Now there’s another university whose student Republicans are being stifled because they want to invite Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro to speak.
Student Republicans at Tufts University submitted a proposal to the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate for funding to bring Ben Shapiro to campus. But after leftist student groups organized active opposition to letting Shapiro speak, the Republicans asked for the October 29 Senate debate over the funding for the Shapiro event to be postponed so they could better prepare.
George Berhakis, the president of the Tufts Republicans, noted, “We asked the Senate to postpone the debate and vote. After the request passed through the Allocations Board a couple of weeks ago, there was a swift mobilization against us by leftist student groups. We thought it best to postpone the process to give ourselves more time to prepare. That being said, we fully expect to debate our proposal in the Senate.”
Some of the groups opposing Shapiro’s appearance included Tufts United for Immigrant Justice (UIJ) and Tufts Student Action (TSA), which created a Facebook event called “Pack the Room: Vote No to Ben Shapiro.” That event was cancelled after the Tufts Republicans postponed the Senate debate.
The event the leftists created on Facebook stated that Shapiro’s “history of spreading fake news and fearmongering, particularly around issues of immigration, has put many of our communities in tangible amounts of danger.” It iterated that Shapiro’s appearance on campus would give him “a legitimate platform to continue spreading these lies and will threaten the undocumented-friendly environment we’ve spent the past five years fighting for.”
Behrakis pointed out, “Many in our club specifically think that Ben Shapiro occupies a very unique space on the right. He’s a mainstream conservative in his beliefs, but also very critical of the President as well as outspoken in his style.”
He added, “I think we need to be bringing more conservatives to speak on campus in general. This is something our club has been working on both a smaller scale, by inviting conservative voices to join us during our weekly meetings, as well as on a larger scale, by working with the Tisch College of Civic Life to bring speakers to campus whose views differ from the intellectual norm here.”
Ana Manriquez, a member of UIJ, complained that her existence was threatened by Shapiro’s presence, saying:
It’s not about not wanting to hear opposing opinions, or opposing thoughts, or anything like that. It’s just [Shapiro’s] opinions directly target my existence or the existence of people I care about. That’s not even dialogue any more. That’s you telling me that I don’t have a right to be here whether it’s as a student or as a human being. There’s no way you can create productive dialogue in that situation.