The Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) at Trinity University in San Antonio were recently denied funding to host an event featuring conservative commentator Elisha Krauss. The vice president of the Student Government Association informed the group via email that funding for the lecture was denied. The group claimed that Krauss’ views do not align with Trinity’s values of “honoring the dignity and worth of every person.”
The email did not disclose exactly how Krauss has failed to treat others with dignity and respect throughout her career. They failed to cite any evidence to support their claims. The irony of such an accusation was not lost on Krauss. She pointed out how she routinely “speak[s] on issues about the importance of individual liberties and human rights that begin in the womb.”
Krauss’ values concerning gender and pro-life advocacy were the some of the reasons why YCT had been hoping to host The Daily Wire contributor on campus. Julia Westwick is the chairman of the YCT chapter at Trinity. She said conservative students wanted Krauss to share her viewpoints on campus. This is why they purposefully asked for a low funding request of only $1,500. Westwick pointed out how Krauss’ statements about “men never being able to grow babies” and there being only two genders are mainstream views. This is an idea supported by more than half of Americans.
According to Westwick, Trinity’s student government deemed these views “unacceptable.” Trinity was willing to deny funding for a conservative speaker like Krauss, who Westwick has stated is an “eloquent speaker.” This makes Westwick fear the school will do the same for all conservative speakers.
“I was also surprised to see they were so blatant about their viewpoint discrimination. They explicitly told us in their email that their only reasoning for denying us funding was that they did not agree with Krauss’ opinion.”
Westwick said the Trinity student government also cited concerns about the “potential impact on the campus community” that the speech would have. Westwick understands that Krauss’ conservative viewpoint may be contentious to some. But she was firm in her stance that “a university campus should be an environment welcoming to civil and intellectual discourse about controversial topics.”
Despite the objection to Krauss’ views, neither she nor the YCT had even decided on a message for the event before the funding was refused. Westwick stated that an official topic for the speech had not been chosen. However, the conservative group knew they wanted the lecture to relate to “gender and gender roles.” To come to the conclusion that Krauss does not “honor the dignity of every person,” Westwick inferred the student government must have based their decision on the fact that they disagreed with Krauss’ political stance.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time YCT has had a funding request denied.
Last fall, YCT was refused $10,000 needed to invite conservative writer and intellectual Heather MacDonald to speak at Trinity. MacDonald has authored books such as The War on Cops and The Diversity Delusion, leading the student government to issue a firm refusal. MacDonald’s viewpoint would make people feel unsafe, they said, and the amount of money being asked for was too high.
Westwick recalled how there was an attempt made by the student body president to convince the student government to base their funding decisions solely on finances, and not the content of the event. But an interjection from the Dean of Students encouraged the student government to make decisions on the message of the speaker.
“Conservatives at Trinity are likely disappointed to see that their student government not only does not represent them, but also refuses to give conservatives the same platform they constantly give to other student groups,” Westwick said of the unfair treatment she and fellow conservatives are facing on their campus. “Trinity’s student government should not disadvantage any student group based on a speaker’s opinions. In doing so, they are not representing a significant portion of the student body, they are not supporting a culture of free speech, and they are discriminating against students who they disagree with.”
Previously, the university has hosted speakers such as Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, inviting the Vermont senator to give a lecture about “advancing progressive change.” The school has also hosted hip-hop activist and former Green Party vice presidential candidate Rose Clemente. Even though the community organizer has previously deemed abortion a “God-given right,” neither Clemente nor Sanders’s views were deemed too controversial for students to hear.
Since YCT strongly believes their campus could greatly benefit from hearing Krauss speak, Westwick has shared the group’s plans to fundraise for the event. “We will continue to fight for a culture of free speech and of civil and intellectual discourse,” Westwick said.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.