Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Law School Group Leader Resigns Amid Controversy

The president of Northwestern’s Student Bar Association resigned from his position Monday following a controversy over invitations to a breakfast with Chief Justice John Roberts last week.

Third-year law student Peter Pattakos said he was asked to step down by law school administrators and the association’s executive board after a conversation he had with a student who was upset that representatives from minority-centered organizations were not invited to the breakfast with Roberts.

“During what can only be described loosely as a conversation, I stated my belief that our community would be better off if all student organizations were organized around ideas, and not ethnicity,” Pattakos said Tuesday in an e-mail addressed to his classmates.

Roberts came to NU last week as the 2007 Howard J. Trienens Visiting Judicial Scholar. Pattakos told The Daily that administrators asked him to recommend “academic and community leaders” to invite.

“I chose academic leaders,” Pattakos said. “I was never given the impression that my list was going to be the final list. I was asked for a recommendation.”

Administrators said Monday in an e-mail to students that omitting some student leaders was partly an administrative error, but that Pattakos’ comments “dismissed the value of the organizations of the uninvited leaders.”

Pattakos said he sees why students would be upset with his comment, but that he did not speak with malicious intent.

“We have the ability to work through the complicated issues this situation has raised and emerge a stronger, safer haven for true diversity,” he said.

– Margaret Matray

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Law School Group Leader Resigns Amid Controversy