Tags Posts tagged with "Protest"



Asst. Photo Editor
Published: April 30, 2015

On April 29, protesters gathered in Union Square to rally against police brutality in response to Freddie Gray’s death, a black man who died from injuries sustained during his arrest, in Baltimore, MD. Our photographer, Jason Boit, FCLC ’17, captured the event where at least 140 arrests were made.


News Editor
Published: Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2014

On Thursday, Nov. 20, about 50 people attended the S.A.G.E.S. protest outside Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC). Countless people stopped to listen to students chanting on their evening commutes home. Dean of Students at FCLC, Fordham security, and the New York Police Department (NYPD) all attended and declined to comment.

Students generally had mixed feelings about the protest. Those who turned down direct statements did emphasize that all students understand that this University runs in the Catholic tradition before signing up to come here.

S.A.G.E.S. hopes to continue discussion with administration, as long as the talk can soon become action.

Additional reporting by Justin Rebollo

Ann Coulter. (Nicolas Khayat/Abaca Press/MCT)
The group, armed with laptops, surrounds a table in apartment 10F of McMahon Residence Hall, monitoring their Facebook and Twitter pages. (Ian McKenna/The Observer)

The event has been cancelled. Click here for more.  

Managing Editor
Published: November 9, 2012

UPDATED (7:40pm): 

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., President of Fordham University released a statement to the university on Nov. 9, 2012 explaining his reaction to the decision from the College Republicans to invite Ann Coulter to campus. This comes after Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) students have organized a campaign against a scheduled appearance at the university by the right-wing commentator on Nov. 29.

Ann Coulter. (Nicolas Khayat/Abaca Press/MCT)

His statement can be read in its entirety here.

“To say that I am disappointed with the judgment and maturity of the College Republicans, however, would be a tremendous understatement,” McShane wrote in his email to the Fordham Community but said that student groups are encouraged to “invite speakers who represent diverse, and sometimes unpopular, points of view.”

“There are many people who can speak to the conservative point of view with integrity and conviction, but Ms. Coulter is not among them. Her rhetoric is often hateful and needlessly provocative—more heat than light—and her message is aimed squarely at the darker side of our nature.”

McShane also referenced last year’s string of discriminatory acts of vandalism, saying that he holds out “great contempt for anyone who would intentionally inflict pain on another human being because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or creed.”

McShane, however, highlighted the fact that “Student groups are allowed, and encouraged, to invite speakers who represent diverse, and sometimes unpopular, points of view, in keeping with the canons of academic freedom.” AS such, the administration’s decision is to not take action against the College Republicans or the event, allowing Coulter to appear and speak as scheduled.

“To prohibit Ms. Coulter from speaking at Fordham would be to do greater violence to the academy, and to the Jesuit tradition of fearless and robust engagement. Preventing Ms. Coulter from speaking would counter one wrong with another,” McShane also included in his e-mail, saying that this instance has created an opportunity for us, as a university, to test our own character.

The idea that the Coulter event should proceed, despite her representing messages that go against the overall Jesuit traditions of the Fordham community, seems to be mimicked by some parts of the University.

In a memo to her colleagues on the morning of Nov. 9th, Gwenyth Jackaway, associate chair of the communication and media studies program at Lincoln Center, said she was “saddened and disappointed that there are students at Fordham who would want to invite Ms. Coulter to speak here.”

“Some people express their views that seem particularly intended to inflame emotions that can be harmful to the safety and stability of our society,” Jackaway said, referring to Coulter and people from parties across the political spectrum.

While obviously opposed to Coulter’s politics and agenda on a personal level, Jackaway admits that it is not the place of the university to dictate who may and may not be allowed to speak on campus.

“All ideas, even the ideas that offend us the most. In fact, those are probably the ones that we ought to be discussing them most. It is easy to discuss safe topics. We all need practice in learning how to disagree with civility,” Jackaway said.

But her scheduled appearance seems to provide a challenge for Jackaway.

