by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
Add Northwestern University to the list of college campuses with a vocal, intolerant student movement.
Associated Student Government passed a resolution calling for the recusal of Board of Trustees Chair J. Landis Martin from Northwestern’s presidential search committee during Wednesday’s session.
The bill passed with 17 votes in favor and one nay vote from the NU College Republicans senator.
The legislation cites Martin’s past political donations and decision-making as reasons behind the proposed removal. It noted that Martin donated $30,000 to “Trump Victory,” a political action committee that aided former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and chaired an ad hoc committee that rejected calls to remove John Evans’ name from multiple campus spaces.
Unable to simply hold a different point of view, these students seek to eliminate from participation a person with whom they disagree. So much for college campuses being the marketplace of ideas. So much for opening one’s mind, testing one’s beliefs, and learning what other people think and why.
In other words, so much for a college education.
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley weighed in with this on-point commentary about what is occurring at his alma mater (emphasis is mine).
What is so chilling about this resolution is that it tells the over 70 million Americans who voted for Trump that they are not welcomed at Northwestern. Moreover, it tells conservative or libertarian alumni that they can give money to the university but they will not be tolerated in playing any role in shaping the university.
Martin received both a bachelor’s degree and a J.D. degree from Northwestern. He worked as an attorney at Kirkland & Ellis and was chief executive officer of NL Industries. He founded the private equity firm, Platte River Ventures. He was also the founding chairman of Crown Castle International Corp. These students of course do not object to being the recipients of his considerable financial support, including working out at the athletics complex that was built in part with a $15 million donation from Martin.
It’s tempting to shrug this behavior off as the nonsense of a group of young people. That would be a mistake. They are our future leaders. In a few short years they will be teaching our kids, running businesses, making public policy, being elected to office — and shutting down anyone who dares to have a different point of view. Scary.