Nick Gricus, a first-year student at DePaul University studying economics, political science, and Spanish, wrote a blistering response to the university’s banning of Ben Shapiro from campus. The text is below:
According to the University’s Guiding Principles on Speech and Expression, “DePaul is committed to fostering a community that welcomes open discourse” and “is enriched immeasurably by robust debate and exposure to differing points of view.”
And yet, ‘Black Lives Matter’ banners hang proudly, while ‘Unborn Lives Matter’ posters remain prohibited.
As an institution that has actively implemented “safe spaces” around campus following Trump’s presidential victory, it comes as little surprise that DePaul is threatening to shut down our YAF chapter over Ben Shapiro’s anticipated appearance on campus. The overarching argument currently being made by staff members coincides with reasoning provided for Shapiro’s ban in August, where it was believed that his presence on campus would incite security challenges.
What’s amazing, though, is that I have not yet come into contact with a DePaul student that views Ben Shapiro’s vicinity to campus as threatening. As a matter of fact, even DePaul College Democrats “disagree with the precedent set by banning his speech on campus.” Regardless of disputes over ideology or policy, Shapiro’s credentials as a New York Times bestselling author and founder of The Daily Wire make him more than qualified to speak to DePaul students.
As a result, my peers and I have come to question the fundamental role of DePaul staffers in exposing students to intellectual diversity. To shine light on this dilemma, I must share a personal anecdote.
I began school this autumn fully aware of the liberal agenda embedded within most collegiate curriculums. I prepared myself for potential propaganda and suppression of conflicting viewpoints both inside and outside of the classroom. What I failed to recognize, however, was the counterintuitive approach DePaul would have toward free speech.
After I took the initiative to participate in a millennial Town Hall event with the Trump family before the final debate in Las Vegas, I was ecstatic to inform my professors that the question I asked would air live on Fox News. I did not expect my professors to make a big deal out of the ordeal, nor did I want them to. I simply figured that professors in Economics and Political Science would appreciate knowing that a first-year student was able to engage in such an event.
What ensued left me speechless.
Not only did multiple professors dismiss my involvement in its entirety, but they made a point of discrediting my political views in the process. The best part is, I was not even a Donald Trump supporter throughout the general election. But that component did not matter. DePaul professors and academic advisors simply disregarded my experience due to misalignment with what they perceive to be socially acceptable.
Needless to say, I am perplexed by DePaul’s handling of politically charged disputes. Intellectual diversity, paralleled with free speech, appears to only exist when there is correlation with the university’s liberal agenda.
And in my opinion, this is exactly why DePaul is doing everything in its power to suppress Ben Shapiro’s voice on campus.