While ominous Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro makes his way across the U.S., invading the “safe spaces” of precious snowflakes who risk being exposed to facts, a growing number of college student groups are eagerly inviting the campus celebrity to blow their own safe spaces.
Students at the University of Rochester defended hosting Shapiro for an event on April 5, during which he is scheduled speak about the the threats to the First Amendment on college campuses. In an editorial letter in the school’s campus paper called “Why we’re bringing Ben Shapiro to campus,” College Republicans student leader Anna Garvey wrote that despite the amount of controversy elicited by Shapiro’s events in the past, “his arguments are always built upon facts, and, more importantly, he has shown himself to be open to discussing dissenting opinions.”
Garvey added, “It is for this reason and due to our resounding belief in the protection of the fundamental right of free speech that Ben Shapiro will be joining us in April.”
The event follows a recent controversy that erupted at the University of Rochester over anonymous comments on Yik Yak deemed intolerant and bigoted. A campaign called “We’re better than that,” was created by administrators to combat racism by erasing “intolerant” speech on campus. The campaign featured an event in which T-shirts that read “We’re better than that” were distributed to students.
“We need to acknowledge the protests and Yik Yak posts and respond to them by promoting zero tolerance for racism at UR,” a campaign advertiser said.
Students expressed distaste for the “We’re better than that” campaign, claiming it was unhelpful and ignorant of the issues leading to the creation of the campaign in the first place. A growing number of students expressed a desire to have Shapiro speak about free speech instead.
The private New York university has not seen the same backlash against Shapiro’s events that were experienced on other college campuses this year, such as at Cal State LA. Interestingly, the response to Shapiro’s event may reflect a growing sentiment for intellectual debate as promoted by Shapiro himself. One opposing political student group even encouraged attendance to Shapiro’s event, simply for the sake of hearing “what the other side believes.”
“His arguments are always built upon facts, and, more importantly, he has shown himself to be open to discussing dissenting opinions.”
University of Rochester College Republicans student leader Anna Garvey, on Ben Shapiro
“While we as Democrats probably disagree with about everything he says, it's always a great opportunity to hear what the other side believes,” the president of University of Rochester’s College Democrats posted to Facebook. “The event is Tuesday, April 5th at 7:30 PM in Hoyt Auditorium. I recommend we all go and support our conservative friends in College Republicans, and listen to the speaker's opinions.”
Anna Garvey, college junior and leader of the University of Rochester’s College Republicans, did not respond to a request for comment in time for this article’s publishing.