Gonzaga denies Ben Shapiro speaking request. Shapiro denies their rejection.

Gonzaga University is among six universities where Ben Shapiro has chosen to speak in spring 2019, despite the college administration previously denying a request to allow him on campus.

The Washington state school said that Ben Shapiro would not be allowed to speak on its campus because, according to Gonzaga Vice President of Student Development Judi Biggs Garbuio, “Shapiro’s appearances routinely draw protests that include extremely divisive and hateful speech and behavior, which is offensive to many people, regardless of their age, politics or beliefs.”

“We cannot allow hypersensitive progressive students to weaponize the heckler’s veto. Don’t like his content? Skip the speech.”

Following that statement, Young America’s Foundation (YAF) announcedon its website the six universities where Shapiro, the “#1 requested speaker in the country,” is scheduled to speak, although details have yet to be announced for five of the six colleges.

“I think it’s beyond exciting Ben Shapiro wants to come,” Gonzaga College Republicans President Olivia Johnston, who initially filed the request to bring the conservative author to speak, told Campus Reform. “He will bring an intellectual take on conservatism that is normally so absent at Gonzaga. He is coming, now it’s a matter if the school wants to be the reason they aren’t abiding by the promises of our Jesuit education. All the details come after the approval.”

In an interview with Seattle based conservative radio host Jason Rantz, Shapiro said, in part:

So we can’t have me because we don’t want the people who are yelling at me, which is a basic violation of First Amendment principles. Gonzaga is a private school obviously, so that changes the math a little – they can do what they want. But by the same token, if you are worried about your student body being exposed to interesting ideas because people are going to protest, all this does is create an incentive for people to protest and make trouble. That works both ways. If the new rule is that they will bar anyone from coming to campus who draws protests, why wouldn’t right wingers go out and protest Angela Davis, who spoke there within the last five years – who was an honest-to-God former terrorist who was on the FBI’s most wanted list. The fact that they openly say this is even more amazing.

“I love the fact that Ben is coming to Gonzaga,” Rantz told Campus Reform. “We cannot allow hypersensitive progressive students to weaponize the heckler’s veto. Don’t like his content? Skip the speech. Or better yet: learn to accept that people have different opinions than you and take the time to understand what they think and why.”

The Gonzaga College Republicans recently started a petition as a means to try and show the administration how much support there is to bring Ben Shapiro to campus in hopes of the school reversing its decision.


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