Newsletter for February 6

Students confront Prof. Zingales for inviting Bannon; Cathy Cohen rejects ask to do the debate; Daniel Biss finds support at U of C on campus tour

By Euirim Choi, Pete Grieve, and Tyrone Lomax

Good morning. Welcome to sixth week.
The Law School community convened Monday for an emotional community town hall following backlash to the Edmund Burke Society’s recent whip sheetfor an immigration debate, which said that immigrants bring “disease into the body politic.”

— Eric Wessan, chairman of the conservative parliamentary society,apologized for the whip sheet at the event: “This entire thing is awful. I feel terrible about how people are feeling…. Given people’s immediate and visceral reaction to those sentiments, I see that using them was a mistake,” he said.

— Not all members of the Burke society are apologizing. One student, who didn’t share his name, said, “people who read the whip sheet either know—or should know or get informed after reading—that it is hyperbolic…. [To] twist the narrative and attack Burke for being a group that marginalizes people…it’s just not true.”

— Law students spoke about the real harm caused by this whip sheet: “This is not a fun little intellectual exercise for your debate society,” one student said. “This is a real issue with real lives at stake.”

— Dean of the Law School Thomas Miles, reached by phone Monday, responded to criticism that the town hall was organized by students not the admin, noting that he’s going to speak about these issues at an event on Thursday. Asked if he condemns the whip sheet, Miles referred back to an earlier statement in which he said recent events were “concerning.”

In Viewpoints

Editor Urvi Kumbhat writes in:
Contributor Osama Alkhawaja argues that the Edmund Burke Society's proposed debate on immigration is a deeply racist endeavor that the Law School should disavow unequivocally.
Columnist Natalie Denby contends that Trump supporters are often more interested in inciting outrage than in engaging with differing viewpoints.

Booth professor Luigi Zingales invited political science professor Cathy Cohen, whose research interests include black politics, to participate in the debate he is hosting with Steve Bannon. Cohen “staunchly” opposes the invitation, and she said she “would never consider legitimizing such an event with [her] participation.”

— Why Zingales invited her: “The topics of globalization and immigrations cannot be seen only from an economic perspective,” he said. “To this purpose, I reached out to Prof. Cohen and many other members of the faculty.”

Professor Geoffrey Stone, author of the University’s famous free speech report, told The Maroon, speaking about Hitler: “I’d be really interested to hear what he had to say, and be able to respond to him, and be able to argue with him. It’s not legitimating his views.”

— Zingales essentially agreed with Stone, though he drew a distinction at the town hall between early and late Hitler: “I think I would distinguish early Hitler from later Hitler. I think it would have been very useful to know ahead of time what he was about…. If the world had known earlier what Hitler was standing for, I think there would have been a better fate, no?” (Click here for our story with full audio of the discussion.

— Zingales addressed Samantha Eyler-Driscoll’s resignation from his research center’s editorial board and her statement that he violated her request to recuse herself from the event by asking her to do promotional work for it. But Zingales said he didn't think he was violating Eyler-Driscoll's recusal because what he asked her to do was compile awful things Bannon has said. He says he thought that would have been a “labor of love” for her. “Out of an understanding for the pain of Samantha, because she's a very good employee—and I know she feels very strongly about this— …I don't know what I've done wrong, honestly.”

— About 60 protesters demonstrated in front of Booth on Friday. A dozen counter-protesters were also present at the rally. Candidate for IL governor and former U of C professor Daniel Bissin a speech Friday, noted that UCPD officers were there to make sure no one stepped on private property: “Bannon gets invited in, but the protesters are forced off of campus property…tells you something pretty fascinating about their priorities.”

In Arts

Editor Alexia Bacigalupi writes in:
Landscapes, both literal and metaphorical, dominate a series of exhibitions at the Hyde Park Art Center.
Darkest Hour is an excellent showcase for  Gary Oldman’s prowess but ignores much else in doing so.
Get your hands on tickets for the MODA show before they sell out, recover from midterms with an Off-Off show, and more this week in Exhibit A.
Creativity and energy abounded in an innovative performance celebrating the contributions of Hungarian-Austrian composer György Ligeti.

Anthony Scaramucci, who was communications director for Donald Trump for 11 days, will speak on campus at a College Republicans (CR) debate this Thursday. Asked yesterday evening by The Maroon if he has any ideas on what he’ll be speaking about, Scaramucci wrote “no clue” in a DM. He has been intalks with CR about a visit since at least November.  
A new grocery store will be built by Shop & Save Market in the South Shore’s Jeffrey Plaza, after Mayor Rahm Emanuel offered the company a tax increment financing subsidy. This comes four years after Emanuel promised to replace the grocery store that closed at that location. For more local politics news, check out this week’s Citizen’s Bulletin.

In Sports

Editor Cavell Means writes in:
Wrestling claimed a final win before the UAA championship. Men's basketball split their home games again, while women's basketballkeeps on winningTrack and field dominated the field at the Windy City Invitational.
Plus: The Maroon Weekly sat down with fourth-years Madison Dunbar and Elizabeth Nye, who’ve helped lead the women’s basketball team to victory this season—16 times in a row, in fact.

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