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Conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at SDSU, College Republicans say

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The San Diego State College Republicans announced on Twitter today that they have finalized a deal to bring controversial right-wing activist Milo Yiannopoulos to campus in late October.

Yiannopoulos, a former senior editor of Breitbart, is expected to speak in Montezuma Hall Oct. 29, the College Republicans said, as part of a national tour of college campuses.

The announcement comes on the heels of news that Yiannopoulos’ “Free Speech Week” event at UC Berkeley has been called off.

Brandon Jones, SDSU College Republicans president, said club members have been working with Dean of Students Randy Timm, Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union Director Stephanie Dathe and SDSU Chief of Police Josh Mays to make the event happen.

However, Student Life and Leadership said no official event had been scheduled and noted that, as of Friday, the College Republicans are not a recognized student organization. A representative from SLL also denied Timm had been in meetings with Jones.

Both SDSU spokesperson Christine Hutchins and Associated Students President Chimezie Ebiriekwe said the event is contingent on the College Republicans being approved as a recognized student organization by SLL.

“At this time, there is no confirmation of Milo Yiannopoulos speaking at San Diego State University,” Hutchins said in an email. “Currently, the group known as the College Republicans at SDSU have not yet completed (the recognized student organization) process, and Student Life and Leadership staff are working with them in their recognition process.  There is a conditional hold on a facility subject to the College Republicans’ completion of all university requirements, including, but not limited, to the organization’s completion of the recognition process, a security assessment conducted by SDSU University Police, and the event review process.”

Hutchins also said the university “strongly recommends that student organizations do not publicize events until these processes are complete.”

“Until they receive recognition and complete the event approval process, there is not a confirmed event,” Ebiriekwe said in an email.

Jones said he is confident this will not be a problem. The deadline for organization recognition is Sept. 30.

“It’s happening, because we’re going to get recognized,” Jones said.

Jones said he has been in talks with Yiannopoulos’ team since the summer, but did not confirm he was coming to speak on campus until Tuesday, Sept. 19.

“I think it’s going to be great to have a conservative speaker like him come to campus,” he said. “I think he’s going to talk about the political environment on college campuses and the fight for free speech.”

Jones previously said he had been required to meet with university police to have a threat assessment done before Yiannopoulos’ visit could be arranged.

An appearance from Yiannopoulos at UC Berkeley was cancelled in February due to security concerns, and rally at UC Berkeley where Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak this weekend was also cancelled, organizers said Friday.

“Obviously, (Yiannopoulos) has been to Berkeley and some other college campuses where we’re seeing what we saw in the 1960s, where we’re having to fight for free speech again, (so) I think that’s going to be the main focus of the conversation,” Jones said.

After the College Republicans’ announcement on Friday, the SDSU Young Democratic Socialists of America responded with a tweet saying, “Get ready to face heavy resistance.”

Representatives from YDSA at SDSU later said their tweet was “obviously not a threat of violence.”

“Violence is not implied in the statement at all,” the YDSA said.

On Friday, Jones said he was impressed with SDSUPD’s cooperation.

“I think that in response to (the YDSA statement), the police department is going to be very well-organized in having a space for there to be a counter-protest,” Jones said. “I have full faith in the police department that this is going to be a pretty safe event.”

SDSUPD did not immediately return requests for comment.

This is not the first time the College Republicans have invited a controversial speaker to campus. In May 2016, the club brought David Horowitz to speak at SDSU. Horowitz’s organization had posted flyers around campus in the weeks prior naming specific students as terrorists for their support of Palestine, and his visit sparked protests.

“We’re not looking to do this as a controversy,” Jones said last week when discussing the plans to have Yiannopoulos speak. “We’re doing this in an effort to bring conservative speakers to campus.”

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12 Comments

12 Responses to “Conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at SDSU, College Republicans say”

  1. Frumpycat on September 23rd, 2017 3:37 am

    Hey SDSU students,

    Please post a list of everyone in the SDSU college republican party who is supporting this a hole. We would like to make sure every one of their names shows up in HR software as deplorable unhireables. What says nothing more than “unhireable” than inviting an alt right provocateur who will not only denigrate the school but even the idiots who invited him – its the opposite of being a team member. This isn’t about free speech, it’s about stirring up animosity among your fellow students. Yet again, post the entire list of college republicans so we can act accordingly.

    [Reply]

    Layla Reply:

    Living in a free society means that you will sometimes hear things that you vehemently disagree with. You do NOT have the right in a free country to never be offended, nor do you have the right to a “heckler’s veto” and prevent others from listening to topics you oppose. The SDSU Republican Club is well within it’s rights to invite Milo to speak. If you don’t like it, don’t go, peacefully protest..whatever. That is well within your rights, too. You can’t have the right to protest and deny others the right to speak without highlighting your own hypocrisy.

    [Reply]

    TORIN BROWN Reply:

    Layla,
    Beautifully written. Thank you.

