History, sociology faculty support student protesters, urge Schapiro to act


Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

Harris Hall, home of the History Department. Members from the History department sent a statement to President Schapiro supporting student protesters.

Emily Sakai, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern history and sociology faculty signed or issued statements supporting students protesting for the abolition of University Police and urging University President Morton Schapiro to listen to them.

Members of the History department sent a statement to Schapiro and other administrations calling University leadership to address the “urgent recommendations” of the African American Studies department outlined in their Oct. 15 and Oct. 20 letters. The History department’s statement has over 170 signatures, of which are predominantly professors and graduate students across many departments, though students and alumni are also represented on the list. 

“We affirm our commitment to racial equity and justice in all sectors of society, including higher education,” the statement reads. “Thus we stand in solidarity with our students protesting racist policing and with our colleagues in the Department of African American Studies.”

The statement comes after multiple individual departments have condemned Schapiro’s Oct. 19 email response to the protesters, including the African American Studies department, Political Science department, Anthropology department, Asian American Studies program, Latina and Latino Studies program.

The sociology department issued a statement to Schapiro Saturday in “strong objection” to his Oct. 19 email. The protesters’ voices, the faculty wrote, deserve “respect and consideration.” As faculty, they wrote they stand behind the “courageous students” protesting and support them in the exercise of their right to free speech.

“As scholars of race and racism, of policing, of hate speech, of protest and social movements, we understand the gravity of the problems the protesters are raising and the difficulties facing them in attempting to achieve meaningful change,” the department wrote.

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