Marquette staffer plots to disrupt Ben Shapiro lecture
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.
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.”
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!”
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