege,” MLive reported, ending with this advice:

Take the liberal tears from the idiot you just destroyed in your debate, dissemble your American made Springfield M1911 .45 caliber handgun and apply the tears in order to clean the mechanism, reassemble and proceed to purchase Antifa and ISIS hunting permits and max out on tags.

These satirical instructions prompted a demonstration by students from “black, Latino and LGBT-centered organizations” among others, MLive reported. The “on-campus demonstration against racism and hate” allegedly blocked the entrance to the campus dining hall.

“They blocked Baldwin, which is our dining area,” Michaela Olsen, then the secretary of Albion’s College Republicans, told MLive. “They wouldn’t allow me in to eat lunch, today.” (The club is widely referred to as “Republicans,” though its formal name is Albion College Conservatives.)

Reached via email, Olsen told The Fix that “Albion is quickly going downhill,” and that President Ditzler is “a one-sided man and there is no changing of him.”

Olsen claimed that, the same day of the protest, Ditzler had subsequently brushed off a physical assault that had taken place during the demonstration.

“[A]fter the protest, Ditzler attended a student senate meeting and allowed students to ask questions,” Olsen wrote:

One student stood up and said to Ditzler that his girlfriend, who was sitting next to him, was physically shoved and verbally abused by the protesters during the protest. Ditzler’s response was that she had “privilege” and deserved what happened, because she needed to step into the protesters shoes and see how they live their everyday lives. …

Telling a young woman that she deserved what happened to her because she has white privilege had everyone in the room shocked.

Albion’s student newspaper, The Albion Pleiad, identified the young woman as student Ashley Witowski. The Pleiad reported that Witowski “left the Senate meeting visibly upset” following Ditzler’s response to her boyfriend’s question.

A series of tweets by Witowski corroborates Olsen’s version of events: “[T]he president of my college told me I’m of privilege and it’s okay for me to be harassed verbally and physically…There was a protest at my school today and I was physically pushed during it…The president of my college said that it should be a learning experience for me because I am of white privilege…[H]e said this to my face.”

Presented with Olsen’s account of the meeting, President Ditzler told The Fix: “That is not my memory of the conversation. I do not believe your summary is an accurate reflection of my belief or my statement.”

Pressed for clarification, Ditzler told The Fix:

At the meeting I affirmed the right of students to demonstrate peacefully. I acknowledged that I was aware of reports of heated exchanges and pushing between demonstrators and those passing by the demonstrations on their way to lunch. I called for investigation of those events which I described as mistakes and unfortunate.

I noted that peaceful demonstrations were designed to make us feel uncomfortable. Many of those demonstrating report feeling uncomfortable every day. Those made uncomfortable by the demonstration experienced that for a day. I went on to say that I was not uncomfortable walking past the protest, but my reaction was an example of how privilege (mine in this example) causes all of us to view events differently when we are in a privileged position.

At the Senate event, I was critical of non peaceful actions. During the demonstration itself I instructed members of my staff to take actions designed to maintain safety. After the demonstration I instructed College personnel to create and implement a policy that will allow swift action to remove from campus anyone threatening physical violence.

Reports of physical altercations may be accurate, reports that I endorsed those actions or that I said that they were deserved are false.

Reached by phone and presented with Ditzler’s statement, Olsen explicitly rejected Ditzler’s version of events, claiming the president did indeed tell a young woman that her assault was justified. Ditzler’s comments at that meeting were so troubling to Olsen, she told The Fix, that she withdrew from Albion the day after the senate meeting.

Witowski affirmed Olsen’s account of the meeting and disputed Ditzler’s in an email to The Fix, claiming that Ditzler did not actually refer to himself as privileged. Witowski told The Fix that Ditzler “encouraged the students to make us feel uncomfortable so that we know how they feel.”

“After he was done with his statement,” Witowski told The Fix, “the room got very loud and you could tell that there was a lot of shock at what was just said.”

