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Cornel West, philosopher and activist, to visit campus for Black History Month

Special to The Prospector
On Feb. 7, renowned philosopher, scholar and activist Cornel West will be delivering a presentation at the Magoffin Auditorium to celebrate Black History Month.

Renowned philosopher, scholar and activist Cornel West will be delivering a presentation Feb. 7 at the Magoffin Auditorium to celebrate Black History Month.

West is a Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University.

He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in just three years. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton.

With 2014 being the biggest year for the university since it first opened its doors in 1914, UTEP wants to bring prominent figures to campus.

West was invited to campus through a partnership with Lola Productions that began more than 15 years ago.

“West is someone that we wanted to bring for a long time,” Jorge Vazquez, executive director of Special Events at UTEP said. “He talks about issues very related to the African American culture. He brings very unique views and we thought he would be a great fit for 2014—being the centennial of the University. He’s a great addition to the 2014 lineup.”

Joseph Ulatowski, visiting assistant professor of philosophy at UTEP, spoke about West and how his visit and can further shine a light on the diversity of campus.

“UTEP is far more diverse than any other university which I’ve been in,” Ulatowski said. He said that his visit is a way for UTEP to capitalize even further on its “diversity image.”

Ulatowski taught at the University of Mississippi in the early 2000s and said that West visited the honors program because the school was focusing on becoming a more diverse University at the time.

“In UTEP’s case, the diversity thing is there, now what do you do to capitalize on that?” Ulatowski said. “We as a University are exemplifying what everyone else wants to be. Maybe that’s the message that we will get out of it.”

Very few students around campus were familiar with West and were unaware about his visit.

“Its not very hard to believe,” Ulatowski said. “Unless they are these celebrities that are always on TV or on the radio, people don’t know who you are.”

This will be West’s first presentation at UTEP. Tickets are available for $53 on

“I’m excited about his visit. He is someone who garners a lot of attention independent of the university setting and that is a great accomplishment for any philosopher,” Ulatowski said.

Luis Barrio may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Luis Barrio, Staff Reporter
Luis Barrio is a staff reporter specializing in Sports. He is also the co-host of the Prospector News Weekly, a weekly broadcast that covers all of the top stories at UTEP. He is a Senior graduating in December 2014. Luis is a product of El Paso, TX. He enjoys being outdoors and being physically active. His family comes before anything else. He is a big sports enthusiast and a fan of good movies. Luis spent the summer of 2013 interning for ABC-7 KVIA. Upon graduation Luis aspires to work for CBS as a sports broadcaster. “I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever a having felt sorry for itself.” D.H. Lawrence
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    Eric L. WattreeJan 29, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    Cornel West is a Phony
    Cornel West is the quintessential phony, and one of the primary reasons the country is in the fix that it’s in. The Black community wasn’t doing great, but a lot better than it is today under Clinton. Then during the 2000 election Ralph Nader and Cornel West teamed up and got Bush elected.
    Clinton’s vice President, Al Gore, lost the 2000 election to Bush in Florida by 537 votes, and the Nader/West coalition peeled off 97,488 votes from Gore in Florida alone. So, again, West is one of the big reasons that the Black community is in the shape that it’s in today. Under Bush, the country was hemorrhaging 850,000 jobs a month. So by criticizing Obama about the condition of the country, Cornel West is like a guy who walks into a restaurant and shits on the floor, and then calls the Health Department because the owner doesn’t get it up fast enough. (
    West then tried to team up with Ralph Nader again to undermine Obama and help the GOP in the Last election in 2012, but this time no one was bought into it. ( According to a Washington Post article entitled, Liberals seeking primary challengers to Obama, “The group said Saturday it is seeking six ‘recognizable, articulate’ candidates who would not mount serious challenges to Obama, but ‘rigorously debate his policy stands’ on issues related to labor, poverty, foreign policy, civil rights and consumer protections.” Who did they think they were kidding? They were out to cause the very same kind of dissension among Democrats that lost them the election to Bush in 2000.
    Clear evidence that West had absolutely no concern about either poverty, or the working class is, in spite of Tavis Smiley and Cornel West traveling all across the country on a bus under the pretext of being so passionately concerned about poverty in America that they just HAD to take a stand – but of course, that was BEFORE the election, and when they had books to sell. But after the election was over, and they didn’t have any new books to sell, they couldn’t bring themselves to walk down the street from Tavis’ office to support the Black Friday demonstrations taking place all across the country against Wal-Mart – Tavis’ major sponsor, a member of ALEC, and the biggest abuser of the working class in America today.
    And not only did they fail to attend ANY of the demonstrations taking place across the country against Wal-Mart, they didn’t even issue a comment of support. All we’ve heard coming from the Smiley/West camp are crickets – and as everyone knows, that’s extremely uncharacteristic of Cornel West, who’s renown for being willing to trade a kidney for a sound byte. Thus, that just about says it all about those two. All subjective assessments aside, the facts alone suggest that Tavis Smiley and Cornel West are two of the most blatantly self-serving hypocrites that the Black community has ever suffered.
    And finally, just to show you how transparent their game is, we PREDICTED that Tavis and West weren’t going to show up at the demonstrations against Wal-Mart. (

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Cornel West, philosopher and activist, to visit campus for Black History Month