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February 1, 2018

College Council Passes Resolution Condemning Bannon Invite, Supporting Protests

College Council voted Tuesday to approve a statement condemning professor Luigi Zingales’s decision to invite Steve Bannon to speak on campus.  

The statement also expressed support for the numerous protests that have happened since The Maroon broke the news last week.  

The statement denounces Bannon as a practitioner of “thinly-veiled white supremacy.  

“Regardless of Bannon’s political acumen or experience, he does not make worthwhile contributions to the marketplace of ideas,” the statement reads. “Zingales’ decision to invite Bannon to speak forcibly forces students to be linked to and support a man who considers them subhuman.” 

The resolution was considered in two pieces, and it was combined after the votes. The first paragraph, which condemns the invitation, passed with nine votes in favor and one opposed. Representatives Malay Trivedi, Tony Ma, Jahne Brown, Marlin Figgins, Myles Hudson, David Morales, Ariel Aiash, and Jola Idowu voted yes. Cosmo Albrecht, who was recently elected to fill a vacant spot for the class of 2018, also voted affirmatively. Forrest Sill voted no.  

The second paragraph, which discusses free speech and support for protests, passed with eight yes votes. Idowu voted no and Albrecht abstained. 

“The only way to defeat division and prejudice is by actively opposing it,” the second paragraph of the statement reads. 

College Council’s full statement is printed below:

“The University of Chicago’s College Council condemns Booth professor Luigi Zingales’ decision to invite Steve Bannon to speak at the University of Chicago. Regardless of Bannon’s political acumen or experience, he does not make worthwhile contributions to the marketplace of ideas. Zingales’ decision to invite Bannon to speak forcibly forces students to be linked to and support a man who considers them subhuman, and whose views are little more than thinly-veiled white supremacy. All members of the University community need to take a critical look at the kind of atmosphere we’re fostering and the viewpoints we are legitimizing, and ask ourselves what constitutes meaningful, respectful engagement. 

 

As such, the University of Chicago’s College Council declares its support for student groups protesting Prof. Zingales’ invitation of Steve Bannon to speak on campus. Cognizant of the divisive, demeaning, and destructive impact that Steve Bannon has had on the nation, College Council actively encourages student-led protests of the event, in order to demonstrate that free speech goes both ways. College Council recognizes that open discourse is an essential characteristic of life at UChicago, and as such embraces the idea that peaceful protest, demonstration, and activism epitomize free speech and must be encouraged. For all members of the UChicago community impacted by the Bannon’s arrival on campus: the only way to defeat division and prejudice is by actively opposing it.”

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