REPORT: Leftist students angry that Matt Walsh spoke on campus
Daily Wire host Matt Walsh visited the University of Wisconsin-Superior on Apr. 27 to give a speech titled 'The Left's war on reality.'
The university's Gender Equity Resource Center held a meeting for students to express their frustrations with the event.
Daily Wire host Matt Walsh visited the University of Wisconsin-Superior on Apr. 27 to give a speech titled “The Left's war on reality.” Before the event, an on-campus group made up of students and administrators strategized how to protest the event.
UW-Superior’s Gender Equity Resource Center held a meeting for students to express their frustrations with the event.
Students pressured administrators to move Walsh’s speech off campus and administrators shared tips for protesting, according to video obtained by Young America’s Foundation.
“As a campus … we’re known for inclusion and diversity, and all those different kind of things, and with this guy promoting hate speech specifically about those kind of things, why can’t you just tell this doesn’t follow what our university stands by?”, one student asked during the meeting.
In another clip, an administrator is heard asking students what questions they have about protesting the event.
“How would the protesters, hypothetically, I don’t know, address counter-protesters? Like, if we’re sitting there, peacefully or whatever, that there are other people who want to engage in violence? How should we as the civil protesters interact with that?” a student asked.
A presumed university administrator responded, “I think, you know, the best interaction you could have is not to interact with that.”
“As a protesting group, if there begins to be any threats towards you, I would suggest all of you sit down. That will cause a scene. That will help Joe and his officers know something is happening,” a presumed female administrator said in an additional clip.
“So, if somebody is getting threatened, sit down and call it out and Joe will respond,” she continued.
In another clip, a student describes Walsh coming to campus as “one of the most exhausting experiences of my entire life, to the point where I have decided that I would rather pay thousands of dollars to go to school anywhere else.”
“It is exhausting with racism, homophobia, transphobia – and nobody cares. And you guys can say that you care, and I know that genuinely you want to block hatred toward the students here. But these actions reflect that you want hatred,” he continued.
To further encourage administrators to move the event off-campus, a Change.org petition was started. The petition closed with 189 signatures.
The petition describes Matt Walsh as an “extremist, right-wing individual”, and claims that freedom of speech “does not condone hate speech and does not come without consequences.”
The day of the event, Walsh addressed a room full of supporters while protesters gathered outside.
Emma Hellerud, a protester interviewed by Fox 21, said that “we wanted to do it here because we believe that this was the spot that would make us the most visible for our supporters walking into the building and the speaker himself, and just really show that we are a community that supports and uplifts one another.”
At the event, Walsh expressed his view that “[i]n terms of issues that we should be focusing on, I think the issue of defending the realities of men and women, that to me is the central issue that we should be focused on. And we can actually win that. And the only way that we don’t win it is if we allow ourselves to get distracted by something else.”
Director of media relations for the UW System Mark Pitsch told Campus Reform in a statement, “The University of Wisconsin System continues to welcome civil dialogue and free expression across its campuses as exhibited by the recent event at UW-Superior.”
“We understand that our students, faculty and staff have a wide range of viewpoints and encourage the respectful and vigorous exchange of ideas, which leads to the development of critical thinking skills,” he continued.
Backlash from leftist students is not unusual for Walsh events. Campus Reform has reported on other instances of the fallout surrounding his speaking events on college campuses.
In March, protesters at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) gathered ahead of Walsh's speech on his question "What is a Woman?"
"We're just protesting because transphobia is a real problem at Georgia Tech and in the world," one protester said to Campus Reform. "These people, Matt Walsh, and those who support him, are examples of threats to the safety of trans individuals at Georgia Tech and everywhere else."
Saint Louis University
In December 2021, Walsh spoke at Saint Louis University (SLU) on the subject, “Why the Pro-Life Movement is Center Stage in the Culture War.” The event was met with obstructive and violent protests.
Walsh attempted to approach the protesters to have a conversation. However, he was met with obscenities and demands to leave the campus.
Protesters blocked off an intersection outside the venue, and projectiles were allegedly thrown out apartment building windows at attendees waiting in line for the event.
SLU College Republicans president Nick Baker told Campus Reform that the protest was “a disruption to the community.”
“We believe that a better way of expressing their views would have been to come to the event and engage in civil conversation with Matt,” Baker told Campus Reform.
The Gender Equity Resource Center did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment in time for publication.