As a columnist for the Yale Daily News, I filled a niche — I was the conservative one.

In considering what I would write in this last message to Yale, I reflected on my peculiarity in this regard.

In my time at the News, I have been criticized for some of my columns. Rumpus, the campus tabloid, as well as many acquaintances have characterized my words as intolerant and uninformed.

This points to a larger problem at this University — a disrespect for conservative views.

As I bid farewell to Yale, I am thankful to the News for providing a forum to express myself. I am thankful for the News’ Web site that facilitates dialogue on the important issues of the day, and I am thankful for the letters from supporters and opponents alike.

I urge all Yalies of the present and future to use this page as a dialogue. It should be a place where valid, politically incorrect messages can find respect.

And I urge those precious few conservative Yalies especially to write columns and letters to the editor. A university should be judged by its inclusion of all viewpoints. It is vitally important that the millions of conservative Americans are represented vocally at one of our country’s finest institutions.

Phil Fortino is a senior in Saybrook College.