President Morton Schapiro describes Jeff Sessions’ visit as a ‘missed opportunity’ in Chicago Tribune column


Daily file photo by Evan Robinson-Johnson

University President Morton Schapiro speaks to parents and families. Schapiro published an editorial in the Chicago Tribune regarding Jeff Sessions’ visit to campus.

Amy Li, Campus Editor

In a Chicago Tribune column, University President Morton Schapiro described former Attorney General Jeff Session’s invitation to speak on campus by Northwestern University College Republicans as “a missed opportunity” for students because a number of other conservative speakers could have “engaged the community more effectively than Sessions.”

The editorial serves to clarify several points from a Tribune editorial on The Daily Northwestern’s coverage of Jeff Sessions. Schapiro emphasized that the University champions free speech and respects the right student groups have to invite any speaker to campus.

While Schapiro said the University will protect the right for peaceful demonstrations, any student who is found to have violated Northwestern policy will go through disciplinary procedures and will be “sanctioned appropriately.” His comments echoed the views he expressed at a Parent and Family Weekend Nov. 8, where he emphasized NU’s lack of amnesty policy.

In the editorial, Schapiro recalled when he attended a lecture on campus by William F. Buckley Jr., an American conservative author. He said while the Buckley’s visit did not change his views about the Vietnam War and former U.S. President Richard Nixon, it proved to him that those who differed from him in political views are “intelligent, sincere, and deserved to be heard.”

Schapiro said he questions how many students shared a similar experience during Session’s visit.

“What our campuses need today is education, not provocation,” Schapiro wrote.

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