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DePaul Bars 'Unborn Lives Matter' Posters

October 19, 2016

DePaul University has ordered the campus Republican group to redesign posters that read "Unborn Lives Matter" if the organization wants permission to post them on campus. The Republicans are accusing the university of censorship and pointing to what they see as an irony of being unable to put up posters that argue -- as does the Roman Catholic church -- that abortion is wrong. But the university notes that it is open to the group creating posters with its stance against abortion, but disapproved of this poster (at right) in particular.

The Reverend Dennis H. Holtschneider, president at DePaul, released a statement in which he said that the Republicans banner “provokes the Black Lives Matter movement.” He elaborated: “Some people will say that DePaul’s stance unfairly silences speech to appease a crowd. Nothing can be further from the truth. As we experienced last spring, it’s not difficult to agree that there is a difference between a thoughtful discussion about immigration and a profane remark about Mexicans scrawled in the quad, or between a panel on racial climate and a noose -- a powerful symbol of violence and hatred -- outside a residence hall. In both recent cases, the first, we encourage; the second, we abhor.”

Father Holtschneider noted that DePaul has had for some time a speech policy rooted in the university's faith. The policy states, “We accept that there is a distinction between being provocative and being hurtful. Speech whose primary purpose is to wound is inconsistent with our Vincentian and Catholic values.”

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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