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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Protestors call Sen. Flake “coward,” “hypocrite” outside of Chancellor’s Lecture

Students+protest+former+U.S.+Senator+Jeff+Flake+at+Langford+Auditorium+for+the+Chancellors+Lecture+Series+on+Thursday%2C+January+17%2C+2019.+%28Photo+by+Emily+Gon%C3%A7alves%29
Emily Goncalves
Students protest former U.S. Senator Jeff Flake at Langford Auditorium for the Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Thursday, January 17, 2019. (Photo by Emily Gonçalves)

*images include explicit language

Outside the doors of Langford Auditorium, a small group gathered in protest of the Jan. 17 Chancellor’s Lecture with former Senator Jeff Flake. The talk, entitled “The Conscience of a Conservative: Returning to Civil Discourse in American Politics,” focused on Flake’s vocal opposition to the president and his hope for a return to more traditional conservative principles and bipartisan conversation.  

Despite his outspoken criticism of Trump, Flake has voted in line with the president 81 percent of the time. Alex Korsunsky, a graduate student in anthropology at Vanderbilt organized the protest, saying that Flake’s hypocrisy made it unclear what the senator has to teach students.

Students protest former U.S. Senator Jeff Flake at Langford Auditorium for the Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Thursday, January 17, 2019. (Photo by Emily Gonçalves)

“So Jeff Flake is invited here on the premise that he is uniquely moral and civil and has a really great conscience–that’s the title of the talk–but the most notable things he’s done over the past two years since Trump got elected is say that he’s a threat to world stability, he’s a threat to democracy, he’s authoritarian, that he’s oh so uncivil, but then he votes for his policies over 80 percent of the time. That doesn’t display conscience to me, that displays cowardice and double talk.”

The stated aim of the Chancellor’s Lecture series is “to connect the university and the Nashville community with intellectuals who are shaping our world.” The talk, which also feature This American Life producer Zoe Chace was well attended, with students and people from around the city filling the Langford auditorium.

Students protest former U.S. Senator Jeff Flake at Langford Auditorium for the Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Thursday, January 17, 2019. (Photo by Emily Gonçalves)

One of the signs the protestors carried cited Flake’s decision to vote yes on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. While Flake did delay the confirmation in order to allow the FBI to investigate the allegations of sexual assault brought against Kavanaugh, Flake ultimately voted to confirm Kavanaugh after reviewing the results of the four day FBI investigation.

“I think that the Kavanaugh hearing particularly should have totally burst everybody’s bubble that maybe he stands for something or is going to resist Trump,” Korsunsky said. “To say that you stand for decency in politics and then put a man who at a minimum who obviously lied and probably is a rapist on the Supreme Court, I can’t imagine any world in which that is representative of decency. The idea that this guy would come to a college campus and there wouldn’t be someone to unwelcome him seemed wrong to me.”

Students protest former U.S. Senator Jeff Flake at Langford Auditorium for the Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Thursday, January 17, 2019. (Photo by Emily Gonçalves)
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About the Contributors
Sam Zern, Former Managing Editor

Sam Zern ('20) has been a member of The Vanderbilt Hustler since her freshman year, first as a staff writer and shortly after as assistant campus editor. She went on to be campus editor and, later, editor in chief. In her senior year at Vanderbilt, Sam was managing editor and streamlined recruitment and training processes.

In her time as a member of the editorial board, she has prioritized diversity and breadth in coverage, wanting to make sure as much of Vanderbilt as possible is represented in the paper. Outside of The Hustler, she studies education policy and sociology and has worked as a journalist for local publications in Austin and Nashville. She plans to pursue a career in journalism (and will gladly take any and all advice!)

Connect with Sam: [email protected] Personal website Twitter LinkedIn

 
Emily Goncalves, Former Multimedia Director
Emily Gonçalves (‘20) was the Multimedia Director of the Vanderbilt Hustler. She majored in Mathematics and Economics and minored in Latin American Studies. When she’s not taking photos, you can catch this Jersey girl making puns, singing, advocating for girls’ education and drinking lots of chocolate milk and espresso!
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Comments (1)

The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
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Rick Duncan
5 years ago

Thank you for quoting Alex Korsunsky. I wondered, though, why a supporter of Flake’s appearance was not quoted also for a more thorough and balanced story. Could one not be found?