UNC paid Clarence Page, a member of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board, $12,500 to moderate the University's Nov. 19 town hall on race and inclusion.
Page's fee, paid through the guest speaking firm Keppler Associates, did not include transportation, meals or lodging — but it does dictate that his hotel room be non-smoking and include a king-size bed.
The town hall got off to a dramatic start when, halfway through Page's first sentence, protestors interrupted him with chants and proceeded to list their demands for the next twenty-three minutes.
Page tried to interrupt once, but otherwise he stood quietly onstage, watching the protestors speak in the audience area of Memorial Hall.
Another student finally interrupted the protestors and allowed Page to regain control of the event. He opened the floor to two-minute comments.
"Please do not read any more manifestos," he said at the event.
Several students in the long lines at the microphones criticized Page for how he spoke to students.
“If you’re making comments like you do, Mr. Page, and belittling students who are speaking, it is like you are listening but you are not hearing us,” sophomore Destiny Talley said.
Talley asked Page to practice active listening.
“I’m sorry. I apologize. I know that’s not a lot, but that’s more than you’ll get from Donald Trump,” Page said.
Though Page appeared to struggle to keep order at times, he thanked the crowd at the end of the event. He said he knows he can be "a little brusque sometimes, a little politically incorrect."
"Old geezer that I am, you all have taught me a lot this evening," he said.
After the town hall, Page recommended public relations training to the demonstrators, saying they should “work on pruning their message.”
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