UPDATE: Campus conservatives say UW stifling Right speech — again
UPDATE #2: Two of the few conservative faculty step up.
The University of Wisconsin’s commitment to the free exchange of ideas — you know, that “sifting and winnowing” thing — will be sorely tested next week Tuesday.
In the shadow of the massacre by an apparent lone gunman in Las Vegas, a conservative student group is bringing a gun rights activist to the UW-Madison campus.
A group calling itself Cocks not Glocks is planning a lewd counter protest featuring dildos. It is also laying the foundation for disrupting the speech with the familiar claim of impermissible “hate speech.”
Young Americans for Freedom is sponsoring the speech by Katie Pavlich, a Fox news contributor who is news editor for Townhall.com and author of the 2012 book Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover-Up.
The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 10 in Room 107at the Brogden/Psychology building, 1202 W Johnson St.
It was the YAF who brought Ben Shapiro to the Madison campus on Nov. 16. Protesters employed the hecklers veto to prevent the former Breitbart editor from speaking for approximately 18 minutes while university police stood passively.
That and similar harassment across the country prompted the state legislature to consider legislation to protect free speech on campus by penalizing disrupters. AB 299 passed the Assembly 61-36 but has been hung up in the state Senate as SB 250.
The UW Board of Regents may pre-empt need for the legislation. It meets tomorrow (Friday, October 6) on the UW-Stout campus where it will consider a policy that would suspend for one semester students who “materially and substantially disrupted the free expression of others” on two occasions. A third offense would merit permanent expulsion.
The proposed “Commitment to Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression” also requires campuses to orient incoming students about freedom of expression. (The document here.)
A YAF spokesman said, “We call on University of Wisconsin administrators and authorities to protect the First Amendment rights of Katie Pavlich, UW-Madison YAF, and the students who wish to hear conservative ideas next week.”
We are bringing Ms. Pavlich to speak on the right we have, as stated by the Constitution, to bear arms,” a statement from UW-Madison YAF continues. “Women (and men as well), have the freedom to be able to protect themselves from danger with this right. (More here.)
The Cocks Not Glocks group countered, “Pavlich’s invitation does not symbolize a stimulating intellectual discussion of ideas. It is an obvious attempt to divide our campus and perpetuate violence. Activists on campus will be using dildos to draw attention to the absurd potential of guns on campus.”