Northwestern University Investigating Student Protesters

on Jun3

2 June 2017 | 10:05 pm

Some students who protested and forced an immigration official from ICE to cancel an appearance at Northwestern University last week are now being investigated by the university.

Lam Nguyen Ho, executive director of Chicago-based legal aid organization Community Activism Law Alliance, told The Daily Northwestern that NU is pursuing a formal resolution according to the student handbook.

“The University has not indicated yet that they’re going to pursue any sanctions against the students or any punishment,” Nguyen Ho, who is representing the students, told the newspaper. “Based upon our understanding of their position, they’re going through a formal resolution process, which may or may not lead to them seeking punishment against our students.”

Ho said their organization is representing about five students, but there may be more students facing disciplinary action who he is not representing, according to the paper.

Two weeks ago a group of students interrupted a sociology class after the professor invited an ICE public relations spokesperson to give a lecture. The professor said she would invite an undocumented student the next time. However, students burst into the room and protested the presence of an immigration official connected to the Trump regime that is deporting record numbers of undocumented immigrants. Many are living in fear as parents are being ripped away from their children.

The students said the ICE agent’s presence on the University was harmful and triggered fear for any undocumented immigrants on the campus or people who have friends or family whose lives have been uprooted by the immigration police.

The newspaper reported that last Friday a group of students held a peaceful protest asking NU to drop the investigation into the protesters. An online petition circulated on social media making demands that the University become a sanctuary campus for its undocumented students and workers and provide more resources for undocumented students.

The professor told The Daily that many faculty have supported her around the country. She said it is important to not hide from uncomfortable topics.

The University said the protest violated the rights of students who were at the lecture to learn.

Ho said he took the case because he felt “outraged” NU would consider disciplining the student protesters.

“This is a classic example of students responding to a situation that they feel very threatened by, very much traumatized and in pain over, because a space that they considered a safe place and a supportive environment for their education was threatened by the presence of an institution, a governmental agency, that has caused so much harm and so many atrocities against their families and their communities,” Nguyen Ho told the paper.

By Jim Vail


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