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


  • 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.

  • 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.