The latest disgruntled university attempting to block Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro from speaking, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, is requiring the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter at the university, which is sponsoring the event, to answer a series of ridiculous “reflective questions” before they will let YAF book a venue for the speech.
As Spencer Brown, spokesman for YAF, reports:
After a whopping six weeks of waiting, LMU administrators finally notified Young Americans for Freedom leaders that they—before being able to book a venue for Shapiro to speak in—would need to go through “additional review” due to Shapiro’s status as a “notable” speaker. LMU administrators are requiring the YAF chapter to review the school’s “Guiding Principles for Student Activities and Programming” and “respond to the reflective questions.” The YAF chapter’s responses will then determine, during the administrators’ review, whether Shapiro will be allowed to speak on campus.
The “reflective questions” offer a smorgasbord of queries designed to prove that Shapiro’s event will not offend the snowflakes on campus who might be disturbed by a perspective they don’t endorse. Some salient examples:
How will the event planners ensure that the content of the program uplifts the worth and dignity of individuals?
If there are elements of this program that may not respect, or could be perceived to not respect all cultures, how will the organizers ensure that this is not the case?
How will the event organizers promote a healthy environment for dialogue and/or social activity?
How will multiple or differing points of view be represented and presented during the program?
How does the program encourage the attendance of all individuals?
In what ways will the event planners work to reduce unhealthy behavior at student events?
How will the event planners ensure that the program does not create a negative on-campus and Westchester community impact?
In what ways does the program offer well-balanced educational content?
Brown speculates that prior appearances by leftists may not have been subjected to such stringencies, noting a lecture by Erin Aubry Kaplan, a New York Times opinion contributor, on “blackness and identity”; a ‘State of Action’ celebration where “speakers emphasized how college students can take steps to live a more sustainable lifestyle” and “students learned how they can become an advocate for climate action”; an event titled “Spiritual Bodies: Women of Color on Religion, Race and Gender” featuring “three actresses who performed spoken word, poems and book excerpts from various contemporary female voices. The performances of these works recognized the intersectionality and multiplicity of women in society,” and a “discussions, diversity and inclusive excellence” event addressing issues such as “privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, [and] the Black Lives Matter movement.”
LMU is also the latest in a series of Jesuit universities that has tried to block Shapiro from speaking; DePaul University threatened to arrest Shapiro if he stepped onto their campus in November 2016, and this past November Gonzaga University “declined” a speaking event by Shapiro scheduled for spring 2019.
UPDATE: Late Tuesday afternoon, LMU released this statement:
LMU has a longstanding tradition of hosting speakers with varying perspectives, reflecting the university’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and the free exchange of ideas. As a Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount university, we believe that engaging a spectrum of viewpoints enriches our educational environment. As we create the world in which we want to live, we seek to model the respectful discourse often lacking in society.
Recently, the university was approached by the Young Americans for Freedom student organization with a request to host Ben Shapiro. While the university engages in student developmental exercises designed to encourage thoughtful dialogue and assist with event planning, the process does not predetermine decisions nor diminish our support for speakers across a broad range of personal and political views. The university initially approved Mr. Shapiro’s appearance for last academic year. The university reaffirmed that decision for this spring and communicated that approval to the Young Americans for Freedom earlier today. Pending Mr. Shapiro’s acceptance, LMU will host the event on April 3, 2019. We welcome Mr. Shapiro and invite him to join the list of notable speakers that have addressed the LMU Community, including Ann Coulter, James Carville, Karl Rove, President Clinton, Mexican President Vicente Fox, Bill Maher, Ban Ki-moon, and others.