While there are definitely lots of issues that the administration doesn’t seem to respond to, there are some topics they are very quick to reply to.
It’s been a week since D.C. Bureau Chief and White House correspondent for the Gateway Pundit Lucian Wintrich was arrested at the University of Connecticut, and developments are still unfolding.
On Dec. 1, the Gateway Pundit published an article claiming that Catherine Gregory, who is the Associate Director of Career Services and Advising at Quinebaug Valley Community College, who is accused of stealing Wintrich’s paper at the event, was “a communist” and that her “slimy” attorney, Jon Schoenhorn, is in the wrong for defending a “commie” that is “incapable of peaceful political discourse.”
Some members of the UConn community, like Cathy Schlund-Vials, a professor of English and Asian/Asian American studies, said they cannot move past the incident with ease.
“It’s been a hard week,” Schlund-Vials said. “From my perspective of someone that teaches courses on race, many students have come into my office wanting to talk further on what happened and are unclear about where they belong at UConn.”
On Dec. 4, UConn President Susan Herbst sent out an official email detailing the new protocol for potential speaker’s pre examinations.
This protocol will require “a mandated event review process for events sponsored by student groups that could potentially present a safety risk to the campus community, review process to be completed before approval, in the form of a space reservation,” and the event review will entail “a meeting that includes student organizers, Student Affairs, UConn Police and other relevant university offices, specific access planning and controls (who is admitted, a guest list that must be reviewed for safety concerns and bag checks, among other provisions), required security planning and a response plan for disruption and pre-planning outreach to coordinate counter-protest interest,” according to Herbst’s email.
Mary Gallucci, an adjunct professor of English, said she still sees potential complications with the new rules that will be put in place for the 2018 spring semester.
“I’m a little concerned,” Gallucci said. “When you put this protocol in place, you can also have controversial speakers on the left, like people who used to protest nuclear weapons that were jailed for obstructing traffic and paid their time. Would they be on the same list for violence?”
According to Herbst, the purpose of this precaution is to promote safety at the university.
“Speech and safety do not conflict with each other, and we do not have to choose between them,” Herbst said in the email. “Instead, we must do all we can to ensure that both are able to exist simultaneously on our campuses at all times.”
A week ago, Bureau Chief and White House correspondent Lucian Wintrich shook the University of Connecticut community through his controversial speech “It’s OK to be White.” The university is still responding to the echoes of the incident.
On Tuesday, the Initiative on Campus Dialogue (ICD), a group organized as part of the project on Humility and Conviction in Public Life, hosted an event titled “Still Together: a Dialogue for Interconnectedness.”
About 50 individuals, including UConn administration, graduate and undergraduate students all participated in four activities facilitated by ICD members.
The evening began with a “silent interview.” Participants paired up with someone at their table that they did not know and answered a set of questions relating to their partner, all without conversing. Through sharing what each participant contrived, groups were able to discuss how stereotypes and putting people into “boxes” affects the UConn community.
“I learned not to assume what you know about people before you talk to them,” Allie Anagnostopoulos, fifth-semester allied health sciences major, said. “You have a preconceived idea of someone that is just completely wrong.”
The second activity involved reflecting on the images that the UConn website provides to represent the university. Through looking at the images, including those representing areas like research, campus life, academics, admissions, athletics and UConn Health, groups came to realize that there was a blatant lack of diversity.
“It seemed that they were not promoting diversity,” Mary Gallucci, adjunct professor of English, said. “I didn’t see anything too bad but they need to have a more diverse presentation. I’m not sure that just showing those images is actually the experience of UConn online.”
Lastly, facilitators presented UConn’s mission statement and opened a discussion on its effectiveness.
“The whole entire mission statement was very vague, and it was hard to get something out of it,” Anagnostopoulos said. “And that’s kind of a lesson, in a sense.”
Anagnostopoulos suggested that the university should attempt to have a more concise message that would carry a greater impact with students.
Participants agreed that the event presented useful and necessary dialogue, but Gallucci wishes the event included examples pertaining to the Nov. 29 Wintrich arrest.
“I actually thought it was going to have more conversation about last week’s incident with Lucian, and it would deal with the fact the university was unaware of the kinds of people that are now doing this college circuit,” Gallucci said. “They used free speech for a cover and promoting hate speech and insulting people, and it’s wrong”
Glenn Mitoma, an ICD and Human Rights Institute/Neag Assistant Professor, said the group is hoping to hold more events in the future to incorporate additional thought provoking topics and suggestions can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nearly 48 hours after Gateway Pundit commentator Lucian Wintrich was arrested at an event hosted by the University of Connecticut’s College Republicans, UConn President Susan Herbst responded, releasing a statement to the university in an email Thursday evening.
“The core principals [sic] of our institution are rooted in intellectual pursuits based on reason, thoughtful debate, and free and open argument. No aspect of what took place on Tuesday reflected this,” Herbst said.
A “March for Action” is set to take place Friday in response to the University of Connecticut’s handling of the event “It’s OK To Be White” that made national news Tuesday night, according to Rebecca Kaufman, one of the event’s organizers.
The event will begin at 1 p.m. by the statue of Jonathan the husky at the top of Fairfield Way, Kaufman, a seventh-semester political science and human rights major, said. The event was created to bring attention to the university’s treatment of racism, Kaufman said.
Both the University of Connecticut College Republicans and College Democrats have released statements regarding Gateway Pundit writer Lucian Wintrich’s arrest on Tuesday.
The College Republicans, who invited Wintrich to campus for the speech “It’s OK to Be White,” released their statement on their Facebook page late Thursday afternoon.
“As Americans, the UConn College Republicans share the beliefs that our nation’s founders enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution,” the statement said.
Quinebaug Valley Community College released a statement on its website Thursday afternoon regarding Catherine Gregory, an advisor for the college, who was accused of stealing Gateway Pundit White House correspondent Lucian Wintrich’s speech papers at the University of Connecticut Tuesday night.