ASG introduces resolution following Sessions protests to support students of marginalized identities


Evan Robinson-Johnson/Daily Senior Staffer

Daniel Rodriguez, resolution author and ASG senator, fields questions from other senators during the Nov. 6 session. The legislation passed 28-2, with two abstention votes.

Yunkyo Kim, Reporter

In response to student protests against former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ speech at Northwestern, the Associated Student Government introduced an emergency resolution during its Nov. 6 session to provide students with more time and resources.

The resolution, which passed 28-2 with two abstention votes, calls on the University to reconsider attendance policies for students who hold marginalized identities and may have been impacted by the protests, the legislation states. It also seeks to expand comprehensive counseling and the Center for Awareness, Response and Education.

It also requests the University to train their staff to exercise peaceful engagement after police officers were documented using physical force against student protesters. The resolution, if implemented, will give students time and resources to heal and continue their academic performance, said ASG senator Daniel Rodriguez, who wrote the resolution.

“You can’t expect such rigor and also expect such great performance when students aren’t able to have healing,” Rodriguez said.

It was the SESP sophomore’s first time authoring a resolution on his own. However, Rodriguez said he was compelled to write the legislation because he heard a lot of feedback from students who said they were not given a lot of opportunities to process what happened during the speech.

Adam Davies, ASG’s executive vice president and co-sponsor of the resolution, said the passing of the legislation was important for the Northwestern community to recognize that events on campus foster an unsafe environment.

“(The resolution) would allow them to have the ability to reach out to their professors and get the extra time they need,” the SESP senior said.

Davies said ASG should be able to provide resources for the students and encourage professors to reconsider attendance policies. They hope students who feel unsafe on campus due to the events on Tuesday would receive the resources they need, they said.

Izzy Dobbel, ASG president and co-sponsor of the legislation, said she was surprised to wake up this morning to articles and media that showed campus police responding inappropriately and unsafely to students.

“Campus is feeling unsafe and that someone has entered their safe space that is home and that makes them feel threatened with their acts of hate speech,” the SESP senior said. “(The resolution) is calling the University to allow for flexibility right now to deal with what that trauma looks like.”

The legislation also emphasized that ASG does not endorse any political parties but that they will focus on providing support to students regardless of their presence at the protest or the event itself.

Rodriguez said he hopes ASG and the Northwestern community have active conversations about how to better support students to feel safe in times of campus political conflicts.

“I knew it was a hard topic to navigate, and I didn’t want to cause further harm,” Rodriguez said. “Moving forward, I really want us to keep having that conversation of what it means to heal.”

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