Rep. Jim Banks takes on Northwestern University President regarding anti-Isreali protestors

Photo supplied/Representative Jim Banks
Several more university presidents were called to testify before a House committee on Thursday in regard to the recent encampments of anti-Israeli protestors that took over parts of college campuses.
One such encampment was on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The president of Northwestern is Michael Schill, who was one of those presidents called to testify.
Schill was the target of Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.-3rd) during this hearing.
Several of your faculty members scuffled with police officers, locked arms,” Banks said in the hearing. “They scuffled with police officers, blocked the police officers on your campus from doing their job. Do they continue to teach students at Northwestern University after this incident?”
“I will not comment on individual faculty members,” Schill replied.
In his opening statement, Schill said that they did not give in to any of the demands being made by protestors. The crux of those demands was for the university to divest itself from any ties it has to Israel. However, Republican members of the committee were quick to point out that he did negotiate with the protestors rather than have police forcibly remove them.
“The police solution was not going to be available to us to keep people safe, and also may not be the wisest solution as we’ve seen at other campuses across the country,” Schill said.
Banks honed in on the university’s firing of football coach Pat Fitzgerald as a gauge for how Schill handled protestors of his campus. Fitzgerald was fired after accusations of hazing football players came to light in 2022. He was given a two week suspension and subsequently fired.
Banks accused Schill of not following a similar precedent in refusing to take a harder line with the protestors.
“We believe in due process at Northwestern University… ” Schill said.
“You believe in due process except in the decision you made about coach Fitzgerald,” Banks interrupted.
“We followed the contract,” Schill responded.
Fitzgerald is now suing Northwestern for wrongful termination, a matter on which Schiil refused to comment on as well in the hearing.
Schill recently wrote an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune in which he took issue with any claims that he was “capitulating to the ‘mob,'” by reaching an agreement with protesters. He said he is a “proud Jew who practices many of our rituals.”
Banks continued to criticize Schill until his time had expired saying that it was uncalled for that faculty members were allowed to behave this way, especially when it came to harassing police officers who were on hand to keep the peace.

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