Freedom, Hate, and a Campus Divided


Protesters face off against Freedom Rally attendees. Photo by Kelsey Hamlin

Mahilet Mesfin stood front-and-center at a barricade, one of many spanning the University of Washington’s Red Square last Saturday. The 18-year-old protester and UW student felt she had to be there.

The UW College Republicans (UWCR) had invited Joey Gibson, conservative speaker and leader of Patriot Prayer, to campus for a Freedom Rally to further the argument surrounding free speech on campus. While some feel speech involving white supremacy or promoting racist views should be banned as hate speech, others, including the UWCR, feel that allowing such expression is essential to the idea of free speech. In part, this is why the UWCR invited ex-Breitbart editor and right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos to campus in January 2017, an event that sparked violence and a shooting. This time around, the UWCR attempted to address the same idea with the lesser known, and less controversial, Patriot Prayer. For the Freedom Rally, organizers said they wanted to invite others, even opposition, to take the mic. Patriot Prayer has ceded the mic and stage to opposition in the past. Due to safety concerns, though, it didn’t quite play out that way on Saturday.

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UW College Republicans use fake domain to reroute to their website

anti-antifa sign

After a slew of posters were put up  by the likes of neo-nazi groups like Evropa and Atomwaffen Division last year, the UW College Republicans (UWCR) are now plastering the Ave and the UW campus with their own posters for recruitment using a URL that misidentifies who they are.

Via The Daily

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UW ahead of the curve on plastic-free straw campaign

In 32 years, the ocean is slated to have a 1:1 ratio of plastic and fish. Since the ‘50s, plastic production has multiplied by 20, reaching 311 million tons in 2014.

This is why the Lonely Whale Foundation decided to advocate for marine life protection. Founded by actor Adrian Grenier and producer Lucy Sumner, the foundation began with a global initiative and then tacked on hyperlocal ones.

In Seattle, the campaign is spearheaded by Strawless in Seattle and goes by #StopSucking. The campaign’s goal is to eradicate plastic straws — not straws in general.

Via The Daily

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UW creates affordable housing for employees

The UW recently announced it will build 150 to 200 affordable housing units, with priority given to UW faculty and staff, by 2021.

The building stages are just beginning, however. The UW has yet to choose a developer, make design or construction plans, and decide financials. The university has chosen a site: Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 42nd Street, a property they already own. Though tentative, the UW is also looking at housing and services for homeless youth and childcare.

Via The Daily

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Trump just removed DACA, here’s what that means for undocumented students

old photo

Students, faculty, alumni and community members participate in a university-wide walkout protesting the inequity of the UW back in May 2016. Protesters demanded their voices be heard in an effort to end institutional racism and decolonize education for people of color. (Photo by Yemas Le)

It has been rumored since Thursday that President Donald Trump planned to remove Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and now what many nonprofits and undocumented people feared has become true.

The Department of Homeland Security said it will stop processing first-time applicants for DACA today. But DACA recipients, or Dreamers, who would’ve otherwise renewed their status over the next six months still can, but have to apply by Oct. 5.

When it comes to the UW campus, however, UW President Ana Mari Cauce — whose parents were immigrants — made it clear where the UW stands in her press release today.

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UW tenured professor fired

Trigger warning: sexual harassment and vulgar/racist language included.

In an unprecedented turn of events, the UW fired microbiology professor Michael Katze after two investigations into his misuse of university funds and sexual harassment. He gained tenure at the UW in 2009, a time at which Katze already had numerous complaints against him on record.

Via The Daily

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Every journalist should read this

We hosted an immigration panel on last week featuring professionals working to protect the rights of (un)documented immigrants. Together, we broke down what journalists can improve on when it comes to marginalized voices.

[The Northwest Immigrants Rights Project has a hotline specifically for potential sightings of ICE. This group then sends people to check it out, and has a team dedicated to this task; relieving other organizations from the stress of doing more than they were intended to do. Call 844-RAID-REP if you think you’re seeing ICE do something.]

via Recap: Immigration Panel — SPJ UW