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

The Daily Northwestern

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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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University President Michael Schill: NU will not issue statements on political or social issues

University+President+Michael+Schill+said+he+does+not+intend+to+issue+a+statement+on+the+current+war+in+Israel+and+Gaza.
Daily file photo by Jacob Wendler
University President Michael Schill said he does not intend to issue a statement on the current war in Israel and Gaza.

Northwestern will not issue statements on political or social issues that do not directly impact NU’s core mission, University President Michael Schill said in a message to the community Thursday morning. 

Schill’s message comes five days after a surprise attack from the militant group Hamas on Israel and as Israel has pursued retaliatory attacks on Gaza after declaring war on Hamas Sunday. Continued violence on both sides have left at least 2,600 Israelis and Palestinians — primarily civilians — dead and thousands injured.

Schill did share his personal opinions on the matter in the message to the University community. 

“Just to be clear, as individuals in a democracy, we do not give up our rights to have and express our personal political and social viewpoints,” he wrote. “We just need to make clear we are speaking for ourselves and not for all our students, faculty, staff and trustees.”

Schill emphasized the importance of free expression in higher education, noting his commitment to the Chicago Principles — a set of guiding principles for navigating free speech on college campuses issued by the University of Chicago in 2014 when Schill was dean of UChicago’s law school.

He also condemned acts of violence in the region.

“Kidnapping, beheading, murdering people — children and adults, civilians and people in the armed forces — is horrific and inhuman, pure and simple,” Schill said in the message. “This sort of behavior is entirely unacceptable regardless of one’s political convictions or grievances.”

Despite his decision not to issue a statement on behalf of the University, Schill said “That is the view of Mike Schill, citizen, Jew and human being. I didn’t give up those parts of me when I assumed the presidency of Northwestern.”

Schill said his decision to attend a vigil for lives lost in the Israel-Hamas war Monday night was in his individual capacity rather than on behalf of NU.

Schill shared his concern, prayers and “hopes for a peaceful resolution of the current violence,” calling on the community to support those directly or indirectly impacted by the war.

NU’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine will host a vigil Thursday evening to promote equality and understanding and express solidarity with Palestine.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @jacob_wendler

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