Monday Memo, 30 October 2017
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Hot off the press, here's your weekly brief.

"Our commitment to innovation and progress often rests upon the conviction that we are immune from the limitations of the past, that looking forward means we do not need to interrogate history. Yet we inherit the sins of the past not because of the decisions we make, but by the virtue of our existence on Stanford’s campus, as beneficiaries of a university that is as much founded on indigenous oppression as it is on the spirit of freedom and entrepreneurship."

Read staff writer Berber Jin on retrospective justice here.

"It is precisely because our mode of public discourse has become so free and open, not despite it, that we have become susceptible to this foreign influence."

Read the latest Cardinal Richelieu column from the European Security Undergraduate Network here.

Last week, the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights & International Justice hosted a talk about the vulnerability and resilience of the LGBTI refugee community in Syria and beyond with guest speakers Subhi Nahas, Amy Weiss, and Dr. Sarah Chynoweth.

Read our events team's coverage of the panel here.

SCR Invite Controversial Speaker to Campus, President Resigns

The Stanford College Republicans (SCR) recently invited Robert Spencer to speak on campus in November. Spencer (Robert, not to be confused with alt-right leader Richard Spencer) is a self-proclaimed Islamophobe. The Southern Poverty Law Center writes, “As the director of the Jihad Watch blog and co-founder of Stop Islamization of America, Robert Spencer is one of America’s most prolific and vociferous anti-Muslim propagandists.”

This event is sure to cause a stir. Nevertheless, a majority of SCR members apparently see it as an opportunity to attract those “who are sick and tired of the political correctness on campus,” as one supportive member said in an interview with the Stanford Review (though, ironically, the interviewee felt the need to request anonymity to speak about an event his own student group is comfortable sponsoring.)

More and more, College Republicans and other right-leaning student groups across the country seem to prioritize provoking liberals, dealing with and publicizing the backlash they receive, and positioning themselves as defenders of free speech. This is contrary to the traditional goals of these student organizations to advocate for and educate other students about traditional conservative policy and values.

In this regard, even more tellingly than the unwillingness of an SCR member to associate his name with an event he supports, the president of SCR resigned in protest of the decision to invite Spencer, telling Stanford Politics that “the event did not align with my vision for the club.”

Stanford Politics is an award-winning, non-partisan student newsmagazine.

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