Student gov pulls Shapiro funding after students complain

  • The Concordia College student government voted Thursday to revoke funding for an upcoming Ben Shapiro event after students complained about the use of SGA funds to host the conservative speaker.
  • The SGA had previously voted to provide about $7,000 to defray speaking expenses for the event, but overturned that decision in the interest of “promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at Concordia."

The Concordia College student government will no longer be funding a talk by a conservative journalist and commentator Ben Shapiro.

The Minnesota school’s Student Government Association (SGA) made the decision to pull the funding on Thursday after holding an emergency vote to determine if Shapiro should be backed by the organization, Inforum reported.

"Bringing Ben Shapiro to campus would be a sign from Concordia College that they value intellectual and political diversity."   

[RELATED: Prof tells class he won't debate Shapiro, suggests MMA fight]

The SGA voted against funding Shapiro by a 28-2 margin, overturning a previous 13-10 vote in favor of giving Young Americans for Freedom (YAF)—the student organization that is hosting the event—$7,080 to help with speaker expenses.

The decision to pull funding for the Shapiro event reportedly comes in the wake of sharp criticism from multiple students, who condemned the SGA for its use of financial resources.

According to YAF, several SGA members were bombarded by a flurry of complaints from students who were disturbed by the original decision to partially fund the conservative journalist.

[RELATED: Tufts students say Ben Shapiro's views put them in 'danger']

In a letter to all students on Wednesday, the SGA announced that it will hold “our first ever State of the Students Address” on Dec. 7 that would be immediately followed by a senate meeting.  

“This senate meeting will address the response the student body (SGA’s constituents) has given regarding the recent approval to allocate $7,080 to aid the Concordia student organization of Young Americans for Freedom and their pursuit to bring conservative speaker Ben Shapiro to campus,” the letter stated. “SGA’s first goal is to listen to, represent, and act on the feedback of its students, and there will be a motion put forward to rescind the funding.”

According to The Daily Wire, the motion stressed that the SGA must support marginalized and underrepresented students while also staying dedicated to “the greater goal of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at Concordia."

Young Americans for Freedom at Concordia condemned the decision to hold an emergency vote, blasting the SGA for “compromis[ing] their integrity” by giving in to “vocal opposition.”

[RELATED: Prof tells class only 'a chump' wouldn't protest Ben Shapiro]

“All the YAF chapter at Concordia wants is for SGA to help offset the cost of bringing a conservative speaker to campus,” the organization said in a statement. “Instead they compromise their integrity and call for a rescinding of the vote due to vocal opposition from students on campus not one week after we received partial funding.

“Bringing Ben Shapiro to campus would be a sign from Concordia College that they value intellectual and political diversity and that they care about the marginalized and underrepresented conservative voices on campus,” the organization added.

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Nikita Vladimirov | Correspondents Editor

Nikita Vladimirov is a Correspondents Editor for Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, he wrote for The Hill, where he extensively covered the latest political developments in U.S. and around the world. A 2016 national finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists' "Mark of Excellence Award," Nikita now resides in Washington D.C. and contributes to the Washington Examiner. His work has appeared on the front pages of The Drudge Report and The Hill, and has been featured by leading media organizations including Fox News, MSN, Real Clear Defense and many others.

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