“I feel we have a responsibility to model what tolerance looks like. It is easy to be tolerant of people you agree with. The real test of the liberal sensibility is to model tolerance even to those who are intolerant of tolerance. There is the rub,” Jackaway remarked.

As a professor of the Freedom of Expression course, Jackaway feels strongly that, even though she has become known as a caustic personality, characterized by a vitriolic demeanor, the university should not intervene with Coulter’s scheduled appearance.

In fact, for Jackaway her visit gives us a chance to assess and examine ourselves.

“That is the true test of you belief in free speech, whether you are willing to defend the rights of those you hate to say things you detest,” Jackaway said of the struggle she sees emerging from this situation.

“I think the benefit is the dialogue that is beginning to emerge.”

“Maybe they have given us a gift, Jackaway said of the College Republicans and their decision to invite Coulter. “The outrage that follows is wonderful for our culture because then we have a conversation. We get to have a discussion about freedom of speech.”

Protests against Coulter’s appearance began with students, however, on the night of Nov. 8, before any of these reactions from faculty and Father McShane himself.

The group that formed against Coulter published their own Facebook page , set up an email address for student questions and comments and started a Twitter account, where they have appealed to such political pundits as Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher for coverage. They have also collected, at the time of publication, over   1,700 (updated: Nov. 9, 2:01pm) signatures on their petition at change.org to stop Coulter from making her scheduled appearance at the Rose Hill campus.

The group of students that have organized against Coulter’s appearance includes Chloe Foster-Jones, Marriette Dorobis, Dylan Katz, Faith Donnovan, Hanna Tadevich, Amalia Vavala, Lauren DeLucca, Jenny Park, Laura Tretter, Thomas Welch, Blaire Eberhart and Sarah Kneeshaw, all FCLC ’15.

“We realized that more than just sitting here and racking jokes like ‘oh, we want to egg her,’ we should actually do something about it and start a way for students to protest against this since we knew we weren’t the only ones upset about this,” Tadevich, a resident in 10F where the group has set up a makeshift headquarters, said.

The group has several issues with Coulter and the university’s approval of the event, including her personal beliefs and agenda, stating that she present nonfactual information as factual, supports racism, sexism and homophobia, and the group characterizes her as a hateful bigot.

Some of the commenters against this movement have accused the group of infringing on Coulter’s right to freedom of speech on the Facebook page.

The students have formulated these ideas into what they call a manifesto, which has just been posted to their Facebook page, “Stop Ann Coulter from speaking at Fordham.”

The manifesto reads:

I. Ann Coulter, as an American, is entitled to her opinion and the right to express it.

II. Ann Coulter’s inflammatory rhetoric upsets the Fordham Community because her fighting words directly attack our members.

III. Fordham University is a private institution, not a public forum, and the speakers it chooses reflect on the values of our Fordham community.

IV. Ann Coulter’s self-expression is not compatible with the values the Fordham community professes–particularly the Jesuit tenet of “Men and Women for and With Others”.

V. For these reasons, we feel that our tuition should not pay for Ann Coulter to speak at Fordham University or any Fordham Facility.

Coulter has had a history of this kind of student backlash. In 2010, organizers of a Coulter event at the University of Ottawa were forced to cancel the event in response to student rallys against the conservative figure.

The group plans to attend next Thursday’s town hall meeting at the Rose Hill campus, a weekly event held by the United Student Government at Rose Hill, to discuss the event and its future.

“I think it is great that there will be this bi-campus discussion happening and I hope that this results in a willingness to retract a decision to bring in a speaker. Obvisouly, that is a very hard thing for the university to do when they have already made that decision to bring her in. But I hope they are willing to at least listen and at least we get to hear what they have to say. I am excited about that dialogue but in the end I do hope she doesn’t speak,” Tadevich said.

The original event is scheduled for Nov. 29 from 6:00pm-9:30pm at the Rose Hill campus, according to the event’s OrgSync page has been cancelled: click here for more.

