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Following brief scuffle with campus police, student government calls for counseling, attendance breaks

So that students can ‘heal’

Following a brief incident between a few student activists and campus police, the student government of Northwestern University is calling for additional counseling resources as well as generous class attendance policies so that students can “heal” from the fleeting encounter.

Video emerged earlier this week of the scuffle between police and angry protesters, who were upset over former Trump administration Attorney General Jeff Sessions having been invited to speak on campus. That encounter, which occurred on Tuesday, had students struggling with police officers, screaming that the university was racist, and claiming that in protesting Sessions the students were “fighting for their lives.”

After that incident, the student government on Wednesday introduced an “emergency resolution” in order to “provide students with more time and resources,” The Daily Northwestern reports.

The resolution “calls on the University to reconsider attendance policies for students who hold marginalized identities and may have been impacted by the protests;” it also “seeks to expand comprehensive counseling and the Center for Awareness, Response and Education.”

The bill was authored by student senator Daniel Rodriguez, the paper states:

“You can’t expect such rigor and also expect such great performance when students aren’t able to have healing,” Rodriguez said.

It was the [School of Education and Social Policy] sophomore’s first time authoring a resolution on his own. However, Rodriguez said he was compelled to write the legislation because he heard a lot of feedback from students who said they were not given a lot of opportunities to process what happened during the speech.

Adam Davies, ASG’s executive vice president and co-sponsor of the resolution, said the passing of the legislation was important for the Northwestern community to recognize that events on campus foster an unsafe environment.

“(The resolution) would allow them to have the ability to reach out to their professors and get the extra time they need,” the SESP senior said.

The president of the student government, Izzy Dobbel, said that the Northwestern campus “is feeling unsafe” after “someone…entered their safe space that is home and [made] them feel threatened with their acts of hate speech.” She said the resolution would permit students to “deal with” the “trauma” of Sessions’ appearance.

Read the report here.

MORE: ‘WE ARE FIGHTING FOR OUR LIVES’: Protesters crash Jeff Sessions event

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