Holtschneider, faculty to hold town hall; students not invited

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Holtschneider, faculty to hold town hall; students not invited

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The university’s Faculty Council will host Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M. and Provost Marten denBoer for a closed-door town hall meeting next week where underlying issues brought to the surface by conservative writer Milo Yiannopoulos’ late May visit to campus will be discussed.

The meeting will come weeks after a DePaul College Republicans event featuring Yiannopoulos was shut down by student activists protesting the Breitbart editor’s views on subjects like the Black Lives Matter movement and Feminism. The mood on campus has been tense since, with several students fearing for their safety after receiving threats on social media and with the alleged finding of a noose outside a residence hall.

“With recent events on campus and beyond, tensions and fears about race and gender have increased,” said outgoing Faculty Council President Michaela Winchatz in an email to colleagues. “We as faculty members need to lead the dialogue about how to address the immediate situation and its underlying issues.”

The meeting is faculty-only, a fact Winchatz attributed to a lack of space in the room. When this was brought up in Wednesday’s monthly Faculty Council meeting, however, several faculty members expressed a desire for it to be open to the whole university community. Winchatz said the body will try to accommodate by exploring larger venues, but made no guarantees.

While university administrators have been a more visible presence on campus in the past week, there has not been a forum or town hall-style event planned for students to express their thoughts and concerns on recent events to university administrators.

Student Government Association has remained mostly silent throughout the controversy, which they last addressed in a May 24 statement from then-President Vanessa Cadavillo urging students to “Be kind. Be Thoughtful. Be DePaul.”

While no events appear to be forthcoming, the group wasn’t immediately available for comment.
The faculty meeting will taking place June 7 from 2 – 4 p.m. in McGowan South, 108. It will also be livestreamed for faculty in the Loop in 55 E. Jackson, 801. Space is limited and faculty were strongly encouraged to RSVP ahead of time.