A conservative student group at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, had its funding frozen indefinitely by the Associated Student Government (ASG) after partnering with Young America’s Foundation and the Northwestern YAF chapter to host a lecture by Dr. James Lindsay earlier this week. Lindsay is a cultural commentator, author, and mathematician who spoke about the dangers of Marxism and criticized transgender ideology.
The ASG claimed that it froze the group’s funding not necessarily because of the content of Lindsay’s talk, but because of the flyers used by NUCRs and NU YAF to promote the event, titled “The Dangers of Identity Politics and Intersectionality.” The flyers featured sunglasses with an LGBTQ+ pride flag and a skull and crossbones superimposed over the lenses, clearly and creatively conveying the message of the speech’s title — that the Left’s insane gender and sexuality ideology is dangerous.
The student government accused the flyers of violating Northwestern’s Policy on Discrimination & Harassment, which states that examples of harassment can include displaying and circulating “offensive objects and pictures that are based on a protected class.”
Lindsay criticized the university for being more interested in activism than education, telling The Post Millennial that “the woke took it as a death threat.”
In the hours leading up to the event, the ASG even published a resource guide for protesters and offered to reimburse costs for protest supplies and refreshments.
On the same day as the event, the same student government offered and published a resource guide for protesters (of the event) including approving funding for their disruptive agitation. Those demonstrators showed up, protested, and hackled through my remarks. pic.twitter.com/6xi5MD2nne
— James Lindsay, Darth Lindsay (@ConceptualJames) May 4, 2023
Following the speech, the student government convened for an “emergency session,” passing legislation indefinitely suspending all funds to the NUCRs.
Because the legislation took effect immediately, the students are uncertain how they will pay for security services that were provided for the event.
In response to Lindsay’s talk, the university president’s office sent out an email with the subject line “URGENT: HATE SPEECH,” stating that Lindsay’s views were antithetical to Northwestern’s values. Lindsay criticized the email as a disgrace, writing in a Twitter post that “these effete administrators are ripping off the students paying crazy money to be there by hollowing out the value of their degrees and cheating them out of a real education.”
This email from the office of the president of Northwestern about me is a disgrace. These effete administrators are ripping off the students paying crazy money to be there by hollowing out the value of their degrees and cheating them out of a real education. pic.twitter.com/RW1XcJI2TN
— James Lindsay, Darth Lindsay (@ConceptualJames) May 3, 2023
The student government’s decision to defund the conservative student group — and the university president’s decision to condemn Dr. Lindsay — sends a message that freedom of expression and speech are not valued on Northwestern’s campus, which is certainly a cause for concern for all who value academic freedom.