Student leaders debate 9/11 commemoration on U of M campus


Student leaders have sought to clear the air after a proposal to hold yearly commemorations for September 11th on the University of Minnesota campus was turned down.

Members of the Minnesota Student Association (MSA) Forum recently decided by a vote of 36-23 with 3 abstentions not to approve – for now – a call put forward by the College Republicans group for an annual "moment of recognition" for the 9/11 attacks.

Following the decision, articles such as this one in Campus Reform appeared saying the proposal was rejected on the grounds it would create an "unsafe space" for some students and could increase Islamaphobic attitudes on campus.

The MSA issued a statement on Friday to clear up "the misconceptions" for why it was rejected, saying that while the potential for Islamaphobia was one of the things discussed during the forum, more of the discussion was centered on what form the commemoration would take and how it could be implemented.

The unsuccessful vote doesn't mean the commemoration won't happen.

Instead, the MSA resolved to do more research into ways that a commemoration could be successful on campus, and said it is willing to work with the College Republicans to re-submit their proposal for another vote at its next meeting.

"There were many Forum members that voiced support for holding a moment of recognition for the victims of 9/11," the statement said, "but given the brevity of the resolution and lack of action steps, they didn't know how this could be done."

"The author did not have answers for these questions," it added, "and given that a resolution in this body is inherently a call for action, many members were dissatisfied by the lack of action attached to such an important topic."

'Not about political correctness'

MSA president Joelle Stangler told WCCO that one aspect of the research into a possible commemoration would be to coordinate with Muslim student representatives.

"If there are concerns from the Muslims about their safety, they need to be reached out to," she said, but was adamant the vote against the proposal was not because of political correctness.

"Just because it was not passed doesn’t mean that it was necessarily rejected," she added. "It wasn’t a consensus of the full body that this was going to be so damaging, and that we need to be concerned about how offended people might be. This isn’t really an issue of political correctness.”

The resolution was proposed by Theo Menon, the student group representative to MSA for the College Republicans (CRs), who told campus reform: "I wrote this resolution because I think we need to recognize the victims of this world-changing event. The innocent men, women, and servicemen who died on that day deserve to be honored."

Nathan Amundson, President of the U of M's Young Americans for Liberty chapter, claimed that several members of the MSA "were militant in their opposition" to the resolution "due to a perceived bias toward Muslims," according to the Minnesota Republic.

Next Up


Someone keeps trying to film showering women at U of M

The university has received three reports in the past two weeks.

Anya Magnuson

Woman in critical condition after driver hit her in Minneapolis

She's been unresponsive, but recently gave a thumbs up to her family.

Anthony Edwards

Ant's rally not enough to save Timberwolves

Edwards' third-quarter explosion came too late in a loss to the Pelicans.

Rent, mortgage, house, key, door

Victims of property manager's sexual harassment to get $736,000

It's part of a consent decree announced by the Department of Justice Monday.

The Liffey Pub Facebook

St. Paul's Irish pub The Liffey reveals it won't reopen

The beloved pub has been closed since the start of the pandemic.

Proctor football

Proctor football investigation: Case goes to county attorney

The office will review the evidence and consider possible criminal charges.

kirsten mitchell screegrab

'I’m heading home!': CA reporter announces return to WCCO

Kirsten Mitchell interned at WCCO years ago. Now, she's coming back as a reporter.


As part of price gouging settlement, farm to donate 1M eggs to food nonprofits

The egg producer will donate more than 1 million eggs to nonprofits fighting hunger.

plane, Piper PA-32

Sheriff: Witnesses saw plane 'performing aerial maneuvers' before fatal crash

The single-engine aircraft went down in northern Wisconsin, killing a brother and sister.