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Students are ‘really scared’ and feel unsafe because of Sean Spicer’s speech at Northeastern Illinois University
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Students are ‘really scared’ and feel unsafe because of Sean Spicer’s speech at Northeastern Illinois University

The frightened students are planning a protest at Chicago campus

A group of students at Northeastern Illinois University are protesting against former White House press secretary Sean Spicer's planned school speech because they feel unsafe, according to The College Fix.

What are the details?

According to The College Fix, Spicer's campus discussion, which is set to take place Thursday, is making students "really scared." The frightened students are planning a protest and an alternative teach-in at the campus in Chicago.

Spicer is set to discuss the 2020 presidential election alongside former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile during a panel titled, "Politics, Press, and the Presidential Election."

The students opposing Spicer's appearance have banded together and and created a Facebook page — "Rally to Stop Sean Spicer at NEIU" — to demonstrate their opposition to his presence. At least 87 people have issued an RSVP to the event at the time of this writing.

"NEIU should not provide a home for white nationalism and other forms of bigotry," the group rails. "As members of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, as queer people, trans and non-binary people, and women, as undocumented students, and as allies to all of these oppressed groups, we wish to explicitly express our fear in the face of escalating right-wing violence in this country and around the world."

The group continues, "We see the policies and rhetoric of the Trump administration — including the role Spicer took early in this administration — as drivers of this violence."

In August, the Student Government Association held a town hall where students and faculty were able to freely express their fears over Spicer's appearance on campus.

One student said, "I'm Jewish, I see a lot of people in the space who are targets, not just of Trump, but of the rising white supremacist violence that's happening in our country right now. That makes me really scared.

"You give these people who push violent policies like concentration camps, like a border wall, like a Muslim ban, coverage," the student continued. "And when you give these people coverage, on any platform, large or small, I think that encourages violence and helps make their ability to grow that much better."

Another student, identified by the school newspaper as an undocumented student, said that she was unhappy the university would allow such a person on campus to "attack" her in her "safe space."

What else?

Daniel L. Goodwin of the Daniel L. Goodwin Distinguished Lecture Series, which is holding the event featuring Spicer and Brazile, told the Chicago Tribune that he flat-out refused to cave to the outrage demand.

"For the past few years, I've made donations to cover the costs of speaking fees for visiting lecturers," he said. "As part of the lecturer series, other guests have included Mary Matalin and James Carville, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, Terry Savage, Erin Brockovich and Jackie Joyner-Kersee. No university funds are involved."

Goodwin also pointed out the necessity of exchanging free ideas in an open space such as a college forum.

"As a proponent of higher education and learning, I believe encouraging an atmosphere that creates a free exchange of ideas from a variety of individuals with differing backgrounds and divergent viewpoints is critical to a student's learning experience — even if not everyone is comfortable with that," he added.

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