Marquette staffer plots to disrupt Ben Shapiro lecture

Kassy Dillon
Massachusetts Campus Correspondent

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  • A staff member at Marquette University has come under fire after posting her plan on Facebook to prevent students from attending a Ben Shapiro lecture next week.
  • Chrissy Nelson, the program assistant at the Center for Gender and Sexualities Studies, said she would be "advising students" to join her in reserving tickets for the event to deprive supporters of the chance to attend.
  • She also remarked that opponents should “not protest the day of [the Shapiro lecture]...so we do not give Ben much power,” but expressed support for a protest the following day.
  • A staff member at Marquette University has come under fire after posting her plan on Facebook to prevent students from attending a Ben Shapiro lecture next week.

    According to screenshots obtained by Young Americans for Freedom, Chrissy Nelson, the program assistant at the Center for Gender and Sexualities Studies, claimed that she “just got off the phone with one of the directors of diversity on campus” and received a suggestion to reserve a seat as as student to “take a seat away from someone who would actually go” and then not attend the event.

    “Take a seat away from a student that would be interested in going.”   

    “This is what I will be advising students to do,” she adds.

    [RELATED: Marquette conservative prof. suspended, required to admit 'guilt' to keep job]

    Nelson then explains her plan further to Susannah Bartlow, a former Marquette professor who was fired for allowing a mural of a cop killer to be displayed in the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center.

    “So register as a student (they can’t tell quite honestly),” Nelson encourages Bartlow. “Take a seat away from a student that would be interested in going. I will encourage students to protest it the day after—I will let you know if students actually do.”

    Indeed, in the initial post Nelson claims that “Marquette allowed [Shapiro] to come because of the backlash DePaul University had with not allowing it,” and deduces that opponents should “not protest the day of [the Shapiro lecture]...so we do not give Ben much power.”

    [RELATED: DePaul bans Ben Shapiro]

    In another post, Nelson identifies herself as staff at Marquette and claims that students have been directed “not to protest because the speaker has told Marquette he hopes students do protest to make an example of the protestors.”

    “We are disappointed that the guiding values of Marquette University—which includes the promise to ‘nurture an inclusive, diverse community that fosters new opportunities, partnerships, collaboration, and vigorous yet respectful debate’—were not extended to YAF’s event with Mr. Shapiro,” the Marquette University YAF chapter told Campus Reform.

    “Marquette University has the duty to protect student debate and free speech on campus, and having a university staff member actively encourage students to disrupt the event contradicts this guiding value,” the statement continued. “We look forward to a hosting a successful event with Mr. Shapiro on February 8 and the ability to bring diversity of thought to Marquette’s campus.”

    Shapiro himself seemed to find Nelson’s scheming amusing, remarking to Campus Reform that “Nothing says commitment to free speech like actively working to prevent students from hearing it!”

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @kassydillon



    Kassy Dillon

    Kassy Dillon

    Massachusetts Campus Correspondent

    Kassy Dillon is a Massachusetts Campus Correspondent, and reports liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. She is a junior at Mount Holyoke College, studying International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies. She is the president of the MHC College Republicans, the co-host of "Raised Right" on Right Side Broadcasting, and the founder of LoneConservative.com. 

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