Seattle University School of Law is dropping its sponsorship of an October 16 debate on illegal immigration due to fears that exposing students to conservative views will be too “painful” for them.
The speech was originally co-hosted by the school’s Federalist Society, a conservative organization, and the university’s Access to Justice Institute.
The university made the decision after 200 students signed a petition demanding the school to cancel the event, which they considered to be “harmful.” It leaves the school’s Federalist Society as the event’s sole sponsor.
The debate was intended to stir conversation about the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) program created under President Obama, and examine Trump’s decision to review the program.
According to Seattle University (per Campus Reform), President Trump’s proposed repeal of 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.”
“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,” read the original petition, per the Washington Free Beacon.
After the petition drew attention on social media, its creator scrubbed the Change.org petition and replaced it with a tweet by Free Beacon’s Alex Griswold, who mocked the petition.
Following Seattle University’s decision to drop out of sponsoring the event as part of its “Social Justice Monday” series, law school dean Annette Clark said that the Federalist Society will remain as its sole sponsor.
Speaking to Campus Reform, law school spokesperson Tina Ching said that they will allow the event to proceed despite the decision to stop sponsoring it. She pointed out that the event “is an appropriate program to be held at our law school under the sponsorship of the student organization,” and 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.”