University waives $2,000 'security fee' for conservative speaker

Kassy Dillon
Massachusetts Campus Correspondent

  • Following complaints from Young America's Foundation, the University of Cincinnati has agreed to rescind a $2,000 security fee it had sought to impose for an event featuring conservative speaker Star Parker.
  • YAF had maintained that the event did not meet the school's own criteria for making the sponsoring organization cover the costs of additional security.
  • The University of Cincinnati has agreed to rescind a $2,000 security fee it had attempted to impose on its Young Americans for Freedom chapter for a speaking event.

    The controversy arose after the conservative group decided to bring conservative columnist Star Parker to campus for an event this week, prompting the university to deem her presence controversial enough to warrant extensive security measures.

    "While the university's respect of free speech has been questionable, we are excited to see administrators...making good faith efforts to embrace change."   

    [RELATED: Students accuse university of illegally rejecting YAF chapter]

    In a statement put out by Young America’s Foundation, UC YAF chapter Chairman Regina Barton wrote that her club was informed it would need an event coordinator and a team of seven police officers, prompting her to seek help from the national organization.

    “Young America’s Foundation, again, came to our aid, offering legal guidance if we thought it necessary. After both our faculty advisor and I wrote strongly-worded letters of appeal to the administration, the university decided to cover the security cost,” Barton stated, noting that she was encouraged by the university’s change of plans.

    “Seeing action taken by the University of Cincinnati to rectify their mistakes and fortify a commitment to free speech has been incredible, making almost every roadblock encountered thus far worth the trouble,” she added.

    Barton went on to remark that after “growing up in a conservative suburb of Cincinnati,” she never expected the university to be “so overtly biased towards one viewpoint.”

    [RELATED: Conservative student attacked for wearing YAF hat to vigil]

    “Witnessing this bias first-hand during my first semester, I decided to give conservative students a much-needed voice,” she wrote, explaining that the university tried to justify the security fees due to the size of the event.

    “We are glad to see the university realizing the power and importance of free speech on our campus. There is nothing more vital to a balanced college education than free speech,” Barton told Campus Reform. “While the university's respect of free speech has been questionable, we are excited to see administrators and the university community making good faith efforts to embrace change.”

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    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. Kassy is a journalist, political commentator, and student at Mount Holyoke College. She is the founder of Lone Conservative, a group blog that gives a voice to conservative college students. She also is a regular contributor to The Hill and The Daily Wire, and has appeared on Fox News discussing issues surrounding free speech and cultural issues on college campuses. 

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