WATCH: Trans-activists clash with College Republicans after screening of 'What Is a Woman' at Kent State

LGBTQ+ student activists have been in conflict with the Kent State College Republicans since March after the club showed the film ‘What Is a Woman?’

Although the University has publicly stated that they must legally protect the exercise of free speech, conservative students fear for their physical and reputational security after the protracted smear campaign.

Months of transgender controversy and targeting of conservative students climaxed on Monday into a free speech clash between the Kent State College Republicans (KSCR) and LGBTQ+ student activists.

Harassment of members of the KSCR began in late March when the club at the Ohio public institution announced that it would hold a screening of Matt Walsh’s documentary What Is a Woman? Following school policies, KSCR members painted an advertisement of the event on a prominent rock on campus prior to the event.

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KSCR members told Campus Reform that, within several hours of painting the rock, their advertisement was covered by a trans pride flag. Campus police and student life did not investigate the matter.

After the film screening, which was open to all students, messages were leaked from the club’s private communication stream and shared with the student body to discredit the club, including messages indicating that a KSCR student intentionally put the documentary advertisements in the LGBTQ Center.

Based upon both the film screening and these leaked messages, fellow student Mariana Difranco started an online petition to hold the KSCRs “accountable for their actions” of encouraging hate speech and discrimination. The petition has since reached over 2,500 signatures. 

The university sent out a campus-wide message on April 14 encouraging both safety and wisdom during public gatherings or protests, stating, “As a public university, we must, by law, allow individuals and groups to practice their freedom of speech.”

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Partly because of the University’s stated free speech policy, Kent State junior Autumn Pritchard hosted an event on Monday to “Hold Kent State Republicans Accountable.”

In response, the KSCR group staged a counter-protest approximately 25 feet away from Pritchard’s event as a pro-free speech party. Members of Students for Liberty and Turning Point USA (TPUSA) were also reportedly present.

The quarrel came to a head when the pro-trans activists eventually moved their demonstration toward the free speech rally and began to engage with the KSCR and liberty-minded students.

Video of the event shows Vice President of the KSCR group, Malcom Neitenbach being accosted by an unidentified activist.

In reply, Neitenbach explained, “What did the Nazis do? They silenced their opposition. It’s what you guys are doing. It’s a comedic joke on the fact that you guys are censoring us.” Neitenbach proceeded to directly call the woman and her cohort Nazis, at which point the woman ripped Neitenbach’s sign out of his hand.

Campus police responded immediately when Neitenbach and the KSCRs requested assistance. Although a campus police report was filed for disorderly conduct, Neitenbach has not yet received a copy of the official police report.

Neitenbach shared with Campus Reform that he has received several veiled threats of violence since March, including messages indicating that the harassers are undeterred by police investigations. Neitenbach also shared that trans-rights activists have also his reputation in attempts to get him fired from his freelance jobs. 

Neitenbach says that police have informed him that there is nothing that they can do about online doxing.

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Student group attempts to dox TPUSA students in now-deleted post]

Will Gall, President of the KSCRs, told Campus Reform that although he feels physically safe on campus, he is worried about his fellow group members. He also voiced concern for the reputational damage that trans-activists have inflicted against himself and fellow members.

Both Gall and Neitenbach confirmed that their free speech event received significant support from students who fear retaliation if they publicly show their appreciation for the KSCRs.

“We had so many people walking by us when we had our free speech party saying, “Hey, we support you. This is great. Keep doing what you’re doing,’” Gall said.

“It’s always the silent majority,” Nietenbach noted. “[T]hese people…are the people that…agree with us. They just don’t want to be seen doing this stuff for fear of consequences.”

Pritchard declined request for comment because of the “extreme bias” of Campus Reform. Kent State University has not yet responded to request for comment, but Campus Reform will update this story accordingly.