The Fix attempted to contact members of the Albion Student Senate, including faculty and staff representatives on the senate, but none responded.

MORE: Public university trains white students on their ‘white privilege’

IMAGE: Shutterstock

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About the Author
Matthew Stein is a political science and economics major at Swarthmore College. He is a board member on the Swarthmore Conservative Society and Swarthmore Students for Israel.

Add to the Discussion

  • Kelly Jackson

    President Mauri Ditzler’s facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mauri.ditzler

  • sardiverdave

    I’d say a group of “ privileged” students should “enthusiastically” try to get to lunch at Baldwin.

    When this shit stops being tolerated, it will end.

  • Titus Andronicus

    Being allowed to beat somebody up with impunity seems like the definition of privileged to me. I am as white as the day is long and I can’t get away with that.

    • bargogx1

      That’s what you call leftist privilege.

  • Joe Blow

    Burn the ignorant hole to the ground.

  • Maximus300

    If this is independently confirmed, he should be fired with prejudice.

    • Nat Rev

      He’ll get a bonus and upgraded housing.

    • Ragoftag

      Read the article, it was confirmed.

      • Maximus300

        I said “independently” confirmed meaning what was said in the last paragraph.

  • KeenIncite

    That still gives students one free shot. Suspension should start with the first infraction, expulsion thereafter. Still, it’s a good first step.

    • Nat Rev

      No. Expulsion.

  • Killer Marmot

    In an age of smart phones, surely someone must have recorded the meeting so that we can determine exactly what as said.

    • marlene

      Of course they did. They eat this stuff like candy and can’t wait to spread it around to their partners-in-crime.

  • Killer Marmot

    Presidents of private universities must surely be highly sensitive to enrollment numbers. You don’t want to do anything that might discourage students from applying.

    Here we have two PR problems: Belligerent demands and actions from far-left protesters, and the suggestion that the university might not take the safety of women — particularly if they are white — seriously.

    That gives students a couple of reasons not to make Albion College their first choice. If I were on the Board of Trustees, I

    • Dave Hunter

      Over a 30% drop in enrollment at the U. of Missouri. Albion probably would close if that happened.

    • Cogsys

      Boards of Trustees of private schools are usually made up of other educators, corporate executives looking to pad a resume, and alumni who are big givers. Not a lot of room there for ethical or independent thinkers.

    • Ex-Oligarch

      It isn’t just that Albion “might not take the safety of women — particularly if they are white — seriously.”

      It’s that Albion promotes violence against whites as morally justified and a positive educational experience.

  • Man with Axe

    Even giving the president the benefit of the doubt, which he probably doesn’t deserve, it is absurd to believe that in this day and age the colored students of every college in the land are under assault and made to feel uncomfortable every damn day. It’s just not true. And so when they decide to protest their wretched conditions instead of studying, they get support from these progressive loons who think that white people have it made, and their “privilege” makes life so easy for them.

    This really has got to stop.

    • Justmom

      if the “protest” was on a campus and comprised of university students, then all involved are privileged.

    • auggie

      I was made to feel uncomfortable every day in university by proselytizing leftist profs who, in class, openly joked about and ridiculed any theoretical person who disagreed with them on any political issue. Who’s got privilege?

  • garyfouse

    If you can no longer prove white racism, you now charge white privilege. How convenient.

    When a student is physically accosted, there is no excuse-no justification. Punishment must ensue. It does not matter the skin color of either party.

    • marlene

      “If you can no longer prove white racism, you now charge white privilege.” Great point!

    • wolfram_and_hart

      The videos I’ve seen of violent leftist “protesters” (i.e., rioters) almost always show predominately white crowds, even at Black Lives Matter campus demonstrations. Thus, the chances are the thug who assaulted the girl was white. If that was the case, who was exercising white privilege?

      • garyfouse

        Whoever the thug was, black or white, should be punished. Whoever he is, it doesn’t excuse the president’s seeming indifference.

