An Illinois student government voted to condemn an upcoming Young America’s Foundation campus event featuring Jeff Sessions, claiming he is on “the wrong side of history.”
The Illinois Student Government (ISG) at the University of Illinois-Champaign held a January 26 vote to officially condemn both the event and the school’s College Republicans chapter. Proponents of the resolution argued his presence on campus during Black History Month will be “disrespectful to the black community.”
According to a video of the meeting obtained by YAF, multiple student senators accused Sessions of racism and swore that their disapproval had nothing to do with ideology.
They asserted that Sessions’ criticism of both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) proves their claims.
Members also cited unsubstantiated quotes, accrediting them to Sessions, to support their accusations and did not provide context.
An author of the resolution likened the former Attorney general to Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, and claimed he was “on the wrong side of history.”
Another author of the resolution expressed his disbelief in fellow senators who dared to defend free speech on campus, saying “It’s unbelievable that we could even sit here and debate about this.”
NEW: The student government at University of Illinois voted to denounce an upcoming YAF lecture featuring @jeffsessions.— YAF (@yaf) January 27, 2022
They claim it is "inappropriate and insensitive" to host Sessions on campus during Black History Month, and urged the students to move the event off-campus 🙄 pic.twitter.com/KlEfFGY2Pt
Despite the majority of senators eager to condemn Sessions, one international student senator issued a warning to his peers on partisanship. He urged them to allow speech they disagree with and challenge it rather than silencing it.
On January 27, after the resolution’s passage, the Illini CRs released a statement condemning the ISG condemnation of Sessions and the CRs, stating, “It is evident from recent events that the ISG doesn’t support diversity of thought on campus.”
“Though they claim to represent the student body, their attempt to exclude conservative voices from campus suggests they represent far fewer. Intolerance, for the sake of tolerance, is no virtue at all.”
The resolution states, “The Illinois Student Government firmly insists that the keynote event should be taken off-campus and moved to outside of February.”
“Students also have voiced that his presence on campus feels like a ‘slap in the face’ to the university’s commitment to [Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.]”
The resolution to condemn the event passed with a vote of 21-5-1.
Notably, the school has not hosted a conservative speaker since 2018.
Student Senator Garrett Forrest initially emailed the UI CRs on January 20, saying “Given that February 1st marks the first day of Black History Month, many within ISG, including the Student Body President, find Mr. Sessions’ presence on campus disrespectful to the Black community,” and asking the organization to move the event off-campus.
The CR’s denied the request and said they do not share the concerns brought forth by the senators.
Student governments continuously find reasons to deny free speech by claiming that anything they disagree with is racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, or any other “ist” or “phobic.” The few brave students willing to stand up to left-wing student governments are not enough to hold off the further proliferation of this radical ideology into our institutions of higher education. To find out more about this event click here.