DePaul University Bans Conservative Speaker Ben Shapiro

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By Emily Zanotti | 12:55 pm, August 1, 2016

DePaul University has banned conservative speaker Ben Shapiro from speaking at a Young Americans for Freedom panel scheduled to be held the first month of school. This is the second conservative speaker banned from DePaul’s campus because its student body cannot handle opposing viewpoints (the first was Milo Yiannopoulos).

Bob Janis, the DePaul University Vice President of Facilities, issued the ban in an email to YAF Monday morning, telling the student organization that, based on the chaos they’d observed at other campuses during Shapiro’s events, that they were not equipped to handle Shapiro as a speaker at DePaul.

“Given the experiences and security concerns that some other schools have had with Ben Shapiro speaking on their campuses, DePaul cannot agree to allow him to speak on our campus at this time,” Janis wrote.

In a statement, Young Americans for Freedom made clear that any chaos at earlier events was the fault of protesters who couldn’t handle Shapiro’s message. “Make no mistake, any security concerns we face on campuses are 100 percent incited by the censorious, intolerant Left,” they said in the open letter to DePaul’s administration. “It’s incumbent upon the intolerant Left, not hardworking YAF students, to allow conservatives to express their viewpoints without fearing for their safety.”

Indeed, in a Heat Street exclusive last week, we revealed that Shapiro’s appearance at Cal State was marred by a violent, vitriolic mob that blocked exits, threatened YAF members, and bullied Shapiro’s audience. It was also compromised by the administration’s failture to provide adequate security for the event, even knowing that students were planning major protests.

One Cal State professor even threatened to fight conservative students who attended the event. Sociology professor Robert Weide tore down posters, called YAF students “Nazis,” and reportedly confronted students and challenged them to a physical altercation.

But Cal State, and now DePaul, have placed the blame for the chaos squarely on YAF.

Shapiro, speaking to the Daily Wire, his own news outlet, said of DePaul: “It’s both pathetic and predictable that the university is happy to grant a veto on speakers to snowflake leftists so long as the leftists threaten violence. This is how free speech dies: when people in power cave to the bullies rather than standing up for basic rights.”

YAF has given DePaul University a week to reverse their decision and allow Shapiro to speak on campus, asking them to honor the promise made by Vice President of Student Affairs, Gene Zdziarski that “DePaul will continue to work with student organizations to sponsor events and speakers representing a broad range of opinions on the issues of the day.” It’s unclear what YAF is planning if DePaul doesn’t meet the deadline.