On February 16, the Young Lawyers Section (YLS) Education Law Committee and Technology Law Committee, in conjunction with the Young Lawyers Section Diversity Director and Law School Relations Director, presented a Diversity Town Hall at Quinnipiac University School of Law. A distinguished panel of speakers discussed the race-related student unrest that has made national headlines in recent months as well as posed legal and ethical challenges to university administrators in Connecticut and across the country.
CBA vice president and assistant dean of students and director of admissions at UConn School of Law, Karen DeMeola, moderated the discussion which featured University of Connecticut counterparts Eleanor JB Daugherty, associate vice president and dean of students, and Nicole Fournier Gelston, Associate General Counsel along with Professor Leslie C. Levin of UConn School of Law. The panel was rounded out with Sydney Parkmond, Quinnipiac University School of Law JD/MBA Candidate ’17 and Black Law Students Association member and Jeevan Vittal, reporter and anchor, FOX 61.
Speakers shared their experiences in addressing and representing student groups, steps taken to promote productive discourse and simultaneously protect universities from liability and negative press, and their opinions on how to reconcile concerns over the potential limiting of free speech with the need to foster a welcoming and safe environment for the student community. The ongoing national debate over how to protect privacy and First Amendment rights on college campuses while embracing diversity involves students, administrators, and the press in equal measure was also covered with a wide variety of perspectives and insight from on-campus representatives who grapple with and give careful consideration to these issues every day. The panelists also discussed the role of the press (and students) in reporting on protests and campus developments and the ways in which technology has made it easier than ever to record and disseminate student opinion to a national audience.
From left to right: Karen DeMeola, Leslie C. Levin, Sydney Parkmond, Nicole Fournier Gelston, Jeevan Vittal, and Eleanor JB Daugherty
From left to right: CBA President-elect Monte E. Frank and Justice Richard A. Robinson