We’ve reported numerous times on the controversy caused from gay conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, who has committed the heinous crime of disagreeing with progressives.
In the UK his talks on campuses are routinely shut down, but with a First Amendment in place, American universities don’t have the same option. Instead, colleges have resorted to tacking on high security fees at the last minute to clubs wishing to host him, or by condoning protests against him. At DePaul University, his entire talk was shut down while police whom the campus Republicans had to pay $1,000 out-of-pocket for security did nothing.
The latest tactic is the most ridiculous: simply shutting down clubs who host him. Breitbart reports that: The UC Irvine Republicans have been suspended for an entire year after they informed the administration of their plans to schedule another event on campus with Breitbart senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos.
Nearly a month after their initial event with Milo, entitled “Social Justice is Cancer,” the College Republicans were asked to attend a debriefing with the Director of Student Life & Leadership, Darlene Esparza, and Associate Dean of Students, Sherwynn Umali, to discuss the planning process of the event. During the meeting, College Republican President Ariana Rowlands raised the possibility of Milo’s return to campus.
Just four hours after the meeting, a UCI administrator sent the group an email to inform them they had suspended the club for an entire year.Their justification for the ban was the group’s alleged failure to provide a certificate of insurance for the private security hired for the event to protect Milo. It means the group can no longer hold meetings, reserve rooms, plan events, or function as a club on campus in any capacity.
I spoke to UC Irvine College Republicans President Ariana Rowlands too, who pointed out the university’s hypocrisy on this issue, noting “What’s ridiculous about this reason for having us suspended, besides the obvious, is that we hosted Jewish conservative pundit David Horowtiz earlier in the Spring quarter, and he required private security, but we were never asked to provide an insurance certificate, nor were we ever penalized for not having provided one.Additionally, the university practically went out of its way not to alert them that they would need this sort of documentation. “The email claims that Robert Petrosyan, my chairman emeritus and the person handling the administrative reservations for the Milo event, was warned three times of having to provide a security insurance certificate by 6/1 (the day before the event), but they can provide documentation for none of these warnings and Petrosyan says he was only told one time, the day before the event, and not told of the urgency or importance of the certificate, nor the consequences of not providing one. ” I can’t help but imagine that was by design.
Her school had previously tried to thwart the event, as she told me, “On the day of the event itself, UCI tried to intimidate us by imposing a $1,000 extra fee for the event under the false assumption that we were hosting the event with a non-UCI organization. We were not, and the charge was removed after being contested.”
“I think that the school in all its facets has tried to suppress conservative speech and ideas, may it be their complacency when our posters promoting Milo were torn down, or now when we are being punished for hosting Milo Yiannopoulos under the guise of a small infraction we were hardly warned of. We are in our current state reduced to a group of conservative students fighting against both liberal students and administrators but in our unity behind the First Amendment cause we are stronger than anything they can throw at us. We will win and we will never stop fighting for our beliefs.”
Personally, I advised that they re-brand themselves as a Republican Safe Space.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]