As part of its “Social Justice Monday” series, Seattle University Law School dean Annette Clark announced sponsorship of an upcoming debate on DACA would be withdrawn.
The debate, which was slated to be over illegal immigration, would allegedly contain “hateful xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric” viewpoints which would be “harmful” to “undocumented students.”
Bloomberg Law reports the event was originally co-hosted by the school’s Federalist Society which is a nationwide conservative organization that aims to promote the originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.
The debates goal was to examine the DACA program which is currently under review by the Trump administration.
For the more sensitive students at the school, the topic of the debate was a large issue which couldn’t be ignored. More than 200 students signed an online petition demanding the school cancel the event.
“We refuse to sit by and let hateful xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric be a part of the culture/message/speech of Seattle University School of Law and Seattle University as a whole,” the original petition stated, as reported by The Washington Free Beacon. “We demand the school act on behalf of its undocumented students, and instead of co-sponsoring programming which is harmful to them, they should foster an environment which is safe for them and for everyone else on campus.”
Following the petition, law school dean Annette Clark announced that the institution would remove its sponsorship as part of its “Social Justice Monday” series. Instead, the event would “go forward under the sole sponsorship of the Federalist Society.”
According to Bloomberg, Clark explained the current administration’s policy on DACA “generated great fear within vulnerable immigrant communities and has caused real harm, making discussions of immigration policy that include a conservative viewpoint even more painful and anxiety- and anger-producing for those individuals and families who are at risk (and for their allies).”
“In other words, we should have taken into account the historical moment in which this program was going to be presented as a Social Justice Monday and what that would mean to marginalized individuals in our community,” Clark added.
The spokesperson for the law school told Campus Reform the event “is an appropriate program to be held at our law school under the sponsorship of the student organization,” pointing out that “students who object have the opportunity to advocate on behalf of their viewpoints, as is appropriate for students who are training to be lawyers.”
For the next “Social Justice Monday,” perhaps they’ll organize a book burning.
Featured Image Via Flickr/Sander van der Wel