DePaul University Bans Speaker Ben Shapiro from Campus

(Photo: Flickr, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Flickr, Creative Commons)

DePaul University has officially banned conservative commentator Ben Shapiro from making a public appearance on its campus.

The decision came in a blog post published by Shapiro’s Daily Wire.  The post featured John Minster, vice president of DePaul University’s Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter, discussing the lack of free thought and discussion that is continuing to happen across college campuses in the United States:

“Given the experiences and security concerns that some other schools have had with Ben Shapiro speaking on their campuses, DePaul cannot agree to allow him to speak on our campus at this time,” the university’s vice president of facilities operations reportedly told YAF in an email last week.

The blog post written by Minster concluded with a plea from the DePaul’s YAF chapter in a final effort to push the school to reverse its decision, writes Carly Hoilman for The Blaze.

In reponse, Shapiro issued a statement to Minster:

“It’s both pathetic and predictable that the University is happy to grant a veto on speakers to snowflake leftists so long as the leftists threaten violence,” Shapiro said. “This is how free speech dies: when people in power cave to the bullies rather than standing up for basic rights.”

YAF added that the school was not living up to its mission to promote a campus that “welcomes open discourse” if it would not allow Shapiro to speak.

Meanwhile, Minster called the decision proof that the values discussed under the First Amendment were “under attack” on college campuses throughout the country.

DePaul previously banned Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking after a speech made earlier in the year caused a number of angry crowds and student activists to gather.  Protesters stole Yiannopoulous’s microphone and did not allow him to speak. Several protesters also rushed the stage, with one physically threatening to punch him. The school said that inviting him back would create a “hostile environment.”

Shapiro has been banned from a number of other campuses across the country, including California State University Los Angeles.  Shapiro had been scheduled to speak in February, but protestors were able to persuade administrators to cancel the event by arguing that the messages spread by Shapiro included themes of racism and intolerance.  In the end, Shapiro arrived at the event anyway, but was met by demonstrators who tried to block the door. Protesters eventually pulled the fire alarm in order to drown out the lecture.  Shapiro was escorted off campus by police officers after threats were made to his safety.

Similar efforts were made at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, with students staging a walkout during his lecture.  However, those empty seats were quickly filled by other students who wanted to hear him speak, writes Amber Athey for Campus Reform.

Shapiro has been touring college campuses over the last year in an effort to give speeches to student groups.  However, many of these lectures have been protested by students and administrators.

According to officials for DePaul University, Shapiro has been banned due to “security concerns.”