San Diego State University canceled Milo Yiannopoulos’ upcoming speaking event, where he was scheduled to speak on October 29. The school claims that it was unable to provide adequate security to permit his presence on campus. However, its sponsors consider the cancellation “highly suspicious.”
The school’s decision not to host the conservative provocateur has not gone unchallenged by its hosts, who say they spent close to four weeks planning it with the university leadership.
SDSU College Republicans president Brandon Jones claims that the group was blindsided by the university’s sudden decision to pull the speech. “This morning I had my fourth meeting in as many weeks with San Diego State University leadership in regards to planning an event to bring conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos to Montezuma Hall on October 29th at 9pm,” Jones wrote in a statement attained by Campus Reform today.
“This morning’s agenda was supposed to consist of a quote outlining security costs from Chief Mays,” he said. “Instead, we were blindsided by university leadership with the cancelation of our event.”
Jones said that SDSU chief of police Josh Mays informed the group that law enforcement needed “over six hours and 20 bomb-sniffing dogs to secure the 200,000-square foot venue,” which wasn’t possible with their resources.
He said that the event was not welcomed by other students who had received support from the school administration to host a counter-event during Yiannopoulos’ speech.
“At the end of last week the College Republicans intercepted an email from a student leader on campus that was not intended for the club to see,” Jones wrote in his statement. “This email sent by Gamma Rho Lambda President who was ‘personally not at all comfortable’ with our conservative speaker coming on campus.”
Jones shared the leaked email with Campus Reform, which was written by Mariel McKinney, the president of Gamma Rho Lambda.
“I personally am not at all comfortable with this and it is my understanding that many student organizations are not ok with this either,” she wrote of the Yiannopoulos event. “I have had a few discussions with the Dean of Students, Dr. Randy Timm and an idea he brought to my attention was to have a counter event on the same day on the opposite side of campus to draw attention away from the College Republican’s event. That is why I’m reaching out to all of you.”
According to the email, Randy Timm, who also heads Student Life and Leadership, and Edwin Darrell of the Center for Intercultural Relations both pledged their support to making the counter-event a reality.
Speaking to Campus Reform, Yiannopoulos said that the SDSU College Republicans had prior discussions about security with the university, and that he found the cancellation suspect.
“The College Republicans had already had multiple meetings about security with the campus police, including with a police lieutenant as recently as September 29, so the sudden decision to claim ‘lack of resources’ for an event that has been planned since May is highly suspicious and suggests this is another example of bureaucratic censorship and stonewalling by a left-wing campus administration,” he said.
Yiannopoulos said that the College Republicans have since retained an attorney to fight for their free speech rights, with his full support. “The Left will not win its war to turn campuses into fortresses of censorship,” he said.