Jenah Steefins—Staff Writer
Vladimir Putin secured his spot as the next First Mondays speaker. Billy Graham was scheduled to speak on May 7, but his recent death left the First Mondays committee scrambling. After putting out a plea for willing speakers on Twitter, they got a Direct Message from Putin himself.
“We couldn’t say no,” said Richard Dogood, president of the committee. “Saying no to Vladimir Putin is like eating the Commons’ seafood. You just don’t do it.”
The First Mondays Series “brings thinkers, writers and cultural leaders to Dordt College to discuss with the campus and broader community ideas that will stretch our imaginations, grow our understanding and help us re-form our world in God-honoring ways.” Although it is uncertain how Putin will tie in the “God-honoring” part, one can assume that our imaginations will be stretched to painful new levels.
Putin released a preview of the main points he will present during the speech. He intends to tie Kuyperian themes to politics, promoting his nation’s powerful nuclear weaponry and its ability to reach “every square inch of creation.” The committee who made the final decision to host Putin admits that they are skeptical of his intentions. But then again, it won’t be the first time they host a speaker with controversial views.
Following Donald Trump’s presidential campaign visit two years ago, people thought the college had seen enough politics for a while. At one point during his speech, Trump said, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” This quote sparked controversy around the world, and Dordt College also received a bit of this publicity. But it was not the type of attention the college desired—rather, they prefer to flaunt the life out of other accomplishments. Did you know that the Wall Street Journal ranked Dordt College as “Number 1 in Student Engagement” two years in a row?
Rumors state that Trump intends to make a surprise visit during Putin’s stay at Dordt. The two have a complicated, love-hate relationship, and a Dordt walk might provide the perfect opportunity for them to figure it out.
“Just think of it—two world leaders establishing world peace right here in Sioux Center,” said Sophie Tremont. “It would be touching.”
Trump drew in huge crowds during his campaign visit, but Putin might attract even more. The college expects a record turnout of students who will finally find more value in attending First Mondays than taking a nap.
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