Northeastern Illinois University Students ‘Fear’ Sean Spicer’s Visit to Campus

Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer participates in the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: A World of Change at The TimesCenter on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Students at Northeastern Illinois University claimed that they “fear” a scheduled campus visit from former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. According to the student’s Facebook post, the school is creating a “home” for “white nationalism” by allowing Spicer to speak.

According to a report by The College Fix, students at Northeastern Illinois University are afraid of a lecture scheduled for Thursday evening by former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Spicer will speak alongside former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile about the upcoming presidential election.

When students gathered last month to discuss their concerns about the event, one student noted that there was an “underlying fear felt by other students in the room.”

“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,” the student went on to say. “That makes me really scared.”

Student activists created a Facebook event page for those that are interested in rallying against Spicer’s visit. The page claims that the university is providing a “home” for “white nationalism” by allowing Spicer to speak on campus.

“We are a coalition of students, faculty, staff, and alumni who are opposed to the university’s plan to host Sean Spicer on our campus. In his role as press secretary to President Trump, Spicer promoted policies that have terrorized many NEIU students, their families and their communities,” the event’s description page reads. “NEIU should not provide a home for white nationalism and other forms of bigotry.”

The students note that the university has previously claimed to be a “Hispanic-serving institution.” By allowing Spicer to speak at the university, the students accuse the administration is betraying not only its previous promise but the “undocumented” student population at Northeastern Illinois University itself.

Any platform he is provided, including ones where people are allowed to debate and argue these policies, serves to legitimize these policies, and creates more space for right-wing extremists to escalate their attacks on our communities. We find it particularly distressful that our university would ignore its claims to being an Hispanic-serving institution that “stands in solidarity with undocumented immigrants” by providing Spicer this platform, and that it would do so in an attempt to raise the profile of this institution.

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