DePaul Students Assail President in Town Hall Over Chalkening, Milo Event

Jun 8, 2016 by

By Emily Zanotti –

DePaul students have been saving up their complaints about their “unsafe” campus since the “Chalkening.” In a Friday town hall meeting, they unleashed their torrent of anger on DePaul’s President, Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, forcing him to apologize to students for, among other things, issuing an apology.

Holtschneider, who last week said he was sorry to Milo Yiannopolis for how his students behaved at a recent event, endured two straight hours of the question-and-answer-style event, as student after student expressed dismay at how Holtschneider had allowed their precious feelings and fragile existences to come under fire from opposing viewpoints, both in person and written in chalk on public sidewalks. Holtschneider, eventually beaten into submission, relented to his students’ requests.

“The message I most want to say today is one of apology,” Holtschneider told the crowd. “I’m incredibly sorry that our university wasn’t prepared in advance for the kinds of questions that are now being raised.” Holtschneider called the Milo event a “tipping point” that exposed certain dynamics on the campus “from transphobia to sexism to racism.”

Students complained that they felt “unsafe,” that Holtschneider was on a trip to France during the Milo event, that Holtschneider only apologized to the student body via email, that no action was taken when vandals wrote “Trump 2016” in washable chalk on public sidewalks, that disabled students were told to “walk home” by public safety officers the day Milo event occurred, and that Holtschneider apologized to Milo for how students had treated him.

One student, who was among those who stormed the stage during Milo’s event, said that, despite her threatening actions, she was the one who felt “unsafe” and offered a section of the campus speech code as a way to shut down any future events. She also noted that she and her fellow activists would not be satisfied with anything less than a complete curriculum overhaul: “We go into these classes and don’t feel safe — why is it that I have to take two religion courses, but not take a required class of women and gender studies?” the student asked. “We need to change the curriculum … there’s so much more in this world than this white perspective.”

The students did not suggest much in the way of helpful resolutions to the ongoing conflict, preferring to stress curriculum changes and, somewhat incongruously, that DePaul “divest from companies who support the Israeli occupation of Palestine.” They were not specific as to how that would resolve racial tensions, but were, according to witness accounts, “rather adamant.”

Source: DePaul Students Assail President in Town Hall Over Chalkening, Milo Event

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