The weekly USG meeting for the Rose Hill campus will be held Thursday, Nov. 15 at 6:00pm in McGinley 237.

The group drafts their manifesto on the window. (Ian McKenna/The Observer)

Young protesters, frustrated with their prospects, have taken this opportunity to make their voices heard.

Staff Writer
Published: October 19th, 2011

Occupy Wall Street is the best thing that has happened to this country in a while, and as its inception is happening a short train ride away from FCLC, I urge all Fordham students to take a stand and join the protests, as students did in the 1960’s.

Young protesters, frustrated with their prospects, have taken this opportunity to make their voices heard. (Sara Azoulay/The Observer)

Throughout 2011, we have witnessed the emergence of a corporatocracy in the United States whereby the richest one percent own 40 percent of the nation’s wealth, more than at any other time in the country’s history since the 1920s. This percentage is effectively dictating the direction of American politics and economics.

There is one thing they haven’t been able to control though: American society. On Sept. 17, a few brave people decided that they didn’t believe in the system anymore, and they went to downtown Manhattan to sit down in a park and begin the movement that has spread across the country to Boston, Philadelphia, DC, Portland, Seattle and LA, among other cities.

There is no question these protesters are staying right where they are, and the Occupy Wall Street movement is not just a fad. Some have even suggested that it could become a liberal Tea Party, a grass roots people’s movement without a designated leader but with boundless energy that will be challenge an entrenched system.  I certainly hope so.

Since the emergence of the Tea Party I have wondered when the left and moderates of this country would demand that the ultra-conservative Tea Party not dictate the direction of the United States.

It appears that we are witnessing the birth of another grassroots protest movement; the great difference between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party though is that Occupy Wall Street fights for the well-being and future of the average working American.

It strikes at an essential problem in the United States: the heart of America lies in small business owners, manufacturers and hardworking Americans across the country, not millionaires who sit in fancy offices down on Wall Street who own four houses, actually use the word summer as a verb and are now gauging the American consumer just to make a larger profit.

Americans today, particularly college students and twenty-somethings, are seeing their futures increasingly clouded by the dark cloud of burgeoning student loan debt. For others we are being schemed in more immediate ways: I just recently closed my Citibank checking account because they were going to charge me $20 a month to own a checking account with less than $15,000 in it.  I don’t know about anyone else at college, but that amount is a faraway dream for me still.

It is infuriating to have grown up in the 90s believing that our nation’s economy would be strong, and there to support us after we finished school. Now, as I stand on that cusp as a senior, I cannot believe that I have to close my checking account essentially because I am a student who works part-time for minimum wage.

This movement is morally just. Increasingly the United States is becoming a banana republic and students, the poor and the middle class are being squeezed for all we are worth, which is becoming less and less. According to a recent article published in The New York Times, the average annual salary of the richest 20 percent of New Yorkers is roughly $371,000 versus an average of $9,000 for the poorest 20 percent.

There is something fundamentally wrong in a society where people are charged money to access the money they worked hard to earn. Frankly, we are just mad that while most of us working Americans trim our budgets and try to save money, Wall Street and bank executives are still getting bailouts, multi-million dollar bonuses and paying a lower tax rate than working Americans do.

One of the most frustrating aspects of this great movement has been President Obama’s silence. His Chief of Staff, Bill Daley, recently said he “wasn’t sure if [Occupy Wall Street] was a good thing” and Obama has been effectively silent. Are you kidding me? This movement represents exactly the kind of populist anger that he needs to win reelection and he remains silent.

Occupy Wall Street has the potential to be an American form of the Arab Spring; it has the potential to be a thrilling, democratic movement to restore power to the people and take it away from K Street lobbyists, Wall Street bankers and stock brokers. Many who oppose the Occupy Wall Street movement claim that it is provoking class warfare.

Why is that a bad thing? As the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, we need to take a stand to keep the American Dream alive for all Americans, not just the rich ones.  Luckily, the origin of the movement is just a train ride away, and we can be a part of it.