SLU students petition to bar Matt Walsh from campus. Walsh counters.

After Saint Louis University students launched a petition to bar Daily Wire commentator Matt Walsh from speaking on campus, Walsh started a counterpetition that earned over ten times more signatures.

“As you are likely aware, SLU College Republicans plans to host conservative speaker Matt Walsh on December 1st in the Wool Ballrooms. His speech is titled ‘Why the Pro-Life Movement is Center Stage in the Culture War.’ Anticipating his presence on campus has instilled fear in many SLU students,” reads a petition addressed to administrators. 

Though the petition affirms that conservative speakers have visited campus “without issue,” it claims that “Matt Walsh is not simply a conservative speaker.” Instead, “he is a threat to women, the LGBTQIA+ community, and racial minorities on campus.”

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Arguing that Walsh’s views oppose Jesuit philosophy and constitute “hate speech,” the petition urges administrators to “protect the SLU community by not allowing Matt Walsh to speak on campus.” 

To prevent future controversy, the petition calls for reforms to the speaker vetting process. “We are not in support of ending civil discourse and the discussion of various points of view, rather we are in support of closing loopholes that create opportunities for hate speech.”

In response, Walsh authored his own counterpetition to Saint Louis University.

“We the undersigned believe that SLU administrators should not cave to the leftist demand to shut down the upcoming Matt Walsh talk,” it reads. “This campaign is driven by ignorance, cowardice, fear, and stupidity.”

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“If ideas such as “women don’t have penises” and “it’s wrong to kill babies” are not welcome on campus, then SLU will have declared itself to be nothing but a radical far left religious cult,” it continues before concluding that the school “stand for truth and freedom, not fear and moral insanity.”

Walsh’s petition currently has over 18,000 signatures, while the original petition has just over 1,600.

Earlier this month, Daily Wire editor emeritus Ben Shapiro faced similar opposition from leftist students, who said that his presence should “absolutely not be tolerated by students, faculty, and administration.”

Nevertheless, the event sold out, and Shapiro spoke without any serious opposition.

Campus Reform reached out to Saint Louis University and Matt Walsh for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.