Photo Credit: Ben Schumin

By Elizabeth Campbell

12991036_10209643132383164_3474251105613622798_nThe Virginia Tech thought police are at it again! Before Pamplin College of Business announced that they would be bringing in Wall Street columnist and Manhattan Institute fellow Jason Riley to campus to speak as part their BB&T Distinguished Lecture Series on Capitalism, his invitation was revoked by the head of the finance department. Riley, a conservative, was disinvited after the finance department head Vijay Singal discovered his publication, Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make it Harder for Blacks to Succeed.

The link between Riley’s disinvitation and the uproar over Charles Murray’s recent campus lecture is quite noticeable. A National Review article on the dismissal reports that the link is not subjective, with the letter that Riley received from the professor who organized the event directly addressing the recent events with Murray, and the embarrassment President Sands received after Murray responded to his open letter to the campus.

This event was not even announced to the student body before it was canceled, proving that conservative thought is being suppressed on our campus and that more events like this could have occurred unexposed. Instead of continually telling students what to think by enforcing the same thoughts and ideologies endlessly on the student body, a college campus needs to facilitate a diversity of beliefs, speakers, and ideologies. Virginia Tech faculty and administrators should not strive to avoid what they deem as controversial, but rather embrace challenges as an opportunity to expose students to another way of thinking.

Young Americans for Freedom at Virginia Tech is dedicated to bringing diversity of thought to our peers and community

Young Americans for Freedom at Virginia Tech is dedicated to bringing diversity of thought to our peers and community. We actively do this through our activism projects, and by providing a service to the student body that this school will never give. We bring conservative speakers to campus to balance out the overwhelming liberal indoctrination by the administrators and faculty.

Virginia Tech, President Sands, and Vijay Singal, students are capable of listening to those they disagree with. They are not children. They should not feel physically harmed by words. Coddling students into one ideology will not prepare them for life like college should. This censorship is not something that happens to individuals coming to speak from leftist viewpoints of white privilege, cultural appropriation or socialist principles such as wealth redistribution and free college.

It shows a lot about our campus climate that both conservative speakers that have been chosen for this Pamplin series have been deemed “controversial,” but when Tim Wise came to speak on white privilege, it was seen as normal and heavily promoted by President Sands himself.

On Monday night, President Sands put out a tweet saying that “if a formal invitation was given, it will not be rescinded. Investigating.”  There has been no clarification or follow up from President Sands or Virginia Tech since, and the term “formal invitation” has not been defined.  At this time, Jason Riley is still uninvited.

Elizabeth Campbell is chair of Virginia Tech Young Americans for Freedom. 

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