Tuesday, May 24, 2016 | Subscribe

The Collegian Weekly: Dear Rick

Dear Rick,

We are trying to understand why you decided to ditch Hillsdale College on Feb. 20 and instead spoke at Hope College in Holland, Mich.

It’s not easy running for president — no one can be in two places at once or please everyone.

But you were the one who promised to come here.

A group of ded­icated students neglected their schoolwork and com­mitted untold hours to making your visit possible. The college spent money for what would have been a big event, and invited people around the region to attend. The Col­legian even broke the story of your visit on its spiffy new website.

Then you canceled.

Some would say that you Rick­rolled us.

So much time and effort was wasted — books not read, papers not written, naps not taken. The college lost money, too. To prepare for your appearance, the admin­is­tration began renting equipment. It looks like about $4,000 won’t ever be recovered.

That could have helped a finan­cially dis­tressed student pay for tuition. Perhaps the college should create a new schol­arship fund worth $4,000. Let’s call it the “Rick Santorum Dis­ap­pointment Scholarship.”

Then again, the recipient probably wouldn’t show up to collect.

Apparently you had something better to do on Feb. 20. Maybe you sat­isfied a life-long dream of seeing the greater Grand Rapids area. We hope you were charmed by Hope’s cute Dutch kitsch –– they have a lot more tulips and wooden clogs there than we do. We understand the appeal.

One last question though: Was it worth speaking to those 750 attendees? We had 2,000 people ready, so you must have been going for quality over quantity. Hope that works out for you at the polls.

Even then, we’re confused. If you are elected president, you will have to swear an oath to the Con­sti­tution. Every student here takes a whole course on this document. We’re one of the only insti­tutions of higher learning with such a requirement.

We wanted to hear you talk about your com­mitment to it.

But you stood us up.

So, good luck on Feb. 28. Let us know if you’re ever in the area again.

Just kidding.

  • Jeffrey Scarpelli

    Bazinga!

  • Brad Hubert

    I’m not a Rick Santorum sup­porter, but failing to mention that Santorum also spoke at the Kent County Lincoln Day Dinner in Grand Rapids on Monday night seems a bit disin­genuous. It’s not so simple as choosing Hope College over Hillsdale.

    That being said, I hope the students and faculty at Hillsdale will make the right choice on the 28th and vote for the the can­didate who offered to appear at the college this Friday; who served as the 2007 com­mencement speaker; and who is the only can­didate with a realistic chance of beating President Obama in November: Mitt Romney.

  • voice of reason

    Get over your­selves. Hillsdale students take a course on the Con­sti­tution in which most of them never read the actual Con­sti­tution. Santorum is no Neo-Con nor is he a vapid Obama-lite figure like Romney.

  • Alum

    That does it. I’m voting for Obama now. No seriously.

  • http://www.catholicvote.org Joshua Mercer, Class of 1999

    I can understand why people would be dis­ap­pointed that he was unable to attend, but this edi­torial is way too snarky. Nor does it doesn’t provide an accurate assessment of the sit­uation. People at Hillsdale were trying to organize an event for all four can­didates to attend. Rick Santorum was the first of the four to agree to the event and he agreed to par­ticipate in a four-candidate forum at Hillsdale. That is something that deserves some gratitude (even if you’re dis­ap­pointed) not snarkiness. Mitt Romney said he was unable to attend and Newt Gingrich has written off Michigan. So it became obvious that this would not be a four-candidate forum. So Santorum sent his regrets and went instead the 125th anniversary of the Kent GOP Lincoln Dinner in Grand Rapids to a packed crowd of 700 people. Planning a pres­i­dential forum and coor­di­nating the schedules of four can­didates running for national office is not easy and it takes time. I just hope the next time there’s a proposed Hillsdale pres­i­dential forum, this sour grapes edi­torial is forgotten.

  • Jeff King

    The sad irony here, in both this edi­torial and the main story, one candidate’s name wasn’t men­tioned. A can­didate who offered to visit the college, no strings attached. A can­didate who had the support of a petition with almost 600 sig­natures from both students and Alumni.

    That can­didates name was Dr. Ron Paul.

    Yet the college admin­is­tration decided to double down, and double down again, instead of going with the sure thing wanted 4 can­didates to attend. Oh sure, they told you they didn’t want to appear to be favoring one over the other.… which might have held some water if it hadn’t been for Herman Cain’s rally just a few months ago, as well as Mitt Romney’s campaign speech at the college in 2008.

    With all due respect, by making this a 4 can­didate forum, it reduced the chances of any one can­didate visiting the college. If by chance Mr. Santorum hadn’t canceled for greener pastures and either Paul or Gingrich would have come to face him, Mr. Santorum would have backed out. What was in it for Santorum? He had nothing to gain, and everything to lose. At least Mr. Romney had the honesty to say it was him alone or nothing.

    And that is just what we got.

  • veritas

    Wait, Romney and honesty in the same sentence? Why do you think this race is still going on? No con­ser­v­atives of real con­viction trust Romney. Ron Paul is about as viable a can­didate as Larry Arnn would be. Oh wait, we are back to the Romney problem again then…

  • John J. Cunningham

    Ouch, this edi­torial is brutal hissy fit. Hell hath no fury as a college scorned.…particularly one with a really cranky and self-important edi­torial board on their student newspaper! This edi­torial even makes some gra­tuitous ethnic slams against the Dutch! Not nice or nec­essary! And I used to think Roman Catholics (I am one) were the experts on laying on guilt trips! Is Hillsdale now a Catholic College? Just kidding.…not.

  • Josh D.

    Thank you Joshua Mercer, you said exactly what a lot of us here were thinking. Hillsdale knows that all the Republican can­didates would love to be able to attend every event, but the truth is it isn’t humanly possible!

    I think Rick Santorum has to be com­mended for his will­ingness to offer to come and speak, I know it was dis­ap­pointing for us when he had to cancel, but he is a great man as are the others in the race, but they didn’t even offer to come by.

    I’m thinking we could get a raincheck, but this scathing letter isn’t going to help as an invite from any of them! Please use more dis­cretion before venting to the world!

  • voice of reason

    Romney and honesty…oh, please.