He’s not as famous as Chris “I love Sean Hannity” Kulawik at this point, but Student Governing Board President Sakib Khan–who oversees all political, religious, and cultural groups–outranks him and every other student leader on this campus. Bwog caught up with Khan in the hours following the Minuteman Brawl, racing to scribble down his informed commentary.
Although he helped the Republicans to regain control of last night’s incident, Khan is skeptical of the wisdom of the speaker choice. “It is not my feeling that this event accomplished the goal of Chris or the Republicans,” he said, calling the speech “non-functional programming.”
Worse, the reaction may impact the ability of student groups to bring speakers to campus. “I have a serious feeling that the future of student programming may be in jeopardy after this.” Although SGB neither approves nor disapproves student groups’ choice of speakers, Khan said his board would consider advising the Republicans to pick someone with a less polarizing podium manner. On the flip side, Khan was disturbed by the reaction of audience members, and believes that the governing boards have an obligation to promote reasoned debate on campus. “Ironically, they were doing the vigilante role of public safety,” he observed.
Administrators have been largely silent on fallout from the protests while they figure out what’s going on, and often differ in their approaches to conflict: a few favor academic freedom at all costs, while a more pragmatic faction would rather avoid bad press in the middle of a $4 billion capital campaign. Khan, however, fears that the actions they take could make things difficult for the individuals and groups involved. “There’s a clear bright line between the protest outside and the protest inside,” he said. “I’m afraid that the administration is going to blur that line.”