        • wolfram_and_hart

          Of course, the thug should be punished severely. The only reason I mentioned race is because of the president’s reference to the victim’s “white privilege,” which (under the rules of the left’s game) should be nullified if her attacker also was white.

  • marlene

    It’s black privilege that’s giving them the impetus to call all whites ‘privileged’! Only morons would use the freedoms and liberties the white men gave them against themselves.

  • Earl Tower

    And there is something else we have in this country called self defense. The young lady should find out exactly what her state allows in the form of self defense gear. If pushed and assaulted by more than one person, which it sounds like many such ‘protesters’ are doing, then it allows a far harsher level of self defense response against assault in many states.

  • Carl Williams

    Should’ve beat that fucking jew to death on the spot when he pushed the “it’s okay to be violent towards white people because reasons” marxist kikery. KILL THESE FUCKERS! KILL THEM NOW!

  • Bob Metty

    “He said, she said,” except- 1. there must be video, and 2. the fact that everyone else in the room is remaining silent (not confirming, yet not going against the person who signs their checks) I think tolls significantly in favor of the young woman. Once the video/audio emerges, the wall of silence will break down. Somebody is going to make bank on a civil rights lawsuit if the president explicitly condones violence to offset “white privilege.”

  • Wareagle82

    so the feminists were quick to come to the woman’s defense, right? Right?

    • bargogx1

      Yeah, I’m sure they’re organizing a march right this minute.

  • Dave Hunter

    Lying liars and all that. The fact is a student was so shocked at the president’s dismissal of what happened to her at the demonstration that she summarily withdrew from Albion. That is not normal and there will undoubtedly be repercussions for Ditzler from the board. So when contacted by TheCollegeFix.com he lied.

  • anotherhappywarrior

    The president’s statement starting, “I do not believe your summary is an accurate reflection” sounds miles away from “I didn’t say that.” Hmmm.

  • catorenasci

    If she’s not a senior, she should transfer to another college.

    • Ragoftag

      Horse shit! She should sue the school, it’s ‘president’ and everyone who blocked the door. Only when they have to pay do these types get a clue.

  • Big Tasty

    Some one should have walked to the front of the room and given old Mauri a good shove. See how his own white ass likes it.

  • John1838

    Apparently, the color of one’s skin matters more than character at Albion. The student clearly has no future there, through no fault of her own. She should transfer — very publicly.

  • Ballistica

    She should sue the school. Money is all they care about.

  • Golden Rule

    Albion is a small town in Michigan with a shrinking population of under 9,000. Albion College has about 1,400 students. The team nickname is the Britons. The town has reportedly given the key to the city to two people in the 1960s: Ann Landers and Aunt Jemima. http://www.albionmich.com/history/histor_notebook/070107.shtml
    Albion is 64% “white” and 30% “black.”

  • ColonelDrapes

    Sounds like the president is aptly named.

  • Rexxie

    Press charges or don’t go and don’t pay another cent and if they don’t like it tell them the courts can settle it

    Don’t stand for this anymore the minute people fight back is the minute these college snow flakes will shut up

  • rnagel

    A liberal lied. I am shocked-shocked to find that lying is going on there.

    Liberals protect themselves from the truth by alleging that their failure to be honest is part of a larger sphere of actions that require creative actions. In other words, the ends justify the means.

  • rnagel

    Go up the road to Hillsdale College, home of the College Fix, and attend a real institution of higher learning. One which is not infested with leftist dishonesty.

  • Trevor Sedis

    Albion students are nicknamed “Britons”…after those bastards who ended slavery.

    The school has an Equestrian Center to house students named Mr. Ed (or who are cousins of Francis, the talking mule). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_PZPpWTRTU

    The stables are filled with “road apples,” the college’s affectionate name for liberal faculty members’ brains.

  • Trevor Sedis

    Mauri Ditzler, the ditzy PC dangler. Think he twerks in blackface on Pride Parade floats?