The Young Americans for Freedom chapter at the University at Buffalo has faced extraordinary resistance from the school’s faculty, student government, and peers in their efforts to host Daily Wire conservative commentator and best-selling author Michael Knowles for a campus lecture scheduled to take place later this week. Despite multiple follow-ups and meetings, the YAF chapter has been met with obstacles at every turn.
Over the weekend, three leftist professors sent a letter to UB President Satish Tripathi calling on the university to cancel the YAF chapter’s campus venue reservation, claiming that Knowles’ speech will “effectively [be] a call for genocidal violence against members of the transgender community.”
Some are even calling for faculty and graduate students to go on strike over the event. “All faculty and grad students that oppose this should strike this week and not do an ounce of work for this university,” Ph.D. candidate Julianne Neely wrote in a social media post.
The university released a statement affirming the YAF chapter’s First Amendment right to host the event, but didn’t hesitate to denounce Knowles and the important conservative messages he will deliver.
“Student government-sponsored clubs have the ability to invite speakers of their choosing, as long as they follow the laws and guidelines concerning public events on campus,” the statement reads. “As we have seen in the past, speakers sometimes hold opinions contrary to university values or make polarizing comments. Please know that our commitment to transgender inclusion is stronger than one speaker and one event,” it continued.
Why is a public university, which should represent the interests of its entire student body, catering to the whims of a vocal minority of leftists who believe that men can become women and vice-versa? UB should have affirmed that Knowles will be allowed to speak and left it at that.
The last time a major YAF speaker set foot on campus, a leftist mob became so violent that Lt. Col. Allen West had to be escorted out of his lecture by police. Then-UB YAF leader Therese Purcell was chased into a men’s restroom. The UB Police Department never brought charges against those responsible for the violence.
Despite these challenges, the YAF chapter refuses to back down and will not allow the Left to have its way. The free and open-to-the-public event will take place on Thursday evening at 7:00 PM in Slee Hall.
“Our YAF chapter at UB is not unfamiliar with pushback from both university faculty and students. Each speaker event sees attempts to suppress them, but we will continue to remind everyone that the First Amendment covers all ideologies, even those not regularly promoted on campus,” Connor Ogrydziak, UB YAF chairman, told the New Guard.