Political Science faculty “dissent” from views expressed in Schapiro email


Daily file photo by Brian Meng

Scott Hall, 601 University Pl., home of Northwestern’s Political Science Department.

Isabelle Sarraf, Campus Editor

Faculty from Northwestern’s Political Science Department wrote an open letter to dissent from the views expressed in University President Morton Schapiro’s Monday email regarding student protests.

The faculty and affiliates said they believe Schapiro’s response deepens divisions within the NU community, calling the condemnation of student protestors “unhelpful and inappropriate” given the pandemic’s exacerbation of existing racial inequalities in the country.

“Our President’s response was antithetical to the spirit of strong, visionary and compassionate leadership that is unafraid of meeting the students where they are and of listening to their concerns and demands with respect, reciprocity and generosity,” Political Science faculty wrote.

Political Science faculty wrote they’ve spent their careers advancing the understanding of how people live among each other, resolve differences and promote coexistence and community. They wrote the job of a university president is to exemplify values of respectful citizenship, listening to the community and bringing people together, not to 7cut off dissent.”

They added it is a president’s job to care and concern for those who’ve been disadvantaged by historical injustices, not to “shout them down.” A university president should honor past commitments to improve the Black student experiences, faculty wrote, and — in the words of a June 3 petition — “invest in life-giving institutions.”

“It is a president’s job to spearhead anti-racist change, and not to stymie it,” Political Science faculty wrote. “We expect more.”

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