“The way it’s supposed to be.”
These are the words of Fox News’s Todd Piro, reporting on last week’s Young America’s Foundation lecture with Ben Shapiro at the University of Connecticut—part of YAF’s Fred Allen Lecture Series.
“Why is an event like this so important for First Amendment rights?” Piro asked Shapiro.
“It’s always important for people who are not necessarily of the prevailing political view to be able to come on campus and talk to students who are not used to hearing these viewpoints, particularly if they find them discomforting and uncomfortable,” answered Shapiro.
“A packed house here at the Ben Shapiro event,” reported Piro, noting that demand to hear conservative ideas at UConn was so great the line to get in stretched “around the block.”
The event was an incredible success—attracting an audience of more than 500 students—despite the Left’s best efforts to derail the program. Prior to the lecture, UConn administrators banned the public from attending and also sent an email to pre-condition students to react adversely to Shapiro’s appearance.
In the University of Connecticut’s “Chief Diversity Officer” email, counseling was offered to those who were unable to control themselves in light of Shapiro’s appearance.
Joelle Murchison, the associate vice president and chief diversity officer for UConn, warned all students on campus of Ben’s upcoming appearance, “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,” wrote Murchison, “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.”
In addition, campus leftists hosted a counter event at the same time as the YAF lecture.