MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College Professor Allison Stanger was injured by protesters Thursday evening as she was escorting a controversial speaker from campus. She was treated at Porter Hospital and released.
Charles Murray, a political scientist who has been criticized for his views on race and intelligence, was invited to speak on campus by a student group. He was greeted late Thursday afternoon outside McCullough Student Center by hundreds of protesters, and inside Wilson Hall, students turned their backs to him and booed when he got up to speak.
College officials led Murray to another location and a closed circuit broadcast showed him being interviews by Stanger, the Russell J. Leng ’60 Professor of International Politics and Economics.
As Stanger, Murray and a college administrator left McCullough following the event, they were “physically and violently confronted by a group of protesters,” according to college spokesman Bill Burger.
Burger said the protesters were masked.
“It is our belief that some of them were nonstudents. They were not from our community. I would call them ‘outside agitators.’ But I also believe that it’s possible that some of them were students,” he said.
Burger said college public safety officers managed to get Stanger and Murray into the administrator’s car.
“The protesters then violently set upon the car, rocking it, pounding on it, jumping on and trying to prevent it from leaving campus,” he said. “At one point a large traffic sign was thrown in front of the car. Public Safety officers were able, finally, to clear the way to allow the vehicle to leave campus.
“During this confrontation outside McCullough, one of the demonstrators pulled Prof. Stanger’s hair and twisted her neck,” Burger continued. “She was attended to at Porter Hospital later and (on Friday) is wearing a neck brace.”
Burger described the attacks as “scary, violent mob action” and praised campus safety officers for their part in protecting Murray and Stanger.
Sgt. Mike Christopher of the town of Middlebury Police Department said local officers were on campus but hadn’t heard about the attack.