Hilliker represents the standard college professor and also the hope for tolerance and acceptance in the work. She likes how her students are "open" and "honest." While she believes that she might speak their minds which might be dissonant in its tone, there is an honesty present and a sense of transparency in their beliefs. She feels that such opinions can represent the basis of dialogue and discourse, the elements that would hopefully preclude an incident such as the violence that robbed Matt Shepard's life and the homophobic attitudes that seek to eliminate a sense of dialogue and understanding in a diverse and pluralistic community. Hilliker believes that the hopes of Laramie representing a forum for discussion and free exchange of ideas can be embodied in her students.