Inexplicably, the University of Connecticut continues to subject conservative students to strict restrictions and regulations while allowing leftists free reign over their campus.

As a result of a “review” first reported in the New Guard, UConn administrators decided that the January 24 lecture with Ben Shapiro (Part of YAF’s Fred Allen Lecture Series) would be open to students and faculty, but closed to the public. The only non-UConn students allowed in would be those who were on a pre-registered list, thereby limiting the number of students and interested citizens from the public who would be able to attend Shapiro’s lecture at UConn, a public, taxpayer-funded institution.

This level of review was imposed upon the conservative students at UConn who are hosting Shapiro due to the school’s inability to maintain the rule of law at a previous lecture hosted by the campus conservative club where the speaker and a student were arrested after the student allegedly stole the speakers’ notes and personal belongings.

Student safety may seem a noble cause for UConn to cherish, but why isn’t the same level of restraint imposed on speaking events by prominent leftists?

Just last week, Anita Hill spoke on campus at UConn in an event advertised as “free and open to the public,” with “No tickets required for entry.”

In a tragic irony, the listed point of contact for the event was “diversity@uconn.edu” If only the school’s stated commitment to “Diversity & Inclusion” extended to ideological diversity and inclusion of conservative speakers, perhaps the school wouldn’t need to punish conservatives–the victims of leftist intolerance–in the name of safety.

Professors and university centers dedicated to leftist ideas have all the freedom they want to bring in speakers who advance their leftist ideas but when a student group wants to bring in someone to articulate conservative ideas, university administrators do everything in their power, sometimes even crossing the line into unconstitutional territory, to stifle conservative expression.

If you need more proof of UConn’s clear opposition to conservative ideas and Ben Shapiro, look no further than the words of the University of Connecticut’s own “Chief Diversity Officer” Joelle Murchison in an email to students ahead of Shapiro’s lecture:

“We understand that even the thought of an individual coming to campus with the views that Mr. Shapiro expresses can be concerning and even hurtful and that’s why we wanted to make you aware as soon as we were informed.

In the meantime, please utilize the many campus resources available to you should you want to talk through your feelings about this issue…”

As I told Liz Wheeler on One America News last week, bizarre warnings of this kind do nothing to support the free exchange of ideas, and instead alarm students (who may not even know what Ben Shapiro believes), preconditioning them to react in an adverse way. In doing so, leftist administrators all but ensure their student body remains uninformed and ends up indoctrinated in the flawed ideologies of the Left.


For further information or to cover this story contact Spencer Brown via phone (800-872-1776) or email (sbrown@yaf.org).

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