Amid Security Concerns, DePaul University Cancels Conservative Event

Published: August 3, 2016

DePaul University announced that it will not host a conservative political speaker on its campus due to security concerns Aug. 3.

The university, which had trouble handling protests when another conservative speaker was on campus in May, had been asked to host political commentator Ben Shapiro for a speech.

“Depaul University’s Office of Public Safety determined, after observing events which took place when Mr. Shapiro spoke elsewhere, that it was not in a position to provide the type of security that would be required at this time,” DePaul spokeswoman Carol Hughes told the Chicago Sun Times.

The decision upset many conservative media members and several student groups on campus have spoken out in defense of Shapiro’s right to speak.

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“Our position is that in this particular case, Ben Shapiro doesn’t cross the line on free speech,” student Jack McNeil, president of the DePaul Democrats, said. “If DePaul has drawn a line on speakers, we need to know what that line is and why it’s there.”

The DePaul Chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, a student republican group, has been working to schedule the event for months. The vice chair of that group, John Minister, called on DePaul to “stand up to bullies” and allow the event on campus.

DePaul’s public safety department was criticized following the event in May for not providing enough security. That event was overrun by Black Lives Matter protesters.

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