Roosevelters in the Glacier and DePaulia

By Brenna Conway |

Roosevelt @ Illinois in the Glacier 

At an April 26, 2016 event in the U Building, was State Rep. Kelly Burke, (D), from Illinois’ 36th District, which represents areas including Palos Hills and Evergreen Park. She was joined by Brenna Conway, the director of the Roosevelt Institute of Illinois, a non-profit organization which promotes student empowerment and involvement in the spending procedures of universities.

They were joined onstage by three Political Activist Club members, Jesus Benitez- Gorstieta, Karina Lopez, and Joshua Mira, all of which contributed personal testimonials to the value of community college and higher education as a whole.

The meeting came just days after an announcement on Tue. that Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner approved a bill providing over $600 million in funding for Community Colleges and the MAP Grant program, which offers scholarships for underprivileged students. However, that amount is only a fraction of the $1.7 billion that lawmakers had requested last year. Read more about the event here.

Roosevelt @ DePaul’s Kyle McElroy in the DePaulia 

On Tuesday May 24, the DePaul College Republicans are hosted the “Dangerous Faggot Tour” featuring speaker Milo Yiannopoulos. A journalist for Brietbart News Network and poster boy of the emerging alt-right movement, Yiannopoulos calls himself “the internet’s most fabulous supervillain” and rose to fame for his participation in the 2014 #GamerGate controversy.

As he travels to different universities, he intentionally provokes protest that in turn is documented and used as evidence of the “regressive” politics of the left.This approach of being intentionally extremist in order to “trigger” those groups, supposedly to illuminate the intolerance of progressives, but in reality only makes the environment for discourse more divisive and fruitless. While it may be successful in inciting protest, he is using his speech not to contribute to the discussion but instead to make inflammatory, unsubstantiated claims with the explicit purpose of causing anger, essentially “building a wall” of animosity instead of promoting respect, tolerance and open discourse between ideologies. It’s disturbingly hypocritical. Read more of Kyle’s piece here.

Brenna Conway is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Roosevelt Institute. She is responsible for growing an Illinois based student network and working to involve students in both writing and enacting policy changes at the state and local level. In 2014 Brenna orchestrated the NextGen Illinois project, which brought together thousands of young people in person and online to create a youth policy agenda for the state of Illinois. Brenna comes from a background in political organizing and advocacy campaigning. Brenna is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Madison where she studied Spanish and French as well as political science.