    20 yr Military Retiree

    [Reply]

    Jay Reply:

    With rights come responsibilities. If SDSURC wants Yianopolous to speak at SDSU, they should foot the entire bill for security and all the other expenses associated with the event. Neither SDSU nor California’s taxpayers should have to spend one red cent on this event.

    [Reply]

    Nathaniel Rogers Reply:

    The SDSU Republican Club is well within their rights to ask Milo to speak, everyone else is well within their rights to insist that he not be granted platform here. It’s always interesting the ways that free speech “advocates” insist that access to the right only go one way. You do not seem to understand that in usage of shared spaces is always negotiated, and the SDSU Republican’s Club inviting Milo, knowing he is highly controversial, is trying to take command of that space.

    And make no mistake, that space is ours to contest how it is used. As students whose tuition goes toward the construction, maintenance, and use of speaking facilities on this campus, whose tuition and fees pay to employ the faculty here that who make SDSU a place to visit, who we permit to access that platform communicates attributes about us By allowing him to speak here, would be to communicate support for or complacency to the rhetorical violence Milo represents. More importantly, it tells students of color and transgender students that their safety is less important than some club republicans wanting to hear a known agitator speak. And yes, he is an agitator, not because he’s controversial but because he goes out of his way to verbally attack anyone whom he finds displeasing. And yes, those students may be at risk because everywhere he goes he draws white supremacist and violent members of the alt-right to leaflet campuses with their hate speech.

    The SDSU Republican’s Club, may service an invitation but the rest of us have a right to say that we want no part in it and we want it off our campus. If it is so important for the club to host him, they can shell out their own money to rent a venue elsewhere in town. That is also what it means to live in a free society.

    [Reply]

    Eric Pederson Reply:

    Would you care to elaborate on what you mean by “act accordingly”?

    Your HR software proposal is interesting as well. Are you proposing a centralized database of those guilty of wrong think? This would ease the process of hunting people down and punishing them or harshly correcting their bad thoughts.

    I am very interested in any additional ideas you have for punishing people with incorrect opinions and ideas.

    [Reply]

  2. Nicole S. on September 24th, 2017 8:02 pm

    The final quote says it all: “We’re not looking to do this as a controversy,” Jones said last week when discussing the plans to have Yiannopoulos speak. “We’re doing this in an effort to bring conservative speakers to campus.”

    Surely there are other eligible candidates to speak on behalf of conservative millennials; it’s almost as if the College Republicans want an imbecile to represent their ideology rather than someone who might actually make the Republican party look decent.

    Not all conservatives are idiots, but the ones in the College Republicans at SDSU obviously are.

    [Reply]

  3. Sarai A. on September 26th, 2017 8:20 pm

    If the Republican students want to hear what this guy has to say, then they can rent a place OUTSIDE campus. I am paying for my tuition and I don’t want my money to be spent on a guy that will bring white supremacists and violence to SDSU, we already have enough of those people around here.

    [Reply]

  4. Janet Sanford on September 29th, 2017 3:52 pm

    What is so funny is that he is not a conservative, he is just playing them for cash. He is everything they say they are against!! He is homosexual, dresses like a woman sometimes, is not a Christian and is not a Republican voter. They are too dumb to realize they are being had!!!

    [Reply]

  5. Janet Sanford on September 29th, 2017 3:56 pm

    Yeah, he is someone they want to identify with? Like really?

    Conservative blogger Erick Erickson on Monday slammed the ACU’s decision to include Yiannopoulos among their speakers, casting the move as more of a publicity stunt than a contribution to conservative dialogue.

    “Yiannopoulos has expressly said he is not a conservative,” Erickson wrote on his blog “The Resurgent.” “His entire schtick is about political correctness. He has championed the alt-right, despite claiming not to be a part of the alt-right.

    “He has made more than his fair share of media attention getting incendiary comments, including about a Catholic priest and sexual relations between younger and older men, though he claims some tapes circulating were edited,” he added. “The unedited bits appear problematic at best.”

    Yiannopoulos’ comments came under intense scrutiny on Sunday and into Monday, after a conservative blog tweeted out a clip from an interview posted on YouTube in January 2016.

    “We get hung up on this sort of child abuse stuff to the point where we are heavily policing consensual adults,” Yiannopoulos says in the clip.

    “In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men – the sort of ‘coming of age’ relationship – those relationships in which those older men help those young boys discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable, sort of rock, where they can’t speak to their parents,” he adds.

    He also flippantly recalls his own sexual abuse, apparently with a priest, saying, “I’m grateful for Father Michael; I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him.”

    May want to look more closely at these students and what their views really are.

    [Reply]

  6. Antimark Sist on October 8th, 2017 11:36 pm

    The right to speak freely on a public university is nonnegotiable. May we never live in a world controlled by the snowflake speech police.

    [Reply]

  7. Tom Metzger on October 15th, 2017 7:55 am

    The conservatives failed in Germany and they will fail here.Liberal Neo Bolsheviks will also fail because race is at the heart of the issue. Refuse to face it at your own peril. Racial separatism is the new gorilla in the room and it won’t go away.

    [Reply]

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