Ben Shapiro and the First Amendment versus college administrations and anti-Free Speech “liberalism,” is a recurring theme.
This battle is becoming a given every time YAF announces the select-few universities that will get the privilege to host Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro. These schools will find any excuse in their power to deny student groups the opportunity of having Shapiro speak on campus.
In their latest roll-out, YAF announced they would host Shapiro for their Fred Allen Lecture Series at six campuses through the spring semester: George Washington University, the University of Michigan, the University of Alabama, Loyola Marymount University, Gonzaga University, and Grand Canyon University.
Only GWU has hosted the event so far— and it came with controversy. Threatening flyers were circulated around the campus saying, “Hey YAF – get security” with a red “X” painted over Shapiro.
The events at the University of Michigan and University of Alabama seem relatively trouble-free so far. However, that isn’t the case with the other three.
These three universities tried to block Shapiro and Free Speech this spring:
Grand Canyon University
Originally, GCU, a self-avowed conservative school and one of the largest Christian schools in the country, denied YAF’s request to bring Shapiro to campus.
GCU told their YAF chapter that they would not “provide a venue” for Shapiro, as reported by YAF Spokesman Spencer Brown. They gave three “feeble” reasons as to why:
1) Allowing Shapiro on GCU’s campus would not be good for the school long-term.
2) Shapiro’s approach instigates a divisive atmosphere.
3) GCU wants to maintain its culture of unity, love, respect and having all student voices on campus heard.
GCU also called Shapiro’s style too “cut throat” and that his mere presence is “divisive,” according to the YAF students who were able to meet with GCU’s administration about the event. They were also told that GCU President, Brian Mueller, signed off on the decision to ban Shapiro.
Furthermore, in a statement given February 1st, GCU doubled-down on their decision to block Shapiro. “Our decision to cancel Shapiro’s speaking engagement is not a reflection of his ideologies or the values he represents, but rather a desire to focus on opportunities that bring people together.”
Then, in a statement on February 5th, GCU reversed their decision and decided to allow Shapiro to come. They did ultimately decide to cut YAF out of the event, claiming that YAF was being difficult with them.
YAF’s Spencer Brown put out an article refuting the university’s claims and detailing their hypocritical actions to try to save their image.
Shapiro, however, has other plans. In a tweet on February 6th, he tweeted his support for YAF and said that he won’t go to GCU until YAF brings him there:
“Re: GCU’s speech offer, I have worked with YAF and YAF students for years. I will not go around the hard working, dedicated YAF students at GCU; I’ll go to GCU when YAF brings me to GCU.”
Then, in yet another turn of events, GCU caved to YAF and will allow them to host their event as originally planned, according to a tweet by YAF’s Spencer Brown.
Loyola Marymount University
LMU opposed Shapiro’s presence at the event from the beginning. As YAF’s Spencer Brown reported, even after LMU took a “whopping” six weeks to get back to them, they additionally delayed the process, saying they needed to do “additional review” since Shapiro was a “notable” speaker.
Then, LMU put up additional barriers, making their YAF group review LMU’s “Guiding Principles for Student Activities and Programming” and answer a bevy of ridiculous questions.
However, on January 29th, LMU conceded and released a statement saying Shapiro was welcome to speak. Not everyone at LMU was supportive of this decision though.
As The Daily Wire reported, a professor angry with the decision said she would be “organizing protests” and “alerting the media” of their decision. Additionally, she accused Shapiro of espousing “hate speech” and being “linked to numerous hate groups.”
Gonzaga originally blocked Shapiro, however, Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh released a statement on February 4th rescinding the school’s decision.
Though, there are three conditions, as reported by Campus Reform Correspondent Ben McDonald:
- The Gonzaga College Republicans must work with the Vice President for Student Development.
- The event must be ticketed to aid with security concerns.
- Shapiro’s remarks will be respectful to the Gonzaga community and values of their mission statement.
This decision comes after the Gonzaga College Republicans appealed the school’s original decision to ban Shapiro from coming.
Originally, as YAF’s Spencer Brown reported, Gonzaga denied the CR’s request to bring Shapiro to campus and gave a bogus list of reasons as to why.
While it’s good that Gonzaga reversed their decision, it shouldn’t be overlooked that noted Communist, Black Panther Party member, FBI most wanted fugitive, and BDS supporter Angela Davis was welcomed there a few years back with relatively no problems.
Shapiro, YAF, and Free Speech: 3
Crazy college administrations: 0
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.