Outside Goldstein Auditorium, students who attended the panel discussion shared their thoughts.
“I thought he was really down to earth saying that he wanted to learn from everyone else on the panel”, says sophomore policy studies major Kathryn Wetterer.
“Of course the Dalai Lama was amazing and insanely wise,” says sophomore visual and performing arts major Nina Green.
“You know he has so much knowledge, but he really makes sure that everyone can feel what he’s saying, and it really resonates,” remarked Hobart and William Smith College student Elizabeth Szwejbka. Many other students also agreed that the Dalai Lama was relatable and thorough in his explanations.
“I love that he addressed the students and said we were responsible for the future,” Wetterer added.
While there were plenty of students eager to see the Dalai Lama and hear his thoughts, a handful of critics stood outside holding signs with sayings such as “Dalai-Liar” and “your smiles charm and your actions harm.” This group of students claims to represent all of the people living in Tibet and China. They said that they made their protest silent in order to pay tribute to the people that lost their lives in Tibet on March 13, 2008.
“We are protesting the Dalai Lama, and he is actually supporting the chaos in Tibet, making a lot of people die, but he insists he is a peaceful person," said protestor Gouliang Fu. "If you want real peace, we can talk, but making chaos is not the right way to do that.”
Meng Kong, a chemical engineering graduate student, explained that there are two religious leaders in Tibet, with the Dalai Lama being one which only represents the upper class. Kong says that he identifies more with a different religious leader who represents the lower class.
The Dalai Lama wasn’t the only target the protestors were challenging. Other signs read “stop violence” and “stop media distortion,” which the protesters say are issues in Tibet. One student was collecting signatures to help recruit support for their cause.