Tuesday evening the Turk pre-law program hosted a speaker, Dr. Rodney Smolla provided answers to questions about what it meant to be a citizen and their rights and privileges. It was a great honor for Roanoke College to have him come and speak. He is the current president of Furman University and is a Constitutional scholar.
This speaker was a big deal and many people were there and well dressed for the occasion. President Maxey, Judge Turk, Mrs. Turk, and many other lawyers, judges, alumni, and loyal and generous donors for the college attended the lecture. One of the alumni, a member of the Elder Scholar Program at RC was very pleased with the presentation.
Â “I loved how he kept the students engaged in his presentation. It gave them dignity and kept them interested,” she said
Smolla has a great passion for the law and what it means to be under the law. He lectured not necessarily on the rule of law project, but rather interacted with the audience to discuss what being under the law really means. The students really got involved and some of the adults as well. He talked about current events and current issues such as national security.
“I really liked the way he presented his material in relating to major current events that everyone had really heard about. No one was confused, and it made his lecture relatable and very interesting. I thought, however, that he seemed a little biased in what he was looking for us to say. He seemed to be really enforcing the idea that national security was more important [than freedom of speech],” said Alea Bier ’13.
Â He included the students in a hypothetical situation in which another male student had an interesting idea that chose freedom of speech over the national security laws. Smolla and this student went back and forth with each other in almost every debate. This is how some of the students may have thought he was pushing his view that national security was more important.
Overall, it seems that mostly everyone was pleased and although many of the students may have come not knowing how important this lecture was or what to expect, it turns out the evening was highly anticipated by many of the Roanoke College Alumni and Faculty of the College. Smolla put a very interesting spin on the topic and presented it well.