The University of Minnesota says it is moving ahead with plans to honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks following an outcry over a student group’s vote against holding a moment of silence.
The announcement Wednesday, from President Eric Kaler and Dean Johnson, chairman of the Board of Regents, said the university is reaffirming its commitment “to honor and remember the victims of 9/11.”
A spokesman said the university has been receiving calls for almost a week, since it was first reported that the Minnesota Student Association, which represents undergraduates, had rejected a resolution calling for a “moment of recognition” for 9/11.
The vote prompted a backlash on social media.
“We certainly did hear from folks on this,” said Evan Lapiska, a U spokesman. “Dean Johnson and President Kaler wanted to make sure that the folks were aware that the U is committed to honoring the victims.”
A student representative from the College Republicans had introduced a resolution on Nov. 10 calling for a formal remembrance on the anniversary of 9/11. But the student association voted down the resolution, 36 to 23, after concerns were raised about the potential for inciting anti-Muslim sentiments, as well as logistical concerns.
Kaler had previously voiced support for the student resolution, and Wednesday’s statement noted that the regents observed a moment of silence on the 9/11 anniversary this year. “Honoring those who died in 9/11 and respecting our Muslim community on campus are not mutually exclusive,” Kaler said.