Law school drops debate sponsorship in fear of 'painful' views

Nikita Vladimirov
Investigative Reporter

  • Seattle University's law school has pulled its sponsorship of a slated debate over illegal immigration in fear exposing students to “painful” conservative viewpoints.
  • More than 200 students signed a petition demanding that the school not host an event they considered "harmful," leaving the school's Federalist Society as the sole sponsor of the debate.
  • The law school said President Trump's repeal of DACA "generated great fear within vulnerable immigrant communities and has caused real harm, making discussions of immigration policy that include a conservative viewpoint even more painful."
  • Seattle University's law school has pulled its sponsorship of a slated debate over illegal immigration in fear exposing students to “painful” conservative viewpoints.

    According to Bloomberg Law, the event was originally co-hosted by the school’s Federalist Society, a nationwide conservative organization that aims to promote the originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, and the school’s Access to Justice Institute.

    "Discussions of immigration policy that include a conservative viewpoint [are] painful and...anger-producing."   

    [RELATED: GOP lawmaker shouted down by BLM protesters at Texas Southern]

    The goal of the debate was to examine the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) program, a project created under President Obama that is presently under review by the Trump administration.

    The topic of the debate, however, sparked a wave of backlash from more than 200 angry students, who signed an online petition urging the school to cancel the debate.

    "We refuse to sit by and let hateful xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric be a part of the culture/message/speech of Seattle University School of Law and Seattle University as a whole," read the original petition, as reported by The Washington Free Beacon.

    “We demand the school act on behalf of its undocumented students, and instead of co-sponsoring programming which is harmful to them, they should foster an environment which is safe for them and for everyone else on campus,” the letter added.

    [RELATED: Student gov approves $10K ‘emergency fund’ for DACA students]

    Following the petition last week, law school dean Annette Clark announced that the institution would no longer sponsor the debate as part of its “Social Justice Monday” series. Instead, Clark said that the event will “go forward under the sole sponsorship of the Federalist Society.”

    According to Bloomberg, Clark further explained that Trump’s policy on DACA “generated great fear within vulnerable immigrant communities and has caused real harm, making discussions of immigration policy that include a conservative viewpoint even more painful and anxiety- and anger-producing for those individuals and families who are at risk (and for their allies).”

    [RELATED: Berkeley profs cancel classes for ‘mental safety’]

    “In other words, we should have taken into account the historical moment in which this program was going to be presented as a Social Justice Monday and what that would mean to marginalized individuals in our community,” she added.

    Law school spokesperson Tina Ching told Campus Reform that the event “is an appropriate program to be held at our law school under the sponsorship of the student organization,” pointing out that “students who object have the opportunity to advocate on behalf of their viewpoints, as is appropriate for students who are training to be lawyers.”

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    Nikita Vladimirov

    Nikita Vladimirov

    Investigative Reporter
    Nikita Vladimirov is an Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, he wrote for The Hill, where he extensively covered the latest political developments in U.S. and around the world. Vladimirov's work has appeared on the front pages of The Drudge Report and The Hill, and has been featured by several media organizations including Fox News, MSN, Real Clear Politics and others. He has also appeared as a political commentator on numerous programs, including BBC radio.
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