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Midwest universities offer to train students in leftist activism, better protesting

DePaul wants more protests?

Some Chicago-area universities are sponsoring training in political activism this fall – but it appears to be tilted towards progressive causes only.

The administration at Northwestern University is putting on “Social Justice Advocacy Training” Friday. The promotional poster for the event promotes liberal causes such as Black Lives Matter and NU Divest, which advocates boycott, divestment and sanction against Israel.

Sponsored by the Leadership and Community Engagement office, participants will learn how to “Articulate the dynamics of political power, how to change those dynamics, and determine how and where to engage in policy change for social justice.”

They will “Apply research, planning, and organizing strategies to engage and empower citizens and grassroots groups.”


Hey big spender

Right before Halloween, Loyola University Chicago is hosting a training to teach students how to lobby Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner for more funding under the Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant program, similar to the federal Pell grant program.

For more than a year, MAP has faced a reduction in funding due to a budget impasse over a $4 billion deficit. In April, Rauner signed an education bill funding $170 million worth of MAP grants, about half the amount in a 2015 budget bill.

Called the “MAP Advocacy Student Leader Summit,” the Oct. 29 summit promises to “give student leaders an opportunity to join a statewide coalition of grassroots advocacy on behalf students who receive MAP grants.”

It is open to all “student leaders from Illinois public, private, and community colleges and universities, as well as government relations, media relations, and financial aid staff members.”

Participants will be trained on how to lobby the government for more money for Loyola, a Jesuit school. They will:

Learn valuable advocacy tools for engaging legislators

Be able to coordinate their institution’s efforts with others

Have the opportunity to network with fellow student leaders

Play an instrumental role in saving MAP Grants.

Training new union activists

Last month, DePaul University hosted an “Activism Training” where anyone could “learn all about activism, protest and demonstrations” and “Learn what to do if you get arrested.”

Participants at the Catholic school learned “new methods for starting a movement” and “about protesting on campus or off campus.”

DePaul does not seem to have a problem with insufficient protests: Students took over an event by gay conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos this summer, unimpeded by campus security. President Dennis Holtschneider blamed “both sides” for “intentionally provoking the others with inflammatory language.”

DePaul, with the backing of union leaders, also sponsors a training school for future union activists, including mock collecting bargaining simulations.

Loyola Chicago’s government affairs office, the lobbying arm of the university and sponsor of the MAP summit, did not respond to an email from The College Fix seeking more information on other trainings it offers to students. Northwestern’s media relations department did not respond to requests for comment.

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About the Author
Matt Lamb graduated in May 2015 from Loyola University-Chicago, where he majored in political science, and minored in economics and Catholic Studies. There, he was also an active member of Loyola Students for Life and Loyola College Republicans, and wrote for The Loyola Phoenix. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. His work for The College Fix has been featured by National Review, Fox News, New York Times, and several other news outlets. He currently works as a Field Coordinator for Turning Point USA.