UConn offers counseling, restricts access to Shapiro event

Nikita Vladimirov
Correspondents Editor

  • After completing a new review process instituted after a disruptive protest in November, the University of Connecticut has decided to restrict public access to Ben Shapiro's upcoming lecture on campus.
  • Administrators also sent an email to students earlier this month offering counseling services to those who might feel offended by Shapiro’s conservative views.
  • The University of Connecticut has decided to restrict public access to Wednesday’s Ben Shapiro talk following a new “review” process that will be applied to all campus speakers.

    According to Young America’s Foundation, the organization set to sponsor the event, the only guests allowed to attend Shapiro’s January 24 lecture are UConn students, faculty, and special pre-registered guests.

    "We understand that even the thought of an individual coming to campus with the views that Mr. Shapiro expresses can be concerning and even hurtful."   

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

    YAF Spokesperson Spencer Brown asserted that the review process was adopted by the public university after a controversial scuffle between Gateway Pundit journalist Lucian Wintrich and a protester at his on-campus lecture in November.

    “This level of review was imposed upon the conservative students at UConn who are hosting Shapiro due to the school’s inability to maintain the rule of law at a previous lecture hosted by the campus conservative club,” Brown remarked.

    “Student safety may seem a noble cause for UConn to cherish, but why isn’t the same level of restraint imposed on speaking events by prominent leftists?” he asked, noting that “just last week, Anita Hill spoke on campus at UConn in an event advertised as ‘free and open to the public,’ with ‘no tickets required for entry.’”

    [RELATED: Student gov pulls Shapiro funding after students complain]

    Brown’s allegations of a double-standard were echoed by the president of the UConn College Republicans, Tim Sullivan, who publicly blasted the school for targeting the conservative event.

    “My biggest concern with this change is there's going to be a discrepancy between who this event review process is for, mainly because there is no disruption from speakers of the left,” Sullivan said in an interview with Fox News last week. “So it's really our group and other conservative groups on campus that are going to have to go through this event review process.”

    Earlier this month, Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Joelle Murchison sent a letter to UConn students offering counseling services to those who might feel offended by Shapiro’s upcoming event, according to The Daily Wire.

    “We understand that even the thought of an individual coming to campus with the views that Mr. Shapiro expresses can be concerning and even hurtful and that’s why we wanted to make you aware as soon as we were informed,” Murchison wrote. “In the meantime, please utilize the many campus resources available to you should you want to talk through your feelings about this issue, including my office, the Cultural Centers, the Dean of Students Office, and CMHS, if necessary.”

    [RELATED: Prof wanted to fight Ben Shapiro; students want him promoted]

    In an email to the The Daily Campus,  UConn Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz insisted that that administration is subjecting Shapiro’s event “to the same review process” as Anita Hill’s lecture.

    “Anita Hill’s visit was coordinated and sponsored by the university, which considers the same kinds of questions internally before inviting a speaker to campus,” Reitz insisted. “The difference is that the university considers and plans for those factors before issuing an invitation.”

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    Nikita Vladimirov

    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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