Administrators at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, told members of GCU’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter that they would not “provide a venue” for Ben Shapiro’s planned speech, part of Young America’s Foundation’s Fred Allen Lecture Series.

If this pathetic response sounds familiar, it should—that’s exactly what UC Berkeley administrators initially told students when Cal administrators tried to prevent Shapiro from speaking.

In a meeting with students Thursday, Grand Canyon University administrators outlined their cowardly denial of Shapiro, giving three feeble reasons for rejecting Shapiro:

  1. Allowing Shapiro on GCU’s campus would not be good for the school long-term.
  2. Shapiro’s approach instigates a divisive atmosphere.
  3. GCU wants to maintain its culture of unity, love, respect and having all student voices on campus heard.

Unless, apparently, a student’s voice is conservative.

Later in the meeting, administrators whined that Shapiro’s style is too “cut throat” and that his mere presence is divisive. According to the GCU YAF chapter, administrators specifically cited DACA students and what Shapiro may say about immigration. They were also told that GCU’s President, Brian Mueller, signed off on the decision to deny Shapiro a venue.

Seemingly unaware of the reaction to schools that block Ben Shapiro, administrators reasoned that in refusing to give Shapiro a venue, GCU would avoid negative media attention. They fear, according to the students in the meeting, that the outside world is watching GCU and waiting to jump on the school for making a mistake.

Ironically, this strategy to avoid negative attention is a mistake that ought to be soundly rebuked by students, alumni, and concerned citizens alike.

In a mission statement on its website, Grand Canyon University claims to offer “opportunities in which the public can engage in events that involve critical thinking around the community and academic discourse” including “lecture series, competitions, and town halls” to emphasize the importance of “asking questions and pursuing knowledge to avoid delusion and blind acceptance of ideas.”

“By caving to an unseen mob and ignoring the popularity of Shapiro among its student body, Grand Canyon University just played itself and deserves whatever negative response this brings,” remarked Young America’s Foundation Spokesman Spencer Brown. “GCU has abandoned the sentiment of its own proclaimed values, deluded itself into acting like the liberal campuses it claims to differ from, and blindly accepted the Left’s ludicrous argument that Shapiro’s presence somehow damages students, campuses, or debate.”

GCU YAF also slammed the administrators’ rejection of their planned Shapiro lecture saying, “It is deeply disappointing that Grand Canyon University has disallowed Ben Shapiro from appearing on our campus—We cannot understand why our school would refuse to host someone who is a tireless advocate for traditional Judeo-Christian values. In recent semesters we’ve successfully hosted Andrew Klavan, Allie Stuckey, and Michael Knowles, all without any issues. GCU YAF will continue working with Young America’s Foundation to seek a reversal of this absurd decision.”


For additional information or to request an interview contact Young America’s Foundation Spokesman Spencer Brown via sbrown@yaf.org or 800-872-1776.

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