Ahead of Ben Shapiro’s lecture at Ohio State on November 13—part of Young America’s Foundation’s Fred Allen Lecture Series—university administrators have inexplicably and inexcusably carried out a sustained effort to minimize the impact of OSU Young Americans for Freedom’s breakthrough lecture with the number one conservative speaker in America. Ohio State may think it can get away with this kind of attempted censorship, but not anymore.
After repeated appeals, OSU’s Council on Student Affairs (CSA) issued its final denial claiming the OSU Young Americans for Freedom and Young America’s Foundation lecture includes “partisan political activities taking place.” As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Young America’s Foundation and our Young Americans for Freedom chapters are prohibited from engaging in any political or electioneering activity, rendering Ohio State’s CSA funding denial absurd.
Most recently, Ohio State put OSU Young Americans for Freedom on notice that they would be charged for security personnel at the event, not to exceed $2,064. In addition, OSU administrators have subjectively leveraged another charge of $2,800 for metal detectors for the lecture.
This all comes after the OSU administration slow-walked the YAF chapter through bureaucratic hoops and refused to confirm a venue for the lecture over the course of four months. Following repeated attempts by the YAF chapter to reserve venues on campus, they were told no venues were available in the case of the Ohio Union, had their hold on Mershon Auditorium canceled, and told no classroom spaces were available. Eventually, OSU administrators attempted to push the event to a venue on the edge of campus far from the desired venues initially requested by the YAF chapter.
In October, OSU YAF was finally able to request a venue in their preferred location, the Ohio Union, but even that was delayed while the request was subjected to approval by “campus stakeholders,” despite no established criteria for this process and no available list of those who make up the group. According to administrators, “any big events” are subject to approval by these stakeholders, a non-specific claim that has all the appearances of a constitutionally-flawed process which allows administrators to exercise unbridled discretion in choosing who gets to enjoy free speech and who does not on Ohio State’s campus.
For additional information, to request an interview, or to cover Shapiro’s lecture at Ohio State contact YAF Spokesman Spencer Brown via firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-872-1776.